North Shore Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


North Shore Private performs first of-its-kind thyroid surgery

Jan 07, 2021

An Australian-first thyroid surgery has been performed at North Shore Private Hospital, using next generation neuro-monitoring technology.​

The NIM Vital neuro-monitoring system was designed to help surgeons protect a patient’s nerves and quality of life by providing nerve condition information that informs surgical strategy.

Specialist Endocrine Surgeon, Clinical Associate Professor Mark Sywak used the NIM Vital nerve-monitoring platform while performing a total thyroidectomy on a 32 year old female patient.

It’s the first time the NIM Vital neuro-monitoring platform has been used for thyroid surgery in Australia.

“The NIM Vital proved to be an accurate and reliable piece of equipment for neuro-monitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve during thyroid surgery,” A/ProfSywak said.

“The updated technology has proved to be quicker and easier to set up with less reliance on circulating nursing staff.”

If a patient’s nerve is injured during surgery, they can experience temporary or permanent damage, such as an inability to control facial movements, speak or swallow.

It’s hoped the NIM Vital system can help surgeons to protect their patients’ quality of life by improving operative efficiency and precision, therefore reducing the risk of nerve damage.

The NIM Vital neuro-monitoring system can be used in a range of surgeries, including thyroid, spine, plastic and reconstructive, and general surgeries where neural function needs to be identified and preserved. 

“The NIM Vital also allows data capture of important neurophysiological parameters which will help in immediate clinical decision making,” A/ProfSywak said.

“Data capture will also prove to be helpful for future research projects.”

Other aspects of the technology include a large touch-screen interface to enhance visualisation and real time feedback on nerve function so the surgeon can adjust course as needed.