What is thyroid surgery?

Thyroid surgery involves partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland or parathyroid gland. These glands are in the neck just below the Adam’s apple. A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland, while a parathyroidectomy is surgical removal of a parathyroid gland.

When is thyroid surgery recommended?

Patients may suffer from numerous thyroid dysfunctions or diseases. Many of these can be treated with medication or other non-surgical approaches. Thyroid surgery is needed when the dysfunction or disease does not respond to less invasive treatments, or when the patient is diagnosed with thyroid cancer or a suspicious nodule.

What is the procedure for thyroid surgery?

To perform thyroid surgery, the patient is placed under general anesthesia, meaning he or she is unaware as the procedure is being performed. The diseased parts of the thyroid or parathyroid are then surgically removed.

What are the results of thyroid surgery?

As with many surgeries, the patient will spend some time in the hospital, then recuperate at home. If the whole thyroid gland was removed, the patient will require thyroid replacement therapy, usually synthetic thyroid hormones, for the rest of his or her life. The outlook for most people with a thyroid condition – even thyroid cancer – is good.