Thyroidectomy is the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. This procedure is used to treat thyroid disorders, like cancer, goiter and excessive functioning of it called hyperthyroidism.
Which segment of the thyroid gland is removed depends on the reason for the surgery. If only part is removed (partial thyroidectomy), the thyroid may be able to function normally after surgery. If the entire thyroid is removed (total thyroidectomy), you will need a daily treatment with thyroid hormone to replace the natural function of the thyroid.
Why is it done?
A thyroidectomy may be recommended for conditions such as:
Cancer is the most common reason for thyroidectomy. If you have thyroid cancer, the removal of most of the thyroid is likely, or of its entirety, be a treatment option.
Non-cancerous thyroid enlargement – Goiter:
Removing all or part of the thyroid gland is an option if you have a large goiter that is uncomfortable or causes difficulty breathing or swallowing., The, in some cases, if the goiter causes hyperthyroidism.
Overactive thyroid – hyperthyroidism:
Hyperthyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine hormone. The initial treatment is anti-thyroid drugs or iodine, but if these do not work they need to go to surgery.
Indeterminate or suspicious thyroid nodules
Some thyroid nodules cannot be identified as cancerous or non-cancerous after testing a sample taken with a needle biopsy..
How is surgery performed?
Once you are unconscious, the surgeon will make a low incision in the center of the neck. It can often be located in a fold of the skin where it will be difficult to see after the incision heals.. Then all or part of the thyroid gland is removed, depending on the reason for surgery.
If you have a thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer, the surgeon may also examine and remove lymph nodes around the thyroid. Thyroidectomy usually takes between one and two hours. It may take more or less time, depending on what needs to be done with the surgery.
There are several approaches to thyroidectomy, including:
It involves making an incision in the center of the neck to have direct access to the thyroid gland.. Most people are probably candidates for this procedure..
This approach avoids an incision in the neck by making it inside the mouth.
This approach uses smaller incisions in the neck. Surgical instruments and a small video camera are inserted through the incisions.
These and other head and neck pathologies are managed by a diverse multidisciplinary team that includes an otolaryngologist., oncologist surgeon, head and neck surgeon, General Surgeon, clinical oncologist, Maxillofacial surgeon, Plastic Surgeon, radiologist, endocrinologist, neurosurgeon and pathologist. These specialists work cooperatively and in a complementary - non-competitive manner- with the highest excellence, customization and optimization, which allows to take care, try, preserve and restore function and appearance affected by cancer.
Made by: Dr. Oscar Jaramillo
Head and Neck Surgeon of the Vozandes Quito Hospital