Taking care of thyroid problems could mean surgery
- Thyroid cancer
If you have thyroid cancer, removing most of or your entire thyroid will likely be a treatment option. In fact, cancer is the most common reason for a thyroidectomy.
- Enlargement of the thyroid called a goiter
Removing all or part of your thyroid gland is an option if you have a large goiter. That’s because a goiter can be uncomfortable and it can also cause difficulty breathing and swallow. In some cases, a goiter can also cause hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid.
- Overactive thyroid, called hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
There are three main approaches to thyroid surgery
Involves making an incision in the center of your neck to directly access your thyroid gland to remove it.
Uses smaller incisions in the neck so that surgical instruments and a small video camera can be inserted. The camera guides your surgeon through the procedure.
Performed either through incisions in the chest and armpit or an incision high in the neck. Robotic surgery can be performed avoiding an incision in the center of your neck.
After a thyroidectomy
You’ll likely spend a day in the hospital, but should be able to eat and drink as usual after surgery. You may experience neck pain and a hoarse or weak voice. These symptoms are often temporary. You should be able to return to your normal activities within about 10 days.
The long-term effects of thyroidectomy
This depends on how much of your thyroid is removed, which could be:
If only part of your thyroid is removed, the remaining portion should take over the function of the entire thyroid gland, and you shouldn’t need thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
If your entire thyroid is removed, you’ll need to take a synthetic thyroid hormone, daily, according to your doctor’s instructions.
Learn more by calling (908) 722-0030.