Thyroidectomy is the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. Thyroidectomy is used to treat thyroid disorders, such as cancer, noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter) and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Thyroid removal/Thyroidectomy may be indicated in any of the following conditions:
Surgery may be indicated if patient has an overactive thyroid gland and do not want to have radioactive iodine treatment, or cannot be treated with antithyroid medicines.
Problems with the thyroid gland
An under-active thyroid is called hypothyroidism. The thyroid produces less thyroxine. This makes the pituitary gland send more TSH into the bloodstream to get the thyroid gland to make more hormone.
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism:
An over-active thyroid is called hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. The pituitary gland decreases the amount of TSH in the blood.
Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
Thyroid nodules can be either solid or cystic (fluid filled). Most of the time, thyroid works normally if you have nodules also. Most nodules are not cancerous. However, a sample of the cells in the nodule can be taken with a needle. This is called a fine needle aspiration. This sample will be examined to make sure there are no cancer cells.
This is an enlargement of the thyroid gland with swelling or enlargement in the neck. It can become larger because thyroid is trying to make more thyroid hormone. Also, in hyperthyroidism the cells grow faster, which causes the thyroid to grow and make more thyroid hormone than the body needs.
Tests that show exactly where the abnormal thyroid growth is located are required prior to surgery. This will help the surgeon find the growth during surgery. You may have a CT scan, ultrasound, or other imaging tests.
Doctor may also do a fine needle aspiration to find out if the growth is noncancerous or cancerous. Vocal cord function may also be checked prior to surgery. You may also need thyroid medicine or iodine treatments 1 to 2 weeks before your surgery.
Before surgery, an anesthesiologist will review medical history and decide what type of anesthesia to use. The anesthesiologist is a doctor who will give you the medicines that will make you sleepy and keep you pain-free during surgery. The anesthesiologist will also monitor during surgery.
Several days to a week before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot like Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Warfarin etc.
You will probably be asked to stop eating or drinking at some point the night before or day of surgery. Ask your doctor which medicines you should still take the day of surgery.
If you smoke, try to stop. Your recovery time will be shorter if you do not smoke.
Mostly the surgery will be done under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free). In rare cases, the surgery is done with local anesthesia and medicine to relax you. You will be awake, but pain-free.
During the procedure:
Surgery to remove whole thyroid may take up to 3-4 hours. It may take less time if only part of the thyroid is removed.
After surgery, patient is moved to a recovery room where the health care team monitors recovery from the surgery and anesthesia. Once patient is fully conscious, he will be moved to a hospital room.
May have a drain under the incision in your neck. This drain is usually removed the morning after surgery.
After a thyroidectomy, patient may experience neck pain and a hoarse or weak voice. This doesn’t necessarily mean there’s permanent damage to the nerve that controls your vocal cords. These symptoms are often temporary and may be due to irritation from the breathing tube (endotracheal tube) that’s inserted into windpipe (trachea) during surgery, or as a result of nerve irritation caused by the surgery.
You’ll be able to eat and drink as usual after surgery. Most people who have thyroidectomies remain in the hospital for about 24 hours.
After going home, you can usually return to your regular activities, often within 10 days or so. Talk to your doctor about specific activity restrictions.
Thyroidectomy is generally a safe procedure. But as with any surgery, thyroidectomy carries a risk of complications.
Outcome of this surgery is usually excellent. Most people need to take thyroid hormone pills (thyroid hormone replacement) for the rest of their lives when the whole gland is removed.
A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid, located at the base of your neck, makes a hormone that is sent into your bloodstream. The thyroid gland makes this hormone from iodine. Iodine is absorbed from the foods we eat.
The thyroid hormone controls the speed of your metabolism. The pituitary gland (located in your brain) controls how much thyroid hormone to make. It does this by making thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH tells the thyroid gland to make more or less thyroid hormone.
Surgery might be necessary to remove a large goiter or nodule. Surgery might also be needed to remove a hyperthyroid gland that cannot be treated with medicine, or for thyroid cancer.
The risks of surgery are minimal, but might include:
In addition, an occasional patient might have transient hoarseness, but this is rarely permanent. If there is thyroid cancer, you might require additional therapy.
You will be given a general anesthesia to relax your muscles, prevent pain, and make you fall asleep.
An incision (cut) is made along a crease in the base of your neck. Your surgeon might remove part of the thyroid (lobectomy), most of the gland (subtotal), or all of the gland (total thyroidectomy).
After the surgery
Call your doctor if:
I came from Baghdad to India with the help of the HTW office over there. I got a good driver and the accommodation in the hospital was also good. Doctors are excellent and experienced. Ms. Tahmina (of HTW) was very helpful. The translator (Ahmed) was good. I will call the HTW office for my friends or family if they have to go to India for their operation.Mr. Hussein Ali Al-Egabi
I came to India with a diagnosis of HSIL (High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion), doctor suggested surgery after my first biopsy results showed negative. Initially, I was afraid to undergo surgery but the doctors and nurses were extremely good and their approach made me feel like home. I would like to thank Health Travellers Worldwide (HTW) for their guidance and support throughout our stay in India.Ms. Ciyizire R Clementine, Rwanda
Knee Arthritis had bedridden me and had deprived me of all the wonderful time for past 4 years. I sought advice from Health Travellers Worldwide. Big thanks to Dr.Shailaja, HTW and Muthira who took care of both me and my family in a professional way.Mr. Unaya Mohammed Salim Alrashdi, Oman
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me. I am delighted with your work. I would, without a shadow of a doubt, not hesitate to recommend Health Travellers Worldwide. I am happy that in this short time I am back with my family and friends.Mr. Salman Abdullah Dawood Salman, Iraq
After years of suffering from knee pain, I decided to undergo surgery. I heard a lot about medical facilities in India. I sought advice from Health Travellers Worldwide. They suggested me the right hospital for Knee surgery. I chose North India and I am really happy with the hospital’s services and care by the entire teamMr. Hind Abdul Amir Hassan, Iraq