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Unexpected Airway Obstruction Caused by Bilateral Hypoglossal Nerve Palsy Following Second Radical Neck Dissection

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DOI: 10.4236/ojanes.2013.33029    4,375 Downloads   6,240 Views  


A 67-year-old woman underwent right radical neck dissection for cervical lymph node metastasis from maxillary gingival carcinoma. Two months later, metastasis in the left superior internal jugular lymph nodes were discovered, and left radical neck dissection was performed. Postoperatively, airway obstruction occurred despite performing extubation after confirming that the patient had fully recovered from anesthesia. Bilateral hypoglossal nerve palsy was diagnosed and the patient was reintubated. After extubation on the following day, airway obstruction was relieved, but slurred speech and impaired swallowing were persistent. In view of this, hypoglossal nerve function should be examined before the second radical neck dissection on the contralateral side.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. Ito, S. Fujiwara, T. Yatabe, K. Yamashita and T. Yokoyama, "Unexpected Airway Obstruction Caused by Bilateral Hypoglossal Nerve Palsy Following Second Radical Neck Dissection," Open Journal of Anesthesiology, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 123-125. doi: 10.4236/ojanes.2013.33029.


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