How is a patient positioned in a thyroidectomy?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The patient should be placed in a supine position with the apex of the patient’s head at the top of the operating bed. A shoulder roll or gel pad should be placed at the level of the acromion process of the scapula to help extend the neck. Care should be taken to avoid hyperextension of the neck, and the head should be supported to provide maximal exposure of the surgical field without hyperextension. The patient’s arms should be gently tucked by either side. After intubation, the bed can either be rotated 180º from the anesthesiologists or sufficiently moved away from their machines to provide a maximal work area.

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