A technique is described for intraoperative electrophysiologic monitoring of laryngeal muscles. This technique has been used to identify the laryngeal nerves during surgery for recurrent tumors of the thyroid gland, when direct visualization of the nerves is difficult or impossible. Laryngeal muscle electrical activity is monitored with endoscopically placed wire-hook electrodes inserted into the vocal folds bilaterally. Neurotonic discharges are detected when the recurrent laryngeal nerves are manipulated during surgical dissection. Precise localization of the recurrent nerves is possible using a hand-held bipolar stimulator.
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