An anastomosis between the recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve (RILN) and the cervical sympathetic ganglion is seen rarely and might be confused with non-recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve (NRILN) in patients undergoing thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy. In spite of the fact that NRILN is rarely seen and is an important anatomical structure, when damaged, the quality of life of the patient is negatively affected. This case report describes a connection between the RILN and the sympathetic nerve ganglion encountered during nerve dissection in a 43 year old female patient undergoing thyroidectomy and central zone dissection. Key points in the differential diagnosis are discussed.
Sympathetic nerve; non-recurrent laryngeal nerve; recurrent laryngeal nerve; thyroid