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Thyroid surgery is a broad category that encompasses several different types of surgeries performed on the thyroid.
Reasons for Thyroid Surgery
There are a few primary reasons for these types of surgeries such as a case of thyroid cancer or a goiter/nodule that is large enough to cause problematic symptoms. This goiter or nodule is typically treated using thyroid surgery if the patient experiences:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Compression of the trachea
- Displeasure at the unsightly size of the mass
- Other severe symptoms associated with related conditions of the thyroid such as Graves’ disease, a toxic nodule, or a toxic multinodular goiter
Naturally, the severity of the reason for thyroid surgery will be the biggest factor in determining which type of thyroid surgery to pursue for each individual.
Types of Thyroid Surgery
The type of thyroid surgery being performed will depend upon the particular patient and their thyroid condition. There are 4 common forms of thyroid surgery including:
Open Thyroid Biopsy
During a thyroid biopsy, a small sample of thyroid tissue is removed from the thyroid gland to be later examined for signs of cancer, infection, or other serious thyroid complications.
This procedure excises the thyroid isthmus. A thyroid isthmusectomy is not often performed, although it is an excellent method for preservation of the thyroid that may not be able to be attained with a thyroid lobectomy.
A hemithyroidectomy, more often known as a thyroid lobectomy, involves removing the half of the thyroid gland containing a nodule. A thyroid lobectomy may also be necessary in order to properly diagnose a thyroid condition if other biopsy methods are not satisfactory.
Total or Near-Total Thyroidectomy
With a near-total or total thyroidectomy, a majority of or the entire thyroid gland is removed. Most often, this surgery is performed if there is the presence of a large goiter, Graves’ disease, or thyroid cancer. Due to the huge loss of the thyroid gland, patients who undergo this procedure will need to remain on lifelong thyroid hormone replacement after surgery.
For more information about thyroid surgery, or to determine which type of surgery is right for you, contact Advanced Surgical Consultants today.