Journal of Otology & RhinologyISSN: 2324-8785

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Cases and Medico-Legal Aspects Regarding Bilateral Iatrogenic Injury of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

Cases and Medico-Legal Aspects Regarding Bilateral Iatrogenic Injury of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

On the basis of the observation of 5 cases of recurrent nerve paralysis in patients undergoing surgical thyroidectomy, the authors evaluate the medicolegal implications related to the onset of this serious complication deriving from surgical operations in the thyroid gland. We describe the possible surgical techniques to preserve and not damage the RLN, in the course of a surgical procedure involving the thyroid gland. The medicolegal evaluation examines the possibility to detect, in the different cases analyzed, a surgical malpractice that might entails the existence of a professional responsibility, distinguishing this situation from cases in which the error can be defined as “excusable.” We also have considered the importance of informed consent and of the medical chart, which is the main tool to evaluate the conduct of the surgeon.

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