Seema Suryawanshi, Maneesh Joleya, Dhananjaya Sharma


Background: Thyroidectomy is commonly performed surgery and it is recognised that damage to R.L.N. is a known complication during thyroidectomy surgery.  Appropriate knowledge of variations of R.L.N. may help to decrease such incidences. There is divided openion regarding deliberate exposure of nerve during thyroidectomy.

Exposure of nerve during surgery was recommended as safe procedure by Berlin (1935)(4) and Sibelieu (1921)(10). For treatment of nerve injury local massage, electrical stimulation and anastamosis of R.L.N. has been made by Frazer, Charles Ballance and Lahey, and Hoover. However, no method of treatment has given satisfactory results hence prevention is of paramount importance 

Objective: To study anatomical variations of R.L.N. on both side. 

Material and Method: A total of 40 cadavers were dissected in the mortuary and Department of Anatomy at NSCB Medical College, Jabalpur.

Results: Right R.L.N. was found away from tracheo-oesophageal groove either intermingled with branches of Inferior thyroid artery or Ant to artery. Left R.L.N. found in the trachoesophageal groove and mostly posterior to inferior thyroid artery or its branches. One aberrant course of R.L.N. has been detected on rt. side. one abnormal course of inf Thyroid artery dissected on left side. In two cadaveric dissection inf. Thyroid artery was absent bilaterally. in 17.5% of cases on the rt. side R.L.N. passed through the substance of thyroid gland.

Conclusion: R.L.N. arises from vagus nerve and run downwards. Knowledge of variation of its course and relation with different structure will be very useful to prevent R. L.N. injury during thyroidectomy.


RLN, Anatomical variations, Cadaveric study, Laryngeal nerve, Recurrent laryngeal nerve, Thyroidectomy.


Al-Hashimi H. (1984). “Non recurrent laryngeal nerve with special reference to nerve indentification at surgery of the thyroid”, J Fac Med, Bagdad, Vol.26, p.41.

Al-Salihi AR, and Dubbagh AW. (1989). “Anatomy of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in normal Iraqis”, Acta Anat, Vol.135, pp.247-247.

Bacchuber CA. (1943). “Complications of thyroid surgery”, Ann of Surg, Vol.60, p.96.

Berlin DD. (1935). “The recurrent laryngeal nerve in total ablation of the normal thyroid gland : an anatomical and surgical study”, Surg Gynecol Obstet, Vol.60, pp.19-26.

Bowden REM. (1955-56). “The surgical anatomy of the recurrent laryngeal nerve”, Br J Surg, Vol.43, pp.153-163.

Gandhi OP. (1968). “Relationship of the recurrent laryngeal nerve to the inferior thyroid artery and thyroid gland in adults”, J Anat Soc India, Vol.17, p.66.

Hunt PS, Poole M, and Reeve TS. (1968). “A reappraisal of the surgical anatomy of the thyroid and parathyroid glands”, Br J Surg, Vol.55, p.63.

Reed AF. (1943). “The relations of the inferior laryngeal nerve to the inferior thyroid artery”, Anat Rec, Vol.85, pp.17-23.

Rustad WH. (1954). “Revised anatomy of recurrent Laryngeal nerves. Surgical importance based on dissection of 100 nerves”, J ClinEndocrin, Vol.14, p.87.

Sibelieu. (1921). quoted by Simon MM. (1943). “R.L.N. in thyroid surgery: triangle for its recognition and protection”, Am J.Surg, Vol.60, pp.212-220.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Send mail to ijsss@ijsss.com with questions or comments about this web site. 

International Journal of Surgery and Surgical Sciences, All rights reserved.