Detection and Prevention of Impending Brachial Plexus Injury Secondary to Arm Positioning Using Ulnar Nerve Somatosensory Evoked Potentials During Transaxillary Approach for Thyroid Lobectomy

Robotic assisted surgery is becoming widely used for procedures such as radical prostatectomy. The use of robotic assisted surgery to perform partial and complete thyroidectomies using a transaxillary approach is being investigated in patient populations who wish to avoid a conspicuous cervical scar. Patient positioning for this approach as well as retraction during exposure has the potential to result in postoperative brachial plexopathy similar to what is seen in other types of surgery. We report the use of ulnar nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) to detect and prevent positional related neuropathy in the first pediatric patient in the world to undergo this procedure. We conclude that upper extremity SSEPs should be routinely performed during robotic assisted thyroidectomy. KEY WORDS. da Vinci robotic surgery, positional related neuropathy, somatosensory evoked potentials, thyroidectomy, transaxillary approach.

© American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, Inc. Dec 2011. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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