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Current technique for resection of mediastinal goiter

| Reprints
September 1, 2006
by Larry Shemen, MD, FRCS, FACS; Wilson Ko, MD
We have developed a combined surgical technique involving traction sutures, the harmonic scalpel, and laryngeal nerve monitoring for the removal of mediastinal goiters. This technique is safe, expeditious, and effective; it minimizes the risk of blood loss or nerve injury; and it obviates the need for sternotomy. During a 4-year period, we performed this operation on 21 patients. We observed only two complications: one patient developed postoperative seroma 1 week after surgery and another experienced vocal fold paralysis after intentional sacrifice of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which was encompassed by cancer. No other recurrent laryngeal nerve was injured. Operative blood loss was negligible, no systemic infection or permanent hypoparathyroidism was observed, and no patient required a chest tube or chest incision. Almost all patients were discharged home on postoperative day 1.

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