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Thyroid Surgery

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Thyroid Surgery in Alwarpet, Chennai

Removal of the partial or complete thyroid gland is known as a thyroidectomy. There are several reasons for performing this surgery, such as thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, Grave's disease or goiter. 

The various types of thyroidectomy include lobectomy (removing one lobe), subtotal thyroidectomy (removing most of the thyroid gland), and total thyroidectomy (complete removal). 

There are several approaches to thyroidectomy. Based on your diagnosis, your doctor will recommend the approach that suits you best. Consult a thyroid specialist near you to get a medical opinion.

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About Thyroid surgery

Surgeons perform thyroid surgery to remove either a part of the gland or the entire thyroid gland. Doctors generally advise patients to avoid drinking or eating anything from the night before surgery.

General anesthesia is administered to conduct the surgery. The paramedical staff attaches several machines to the patient's body to monitor vital parameters during and after the surgery.

The surgeon forms an incision at the center of the neck to get access to the thyroid gland. Based on the reason for your surgery, the surgeon will remove the thyroid gland, either partially or completely. In the case of thyroid cancer, the surgeon may also remove the adjacent lymph nodes.

Who Qualifies for Thyroid Surgery?

The doctor performs a comprehensive physical examination of the patient before surgery. The doctor also evaluates the medical history for any signs of cardiovascular or respiratory disease. In patients over the age of 45, doctors advise chest X-rays and electrocardiograms. The patient also has to undergo blood tests to rule out the presence of any bleeding disorder.

In patients with previous thyroid surgery or suspected thyroid cancer, the doctor evaluates vocal cord functioning. Patients with severe and uncontrolled hyperthyroidism should not undergo thyroid surgery because of the risk of thyroid storm during or after the surgery.

The surgeon may postpone thyroidectomy in pregnant women until delivery due to the negative effect of anesthesia on the fetus. If required during pregnancy, thyroid surgery must be performed in the second trimester. 

Why Thyroid Surgery is Conducted

The doctor may advise thyroidectomy in the following conditions:

  • Thyroid cancer: If the patient has thyroid cancer, the doctor advises him to remove the thyroid gland. The doctor may remove the thyroid gland either partially or entirely.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism results in over-secretion of thyroxine hormones. If the patient has a problem with antithyroid drugs and does not wish to undergo radioactive iodine therapy, thyroidectomy is a possible option.
  • Suspicious thyroid nodules: In case of suspicious thyroid nodules, the doctor may recommend thyroidectomy for further tissue analysis.
  • Thyroid enlargement: Goiter causes swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland. Thyroidectomy may be a treatment option for goiter.
  • Presence of benign nodules: Growth of benign nodules may cause swallowing problems. In such cases, the doctor recommends thyroidectomy.

Different types of thyroid surgery

Depending upon the extent of thyroid disease, the following types of thyroidectomies are possible:

  • Lobectomy: The thyroid gland has two lobes. If there is swelling, nodule, or inflammation in only one lobe, the doctor removes that lobe. This procedure is known as lobectomy.
  • Subtotal thyroidectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes the thyroid gland but leaves some thyroid tissues.
  • Total Thyroidectomy: In a total thyroidectomy, the surgeon removes the entire thyroid gland. The doctor recommends subtotal thyroidectomy and total thyroidectomy in Grave's disease or large multinodular goiter.

Benefits of Thyroid Surgery

Doctors recommend thyroid surgery to prevent the progression of disease and complications. Some of the benefits offered by thyroid surgery include:

  • Cancer management: It is one of the most common reasons for undergoing thyroid surgery. If there is no cancer metastasis, it helps in treating cancer.
  • Quality of life: The large nodules cause difficulty in breathing and swallowing. This increases discomfort. Removing these nodules through surgery improves the quality of life.
  • Reduced risk of cancer: Doctors advise patients with suspected nodules to remove them through thyroidectomy. It reduces the risk of cancer.

Risks or Complications of Thyroid Surgery

Thyroidectomy may have the following complications:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Acute Respiratory Distress
  • Parathyroid gland damage
  • Obstruction in the airway due to bleeding
  • Nerve damage results in a weak or hoarse voice.


Mayo Clinic. Thyroidectomy. Accessed on: June 27, 2021. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/thyroidectomy/about/pac-20385195.

Healthline. Thyroid Gland Removal. Accessed on: June 27, 2021.  Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/thyroid-gland-removal

American Thyroid Association. Thyroid Surgery. Accessed on: June 27, 2021. Available at: https://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-surgery/

How to care for the patients after thyroid surgery?

Most patients, after thyroid surgery, can eat and drink. The doctor may advise you to go home or stay in the hospital for 1-2 days after the surgery depending upon the type of surgery. Do not lift heavy weights or perform any strenuous exercise for two weeks after surgery.

What is scarless thyroidectomy?

During scarless surgery, the surgeon uses an approach known as Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy Vestibular Approach (TOETVA). The surgeon operates through the mouth with the help of a camera.

Will I feel pain after my surgery?

Like with any other surgery, you may feel slight pain and discomfort after surgery. The doctor may prescribe pain-relieving medications to manage pain. The pain subsides as the tissue heals.


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