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Laboratory 26. Cervical Viscera
Step 3. The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve

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Sever the isthmus of the thyroid gland and reflect each lobe laterally . Cut the fascia that forms the capsule of the gland and attaches it to the tracheal rings and thyroid cartilage of the larynx. Identify the right and left recurrent (inferior) laryngeal nerves which lie in the groove between the trachea posterior border of the thyroid gland. Identify the site where the nerves are crossed by the inferior thyroid arteries. Identify where the superior and inferior thyroid arteries enter the thyroid gland.

On the posterior aspect of the lobes of the thyroid gland, attempt to identify the small brownish parathyroid glands. They are often difficult to identify in a cadaver. Usually there is a superior parathyroid and an inferior parathyroid gland associated with each lobe. In some individuals, a single pair of parathyroid glands are present.

Links and References:
Grant's: 8.39, 8.41