Understanding The Reasons for Thyroidectomy | Surgical Associates of Cleveland

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland normally located at the base of the neck. This gland produces the hormones which regulate all aspects of metabolism, which includes heart rate and how quickly a person burns calories. A thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. The team at Surgical Associates of Cleveland would like to help you better understand the reasons your doctor might recommend a thyroidectomy.

The three most common reasons for a thyroidectomy are: thyroid cancer, goiter, and hyperthyroidism. Exactly how much of the thyroid gland is removed will depend on the reason for surgery.

Thyroid cancer
Cancer is by far the most common reason for a thyroidectomy. The American Thyroid Association defines four types of thyroid cancer– papillary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Goiter A noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid is called a goiter. If your goiter is so large that it is uncomfortable, making it hard to breathe or swallow, removing all or part of your thyroid gland will be an option.

Overactive thyroid means your thyroid gland is producing excess hormone called thyroxine. Patients who have trouble with anti-thyroid medications and don’t want to undergo radioactive iodine therapy may have a thyroidectomy recommended to them.

If only a portion is removed (partial thyroidectomy), your thyroid may be able to function normally after surgery. If your entire thyroid is removed (total thyroidectomy), you need daily treatment with thyroid hormone to replace your thyroid’s natural function. You can learn more about thyroidectomy from WebMD.

After a thyroidectomy, most patients will take between 1 and 2 weeks off of work to fully recover. Patients shouldn’t drive for at least a week and must abide by other restrictions. Dinner after surgery will be a liquid diet, and recovering patients may experience sore throat.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have about thyroid surgery. Visit our website to learn more about our practice or give us a call today.