Thyroidectomy

Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. This gland is in the neck. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism. The surgery may be a:

  • Call Your Doctor

    It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the hospital. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:

    • Numbness or tingling around the lips or extremities
    • Twitching or muscle spasms
    • Excessive and progressive fatigue
    • Difficulty swallowing, talking, or breathing
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
    • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. This gland is in the neck. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism. The surgery may be a:

    • Total or near-total thyroidectomy—all of the thyroid is removed
    • Thyroid lobectomy or partial thyroidectomy—removal of only a part of the right or left lobe and/or center of the thyroid
    The Thyroid Gland
    The Thyroid
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    All or part of the thyroid gland may be surgically removed for any of the following reasons:


    • Overactive thyroid, known as
      hyperthyroidism, due to Graves disease or an over-functioning nodule
    • Enlarged thyroid, known as a goiter, causing significant symptoms because of its size
    • Thyroid nodule(s) that are suspicious or cause concern for thyroid cancer
    • Thyroid cancer

  • Possible Complications

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Severe

      hyperthyroidism
    • Large

      goiter
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Alcoholism
    • Poor nutrition
    • Long-term illness such as diabetes