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.