This is a well written paper utilising the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset for all thyroidectomies performed in England between 2004 and 2012. The study had a very impressive 43,515 participants and only included young, fit patients undergoing thyroidectomy once for benign disease.

It was found that post-thyroidectomy vocal cord palsy is associated with an increased risk of long-term consequences of laryngeal failure including dysphagia, hospitalisation for lower respiratory tract infections and tracheostomy or gastrostomy tube placement.

As such, the importance of post-thyroidectomy laryngeal surveillance is further strengthened. Interestingly, with the increased prevalence of dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia, a case for FEES to be considered as the gold standard is made. 

Vocal palsy increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infection in low-risk, low morbidity patients undergoing thyroidectomy for benign disease: A big data anaylsis.
Nouraei SAR, Allen J, Kaddour H, et al.
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Serge Latis

Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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