Using ultrasonic preoperative thyroid volume to determine incision length for minimally invasive thyroid surgery

August 26, 2015     Austin P. Daly, MD; Massi Romanelli-Gobbi, MD; Jeffrey L. Miller, MD; David Rosen, MD; David M. Cognetti, MD; Edmund A. Pribitkin, MD


The determination of the volume of a diseased thyroid lobe or an entire gland by preoperative ultrasonography may enable surgeons to select candidates for a minimally invasive approach to thyroid lobectomy or total thyroidectomy. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 71 adults who had undergone minimally invasive nonendoscopic thyroid surgery at our hospital from January 2007 through May 2009. We compiled data on ultrasonic preoperative thyroid volumes and operative incision lengths. Of the 71 patients, 40 had undergone lobectomy and 31 had undergone total thyroidectomy. The lobectomy group was evenly subdivided into two groups based on the median volume of the affected lobe; 20 patients had a volume of <28.32 ml and 20 had a volume of >28.32 ml. The incision length ranged from 2.0 to 3.8 cm (mean: 3.1 ± 0.53) in the smaller-volume lobectomy group and from 2.5 to 5.0 cm (mean: 3.7 cm ± 0.71) in the larger-volume lobectomy group; the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01). The 31 patients in the total thyroidectomy group were subdivided on the basis of the median volume of the entire thyroid gland; 16 patients had a volume of <49.24 ml and 15 had a total volume of >49.24 ml. The incision length in those two groups ranged from 2.5 to 4.0 cm (mean: 3.4 ± 0.53) and 3.6 to 6.0 (mean: 5.1 ± 0.99), respectively; again, the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The findings of our study suggest that preoperative ultrasonographic thyroid lobe volume or total thyroid gland volume can be used to determine the appropriate minimum length for the surgical incision.

Can vinegar be used in treating <i>Pseudomonas</i> ear infections in a patient with a perforated eardrum?

August 26, 2015     Muhamed Aslam Khan, MS, MRCSEd; Nazneen Khan, MBBS, DGO, DRCOG


Chronic Pseudomonas ear infections are difficult to treat, particularly in immunodeficient patients. Vinegar therapy is a time-tested measure for the treatment of these infections. It is inexpensive, simple, easy to administer, and very effective. However, some physicians are reluctant to use it in immunocompromised patients or in the setting of a perforated tympanic membrane. We describe our successful use of vinegar therapy in a 32-year-old man with both of these conditions. His Pseudomonas ear infection had persisted for more than 5 years despite conventional drug treatment. Eventually, we treated him with instillations of topical vinegar, and his infection cleared in 3 weeks.

Supraglottoplasty in a 39-year-old woman

August 26, 2015     Hilary M. Caruso Sales, DO; Amanda Hu, MD, FRCSC; Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS

Base of tongue schwannoma

August 26, 2015     Gautam Bir Singh, MS; Rubeena Arora, MS; Sunil Garg, MS, DNB; Kiran Aggarwal, MD

Hybrid frontal sinus surgery with balloon dilation and microdebrider resection

August 26, 2015     Dewey A. Christmas, MD; Joseph P. Mirante, MD, FACS; Eiji Yanagisawa, MD, FACS

Airway characteristics of infants with Pierre Robin sequence who undergo mandibular distraction osteogenesis

August 26, 2015     Paul Hong, MD, FRCSC; Donald Kearns, MD, FAAP


Newborn upper airway obstruction secondary to micrognathia and Pierre Robin sequence can be managed with conservative and surgical interventions. Mandibular distraction osteogenesis has been used to relieve micrognathia associated with severe airway obstruction. We conducted a retrospective chart review to identify patients with Pierre Robin sequence who underwent mandibular distraction osteogenesis during a 2-year period. Our study group was made up of 16 infants-11 boys and 5 girls, aged 21 to 112 days (mean: 55.9). In addition to demographic data, we compiled data on their baseline characteristics, airway characteristics, pre- and perioperative findings, and postoperative airway outcomes. Although most patients experienced documented improvements in Cormack-Lehane laryngoscopy grades postoperatively, the severity of micrognathia and airway obstruction did not always correlate with the higher grades. As well, the degree of improvement on laryngoscopic findings was not always evident, even though patients experienced a clinical benefit. All patients who had undergone a preoperative tracheostomy were decannulated successfully. We found that mandibular distraction osteogenesis was a safe and effective intervention for newborns with severe micrognathia and airway obstruction in our study population. It is interesting that the degree of micrognathia was not always correlated with the degree of airway compromise and laryngoscopy grades.

Missed skull base injury during sinonasal surgery: A dangerous scenario still existing

August 26, 2015     Mohamed H. Hassab, MD; Ahmed Z. Eweiss, MD, FRCS(ORL-HNS); Ahmed A. Ibrahim, MD


Skull base injury is a known complication of sinonasal surgery. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) rhinorrhea has been reported to occur in 0 to 2.5% of these procedures. More extensive skull base injury may result in more serious complications. In this retrospective case series, we report on 7 cases of iatrogenic skull base injury due to sinonasal surgery that was missed by the operating surgeons. Included were 5 male and 2 female patients. Six patients sustained the skull base injury during endoscopic sinus surgery, and 1 patient was injured during septoplasty. Two patients presented with CSF rhinorrhea alone, 2 patients had repeated episodes of meningitis, 2 patients had other neurologic sequelae, and 1 patient had exotropia due to associated orbital injury. We conclude that skull base injury due to sinonasal surgery is still being missed; this oversight may lead to potentially fatal results. The true incidence of this complication is probably still unknown.

Thrombophlebitis of the temporal vein as an extracranial complication of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis

August 26, 2015     Markus E. Huth, MD; Marco D. Caversaccio, MD, PhD


A 39-year-old white man presented with a swollen left upper eyelid secondary to progressive acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS). Physical examination found a 40% reduction in vision in the left eye and right-sided erythematous temporal swelling with tenderness to palpation. Computed tomography revealed the presence of an inflammatory lesion in the left orbit. Duplex ultrasonography demonstrated a thrombotic occlusion in the right superficial temporal vein (STV). For treatment of the complicated ARBS, the patient received intravenous antibiotics and underwent surgery. The STV thrombophlebitis was treated with low-molecular-weight heparin. Postoperatively, the patient recovered completely and his vision normalized; 10 days later, duplex ultrasonography showed a patent STV. The development of contralateral STV thrombophlebitis is conceivably facilitated by venous anastomoses of the scalp in the front of the head. As a result, embolic spread would be a possible complication of infectious ABRS foci communicating with intraorbital and pericranial veins. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of such a complication of ARBS in the literature.

Giant Zenker diverticulum

August 26, 2015     Vini Balakrishnan, MS; Jason Handwerker, MD; Sunil P. Verma, MD

A study of neck and shoulder morbidity following neck dissection: The benefits of cervical plexus preservation

August 26, 2015     Massimiliano Garzaro, MD; Giuseppe Riva, MD; Luca Raimondo, MD; Laura Aghemo, MD; Carlo Giordano, MD; Giancarlo Pecorari, MD


We conducted a study to evaluate the hypothesis that the preservation of cervical root branches of the cervical plexus is associated with greater shoulder mobility, less loss of face and neck sensation, and better quality of life (QoL) following functional neck dissection in which the spinal accessory nerve is spared. We also investigated the impact of postoperative physiotherapy on these three outcomes. Our study population was made up of 54 patients-47 men and 7 women, aged 34 to 78 years (mean: 53.4)-who had undergone functional neck dissection as a treatment for head and neck cancer over a 3-year period at our institution. Patients were divided into two groups: 23 patients whose cervical root branches were preserved during surgery (preservation group) and 31 whose branches were removed (removal group). Shoulder mobility was measured by the Arm Abduction Test (AAT), face and neck sensation was assessed by fingertip touch in eight areas of the head and neck, and QoL was determined by the University of Washington-Quality of Life questionnaire (UW-QoL4). The AAT revealed that the preservation group had significantly better shoulder mobility. The fingertip touch evaluation revealed significantly less loss of sensation in Saffold regions A and D. Analysis of the UW-QoL4 results revealed that the preservation group experienced significantly less pain, significantly fewer shoulder complaints, and significantly fewer limitations on activities and recreation, as well as significantly better health-related and overall QoL. The preservation group also had a significantly better composite score, global score, social function score, and mood and anxiety score on the UW-QoL4 assessment. Finally, we found that physiotherapy improved both QoL and shoulder mobility, although these improvements were not statistically significant. We conclude that preservation of the cervical root branches significantly improves outcomes in patients who undergo functional neck dissection.

Minimally invasive resection of olfactory neuroblastoma by transnasal endoscopy

August 26, 2015     Chin-Fang Chang, MD; Sheng-Chang Chiu, MD; Shiou-Yu Yeh, MD, MPH; Mu-Kuan Chen, MD, PhD; Yung-Sung Wen, MD, MS


Olfactory neuroblastoma is rare. We conducted a retrospective study to review our experience with minimally invasive resection of olfactory neuroblastomas via a transnasal endoscopic technique, including an analysis of surgical outcomes. Our series included 5 patients-3 men and 2 women, aged 29 to 75 years (mean: 48). Surgical outcomes were evaluated on the basis of each patient's preoperative Dulguerov classification and postoperative evaluation on computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. One patient was treated with surgery alone, 3 with surgery plus radiotherapy, and 1 with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. During follow-up of 18 to 115 months, all 5 patients remained alive and disease-free. We found that endoscopic resection of olfactory neuroblastoma is a feasible and effective procedure, even in patients with more aggressive stages of disease. We also believe that the Dulguerov classification is more useful than other classifications for clinical management and surgical planning. Long-term follow-up is necessary to look for late recurrence.

Otic capsule dehiscence syndrome: Superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome with no radiographically visible dehiscence

August 26, 2015     P. Ashley Wackym, MD, FACS; Scott J. Wood, PhD; David A. Siker, MD; Dale M. Carter, MD


We conducted a prospective longitudinal study of two cohorts of patients who had superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SSCDS); one group had radiographically confirmed superior canal dehiscence (SCD), and the other exhibited no identified otic capsule dehiscence on imaging (no-iOCD). We compiled data obtained from prospective structured symptomatology interviews; diagnostic studies; three-dimensional, high-resolution, temporal bone computed tomography; and a retrospective case review from our tertiary care referral center. Eleven adults and 1 child with SSCDS were identified, surgically managed, and followed. Six of these patients-1 man and 5 women, aged 29 to 54 years at first surgery (mean: 41.8)-had radiologically confirmed SCD. The other 6 patients-1 man, 4 women, and 1 girl, aged 1 to 51 years (mean: 32.2)-had no-iOCD. The 6 adults with SCD underwent surgery via a middle cranial fossa approach with plugging procedures. The 5 adults and 1 child with no-iOCD underwent round window reinforcement (RWR) surgery. One SCD patient developed no-iOCD 1.5 years after SCD surgery, and she subsequently underwent RWR surgery. Our main outcome measures were patient symptomatology (with video documentation) and the results of diagnostic studies. Other than the character of migraine headaches, there was no difference in preoperative symptomatology between the two groups. Postoperatively, resolution of SSCDS symptoms ultimately occurred in all patients. Both the SCD and the no-iOCD groups experienced a highly significant improvement in postural control following treatment (Wilcoxon signed rank test, p < 0.001). We conclude that the term otic capsule dehiscence syndrome more accurately reflects the clinical syndrome of SSCDS since it includes both superior semicircular canal dehiscence and no-iOCD, as well as posterior and lateral semicircular canal dehiscence, all of which can manifest as SSCDS. We have also included links to videos in which 4 of the SSCDS patients with no-iOCD in this study discussed their symptoms and the results of their surgery; these links are found in the “References” section in citations 12-15. Links to three other videos of interest are contained in citations 10, 11, and 24.

Physician integrity, unity, and our common sense of purpose

August 26, 2015     Kenneth W. Altman, MD, PhD

Unusual sites of metastasis of papillary thyroid cancer: Case series and review of the literature

August 26, 2015     Rafael Antonio Portela, MD; Garret W. Choby, MD; Andrea Manni, MD; David Campbell, MD; Henry Crist, MD; David Goldenberg, MD


Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common malignancy of the thyroid gland. It typically spreads via lymphatic extension. The rate of regional PTC metastasis to the neck is relatively high, while metastases outside the deep cervical chain are rare. Distant metastases are found in only 1% of patients with PTC at the time of surgery; the two most common sites are the lung and bone. We report 4 cases of PTC metastasis to unusual sites: (1) the occipital skull and internal jugular vein, (2) the parapharyngeal space, (3) the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and (4) the right atrium of the heart. It has been well documented that aggressive distant metastasis is a characteristic of PTC, and it is known to be an indicator of a poor prognosis. Some of our patients' sites of metastatic disease have not been previously reported. Patients in this series exhibited aggressive histologic findings, including columnar cell and follicular variants of papillary disease. In addition, all 4 patients demonstrated “PET-avid” disease with decreased iodine avidity.

Surgical resection of cervical schwannoma and paraganglioma: Speech and swallowing outcomes

August 26, 2015     Noah P. Parker, MD; Noel Jabbour, MD; Amy Anne Lassig, MD; Bevan Yueh, MD, MPH; Samir S. Khariwala, MD


We conducted a retrospective study (1999 to 2009) at our tertiary care institution to evaluate speech and swallowing outcomes after the resection of cervical schwannoma or paraganglioma. Of 6 patients treated for schwannoma, 5 (83.3%) had immediate dysphonia and dysphagia. All patients with deficits received primary reinnervation (n = 2) or subsequent medialization laryngoplasty (n = 3). At 6 months, 4 patients (66.6%) still had dysphonia and dysphagia. At final follow-up (median: 10 months; range: 8 to 12 months), 4 patients (66.7%) had dysphonia and 2 (33.3%) had dysphagia. Of 10 patients treated for paraganglioma, 6 (60.0%) had immediate dysphonia and dysphagia. Four patients received subsequent medialization laryngoplasty; none had primary reinnervation. At 6 months, 3 (30%) still had dysphonia and dysphagia. At final follow-up (median: 15.5 months; range: 1.25 to 48 months), 2 (20.0%) had dysphonia and dysphagia. All patients with deficits received speech and swallowing therapy. We conclude that cervical schwannoma and paraganglioma resection was associated with high rates of immediate postoperative dysphonia and dysphagia. Schwannoma had higher initial rates and poorer recovery. Primary and/or subsequent laryngeal procedures combined with therapy led to symptom resolution in some patients.

Analysis of predisposing factors for complications of percutaneous tracheostomy

August 26, 2015     Ivan Dom&egrave;nech, MD, PhD; Paula Cruz Toro, MD; Jordi Tornero, MD; Ana Giordano, MD; &Agrave;ngela Callejo, MD


Since the turn of the century, percutaneous tracheostomy (PT) has become an alternative to the classic open technique and is an elective procedure in intensive care units at most centers. We conducted a prospective study to identify and quantify the complication rate with PT and to analyze this procedure's association with potential risk factors. Our study population was made up of 114 patients-83 men (72.8%) and 31 women (27.2%), aged 18 to 81 years (mean: 57 ± 15)-who underwent PT at our center over an 18-month period. We sought to determine if there were any associations between PT complications and sex, previous fibroscopy, cervical length, cervical risk factors, and general risk factors. Generally minor complications were noted in 15 patients (13.2%); 13 patients experienced hemorrhage, 1 exhibited subcutaneous emphysema, and 1 had a vagal reaction that resolved with medical treatment. Only 3 of these cases (2.6%) were considered to be clinically relevant: 1 hemorrhage (which was treated with ligation), the emphysema (which resolved spontaneously), and the vagal reaction (which resolved with medical treatment). Statistically, we found that PT complications were significantly correlated with two factors: coagulopathy (p = 0.015) and hemodynamic instability (p = 0.017). Even so, these complications were not clinically significant, and they resolved with conservative treatment measures. Given the low incidence and mild degree of these complications, we consider PT to be a safe procedure, even in patients with a high risk of hemorrhage or cervical anatomic difficulties.

Temporomandibular joint herniation into external auditory canal

August 26, 2015     Jui-Hsien Hsu, MD; Cheng-Chien Yang, MD; Min-Tsan Shu, MD

The incidence of postoperative aspiration among children undergoing supraglottoplasty for laryngomalacia

August 26, 2015     Lauren C. Anderson de Moreno, MD; Sarah J. Burgin, MD; Bruce H. Matt, MD, MS


We conducted a retrospective study to determine the incidence of aspiration after supraglottoplasty at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We reviewed the charts of 468 patients-281 males and 187 females, aged 2 days to 20 years-who had undergone supraglottoplasty for the treatment of laryngomalacia; most patients (69.9%) were aged 28 days to 2 years. A total of 47 patients (10.0%) experienced aspiration after supraglottoplasty; the overall association between supraglottoplasty and aspiration was not statistically significant (p = 0.25). Aspiration was positively correlated with age younger than 18 months, the performance of a revision procedure, the presence of an underlying neuromuscular disorder (n = 20), and the need for a postoperative gastrostomy tube (p < 0.001 for all). When the 20 patients with a neuromuscular disorder were excluded from our data analysis, the incidence of aspiration after supraglottoplasty fell to only 5.8% (27/468). We conclude that supraglottoplasty is a safe and effective procedure for the treatment of laryngomalacia. It does not significantly increase the overall incidence of aspiration in children, and thus the risk of aspiration should not be considered a deterrent to surgery, even in children with neuromuscular problems.

Post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia: Impact on length of stay

July 20, 2015     Joe Grainger, FRCS; Mohammed Ahmed, MRCP; Rousseau Gama, FRCPath; Leonard Liew, FRCS; Harit Buch, FRCP; Ronald J. Cullen, FRCS


Hypocalcemia is a recognized complication following thyroid surgery. Variability in the definition of hypocalcemia and different opinions on its management can lead to unnecessary patient morbidity and longer hospital stays as a result of inappropriate or untimely treatment. Therefore, we developed a management guideline for the recognition and treatment of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia, and we conducted a retrospective study to assess its impact on length of stay (LOS). Between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2009, 29 adults had undergone a total or completion thyroidectomy at our large district general hospital. Of this group, postoperative hypocalcemia (defined as a serum calcium level of <2.00 mmol/L) developed in 13 patients (44.8%) during the first 3 postoperative days. Our guideline went into effect on July 1, 2009, and from that date through June 30, 2010, 18 more adults had undergone a total or completion thyroidectomy. Of that group, hypocalcemia developed in 7 patients (38.9%); the guideline was actually followed in 5 of these 7 cases (71.4%). In the preguideline group, the development of hypocalcemia increased the mean LOS from 2.0 days to 7.0 days (p < 0.001). The management of postoperative hypocalcemia in these cases was highly variable and was dictated by variations in practice rather than patient needs. In the postguideline group, postoperative hypocalcemia increased the mean LOS from 2.7 days to only 3.7 days (p = 0.07). While the difference between LOS in the two hypocalcemic groups did not reach statistical significance, we believe it merely reflects the relatively small number of patients rather than any lack of guideline efficacy. The implementation of a simple flowchart guideline for the management of postoperative hypocalcemia in our hospital has resulted in more uniform management and a reduced LOS.

Nasal myiasis: A case report

July 20, 2015     Zrria L. White, MD; Michael W. Chu, MD; Richard J. Hood, MD


Nasal myiasis is a rare condition, with only a few reported cases and no treatment consensus. We propose a conservative treatment approach with saline irrigation and debridement. Two patients in the ICU of Norfolk General Hospital, a tertiary academic referral center, presented simultaneously with nasal myiasis. Both patients were negative for necrotic masses or tumors, and neither patient had any contributory medical comorbidities. Both patients were treated conservatively with a single dose of pyrantel pamoate, daily sinus irrigation with saline, and daily bedside endoscopic debridement. After 2 days, the nasal myiasis resolved, and both patients recovered without sequelae. We conclude that this conservative, nonsurgical approach to management is both safe and effective.

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