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AAO-HNSF Clinical Practice Guideline: Improving Voice Outcomes after Thyroid Surgery

June 4, 2013 - 12:00pm

ALEXANDRIA, VA —The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation on Tuesday published a new Clinical Practice Guideline on “Improving Voice Outcomes after Thyroid Surgery” to recognize the importance of the patient’s voice and the potential impact thyroid surgery can have on it.

“Thyroid surgery rates have tripled over the last three decades,” said Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, guideline chair. “This new guideline will help educate physicians and patients of the importance of voice outcomes after thyroid surgery, steps that can be taken during surgery to preserve the voice, and available options for voice rehabilitation.”

The first national, evidence-based guideline on improving voice outcomes after thyroid surgery, it was developed by a multi-disciplinary panel that included consumers, physicians specializing in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, general surgery, endocrinology, internal medicine, family medicine, and anesthesiology, and representatives of speech-language pathology and nursing.

Research shows that temporary voice problems may occur in up to 80 percent of patients after thyroid surgery. An estimated 118,000 to 166,000 patients in the United States undergo thyroidectomy each year. The incidence of thyroid cancer continues to grow and affects three times more women than men.

The guideline’s recommendations were developed to empower physicians and surgeons to optimize voice outcomes for adult patients undergoing thyroid surgery as well as to educate patients of the potential impact on their voices and to counsel those patients whose voice does change after surgery about rehabilitation options. 

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery is the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF).  The guideline was published as a supplement to the journal’s June edition.

The guideline’s authors are: Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD; Gregory W. Randolph, MD; Michael D. Seidman, MD; Richard M.  Rosenfeld, MD, MPH; Peter Angelos, MD, PhD; Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, PhD, CCC-SLP; Michael S. Benninger, MD; Joel H. Blumin, MD; Gregory Dennis, MD; John Hanks, MD; Megan R. Haymart, MD; Richard T. Kloos, MD; Brenda Seals, PhD, MPH; Jerry M. Schreibstein, MD; Mack A. Thomas, MD; Carolyn Waddington, MS, FNP; Barbara Warren, PsyD, Med; Peter J. Robertson, MPA.

Members of the media who wish to obtain a copy of the guideline should contact: Kathy Lewis at 1-703-535-3767, or

About the AAO-HNS
The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents approximately 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care." The AAO-HNS Foundation works to advance the art, science, and ethical practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery through education, research, and lifelong learning.

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