Voice Change from nerve damage.
Damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve makes the voice weak and difficult to project. It will also tire quicker than usual so that towards the end of your day it can be harder to speak audibly. In addition to voice change recurrent laryngeal nerve injury can make swallowing feel abnormal and this increases the risk of recurrent chest infection. New research has shown that a recurrent laryngeal nerve injury can reduce life span by up to 10 years through the increased risk of chronic chest infection. By using cIONM we can have reduced this risk to less 0.7% - compared to 1.3% nationally and this risk is falling as more of our cases are performed using cIONM. If both recurrent laryngeal nerves are injured more severe disability can be caused - weaker voice, difficulty swallowing safely and even difficulty breathing requiring a tracheostomy. Bilateral nerve injury can only occur after a total thyroidectomy or bilateral neck exploration for parathyroid disease. Because we use use cIONM we can avoid bilateral injuries by not operating on the second side. Our injury rate is reducing and now down to 0.7%
If you are affected by this complication please try these voice strengthening exercises when you feel ready to help strengthen your voice again