Understanding a Thyroidectomy

What is a Thyroidectomy?

A thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removal of either part or all of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the middle of your neck just above the collar bone. It is an essential part of the human body as it helps regulate many of its functions. It is responsible for producing hormones, known as T-3 and T-4. These hormones regulate the body’s metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Unfortunately, there are things that can happen to the thyroid gland, causing it to not function properly, thus resulting in a thyroidectomy. Learn about the reasons for receiving a thyroidectomy, common symptoms, and the process of the procedure with Breathe Clear. 

Reasons For a Thyroidectomy

There are several reasons why someone might have to undergo a thyroidectomy. Some of these include the presence of nodules, Graves’ disease, a goiter, cancer, and hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid Nodule

A thyroid nodule occurs when cells form a lump in the central neck above the collarbone. While they typically are benign, some can be cancerous. Some common causes for the nodules include thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism. 

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease, a form of hyperthyroidism, is a type of autoimmune disorder. It is caused when too much of the thyroid hormone is being produced. Symptoms include but are not limited to anxiety, a goiter, weight loss, and tremor. 

Goiter

A goiter refers to an enlarged thyroid and it is commonly caused by an iodine deficiency, an autoimmune disease, and hyperthyroidism. Usually, a goiter does not present symptoms, however in some cases, people may have difficulty with swallowing. 

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer develops when abnormal cells form a tumor in the gland. Symptoms don’t appear at first, but as the cancer progresses, one may be able to feel the lump, experience pain in the neck, and have swollen lymph nodes. 

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes your thyroid to be overactive, meaning it produces too much of the thyroid hormone. Causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves’ disease and thyroiditis. Symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism include heart palpitations, unintentional weight loss, tremor, an enlarged thyroid, and more. 

What to Expect From a Thyroidectomy 

The results of surgery will depend on the reason for your thyroidectomy. The benefits of the procedure are the removal of cancerous or suspicious nodules, the removal of large aesthetically problematic nodules, relief from symptoms brought on by diseases and conditions, as well as discovering underlying health issues. At The Breathe Clear Institute, our ENT doctor would perform the surgery at a nearby hospital. The length of the procedure is determined by how much of the gland is removed. Patients who only have part of the gland removed may go home the same day, however if the entire gland was removed, they will most likely stay overnight. The initial recovery process lasts about a week, with healing lasting up to one month. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is required for patients who have had their entire thyroid gland removed. This is managed by their primary care doctor or an endocrinologist. Those with thyroid cancer may need further treatment with radioactive iodine.

Get Relief With The Breathe Clear Institute

If you are experiencing unusual symptoms or notice a lump in your neck, it is important to contact an ENT right away. The specialists at The Breathe Clear Institute will get to the root of your problem in order to recommend the most effective treatment option for long-term health and wellness. Schedule an appointment with us today.

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