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Accessory nerve monitoring and stimulation during neck surgery

  • Katie Midwinter (a1) and David Willatt (a1)

Abstract

Iatrogenic injury to the spinal accessory nerve following surgical procedures in the neck is well recognized in causing significant morbidity to patients, with shoulder pain and loss of function being particularly problematic. We have used a Magstim Neurosign 100 peripheral nerve monitor, that is most often used in our practice to monitor the facial nerve during middle ear and parotid surgery, to monitor the accessory nerve during neck surgery. Ten patients undergoing accessory nerve-sparing neck dissection, or excision biopsy of neck mass had their accessory nerve monitored during the procedure. No patient suffered injury of the nerve. In several cases the nerve closely adhered to the tissue being resected, and in two cases, the nerve bifurcated or gave off branches. We found that the monitor aided identification and preservation of the nerve.

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Accessory nerve monitoring and stimulation during neck surgery

  • Katie Midwinter (a1) and David Willatt (a1)

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