Tapia’s syndrome after surgery for recurrent pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland

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Fashina, A
Gbotolorun, O
Desalu, I
Adamson, O
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Tapia’s syndrome consists of concurrent injury to the recurrent laryngeal and hypoglossal nerves. Trauma as a result of direct pressure from inflated cuff of the tracheal anesthetic tube and/or overextension of the neck during surgery have been reported to be possible causes of this syndrome. Here, we report a case of Tapia’s syndrome following surgical excision of a very large recurrent parotid tumor. The aim of this report is to draw the attention of head and neck surgeons and anesthetists to this often unexpected condition. A 30‑year‑old female presented to the surgical outpatient clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital with a massive, multinodular, right facial swelling. There was no sensory or motor nerve paresis on presentation. The patient underwent surgical excision of the swelling under general anesthesia. Two hours after extubation, the patient had difficulty moving the entire tongue and had difficulty with phonation. A working diagnosis of Tapia’s syndrome was made based on clinical presentation and assessment. The patient was reassured and placed on tablets neurobion three times daily and tablets prednisolone 20 mg daily. Fourteen days after surgery, hoarseness of voice had resolved completely and full tongue control returned after 2 months. Tapia’s syndrome must be considered, especially by all head and neck surgeons and anesthetists even though it is usually a rare complication of surgery.
Hypoglossal nerve, , parotid gland, , pleomorphic adenoma, , recurrent laryngeal nerve, , Tapia’s syndrome
Fashina, A. A., Gbotolorun, O., Desalu, I., & Adamson, O. (2017). Tapia's syndrome after surgery for recurrent pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland. Journal of Clinical Sciences, 14(3), 148.