Thyroidectomy is a surgical process wherein the whole or a part of the thyroid gland is removed. This surgical process is used to treat thyroid disorders such as thyroid cancer, goiter, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid and hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. The size of the thyroid gland being removed during thyroidectomy depends on the reason of the surgery. If only a partial thyroidectomy is done or only a portion of the thyroid gland is removed, the thyroid gland may still be able to function normally after the said surgery. However for total thyroidectomy or the whole thyroid gland is removed, a daily treatment for thyroid hormones is needed to replace the thyroid’s natural function.
To prevent myxedema, a post thyroidectomy treatment must be done routinely. Myxedema is a disease caused by a decreased activity of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy incision may require a little or no care after the dressing is removed. To avoid any infection, the incision may be bathed gently with a mild soap. The sutures or the metals clips are removed three to seven days after the operation.
Total thyroidectomy is the complete removal of the thyroid gland. This is standard procedure for thyroid cancer treatment. There are different reasons for performing total thyroidectomy, such as hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland, suspected or confirmed thyroid cancer, compression or thyroid is enlarged to the extent that other structures are already compressed in the neck and cosmetic or enlarged thyroid that causes a lump on the neck which a person may consider unsightly. Removing the entire thyroid gland can be sufficient enough to cure thyroid cancer. Total thyroidectomy can also relieve the symptoms of compression.
Interesting Questions about Thyroid:
Possible effects of hypothyroidism are:
- slow heart rate (less than 70 beats per minute)
- elevated blood pressure
- feeling slow or tired
- feeling cold
- drowsy during the day, even after sleeping all night
- poor memory
- difficulty concentrating
- muscle cramps, numb arms and legs
- weight gain
- puffy face, especially under the eyes
- husky voice
- thinning hair
- dry, coarse, flaky, yellowish skin
- in children, short height
- heavy menstrual flow
- milky discharge from the breasts
- goiter (an abnormal swelling in the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland).
Called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it is by far the most common form. It begins so slowly that most people don’t know anything is wrong. Over time, the disease destroys thyroid tissue until permanent hypothyroidism results. Some patients with Hashimoto’s have normal thyroid functions (euthyroidism) with a goiter.
It’s a less common form, with far fewer cases than in chronic thyroiditis. Often caused by a viral infection, the disease lasts for several months. Subacute thyroiditis is painful, causing a tender, swollen thyroid gland with pain throughout the neck. The pain usually responds to treatment with aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. At first, gland destruction causes the release of stored thyroid hormones, inducing temporary hyperthyroidism. A month or two later, the patient may become hypothyroid, because the thyroid has been damaged and its hormone reserves used up. Most patients return to normal within six to nine months, but the hypothyroidism could be permanent.
It causes a painless swelling of the thyroid gland. When this disease occurs after pregnancy, it is called postpartum thyroiditis. The course of painless thyroiditis is otherwise similiar to painful subacute thyroiditis.
A rare disease, is caused by an acute infection. Patients with the disease become very sick and have a high fever. The neck is red, hot, and very tender. Acute thyroiditis is a medical emergency and must be treated with antibiotics and surgery.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also called chronic thyroiditis, is named for the Japanese doctor who discovered it. It affects about 5% of the adult population, increasing particularly in women as they age. Hashimoto’s, the most common form of thyroiditis, is the leading cause of hypothyroidism.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis results from problems with the body’s immune system. Normally, the immune system defends against germs and viruses, but in diseases such as Hashimoto’s, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. In patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the immune system produce antithyroid antibodies, which damage the gland and keep it from producing enough hormones.
Diseases of the immune system tend to run in families and are about five times more common in women than in men. Hashimoto’s is linked to other autoimmune conditions, such as Graves’ disease, premature gray hair, diabetes mellitus, arthritis and patchy loss of pigment of the skin (vitiligo).
Have more questions? Need more answers? Check our Full Thyroid FAQ
Thyroidectomy Surgical Procedure
The thyroidectomy surgical procedure begins with the use of general anaesthesia. Once the anaesthesia takes effect, the procedure begins with an incision around 2 to 4 inches long. This incision is done horizontally over the thyroid. A scalpel is used to remove a portion or portions of the thyroid. Once the thyroid has been removed, necessary samples will be taken and the area will be examined for bleeding. Once the bleeding stops the incision will be closed. It can be closed with staples or sutures. A sterile bandage is then applied to the incision.
Complications may arise after thyroidectomy as with all other operations. People who are old, obese and have poor nutrition are at greater risk in developing complications. An individual may also experience hoarseness or voice loss if the laryngeal nerve is injured or destroyed during the operation. People who have large goiters or cancerous tumors are more prone to nerve damage. Wound infections may also occur. When this happens the incision is drained, however, there are usually no serious consequences.
Thyroidectomy recovery depends on the thyroidectomy type and thyroid surgery procedure. Minimal surgeries may only translate into shorter hospital stays and recovery period. But it is still a case to case basis. Healing varies per individual therefore it is close to impossible to tell how long am individual can really recover after an operation. Doctors can just provide a timeframe but not the exact timeframe. Partial thyroidectomy recovery may be as low as one to 2 weeks hospital stay before one can go back to the norms and go back to work. An individual will be moved to the recovery room after the surgery and will be restricted to a liquid diet for a while. Calcium levels will be monitored and difficulty or pain in swallowing may be experienced for 2 to 3 days. Instructions on how to change dressings will be provided if required. After discharge, an individual should already be able to walk, eat normally and go to the bathroom without assistance. Should any abnormalities be found, it is best to consult a doctor. Overall thyroidectomy recovery may be kept to the minimum if instructions are followed properly.
Thyroid FAQ & Links to Related Articles
|There are four parathyroid glands that are normally having the size of a single rice grain. In some normal cases, they can be as big as the size of a pea.|
|Also called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is a disorder that is characterized by abnormal level of thyroid hormones in the body, which is too low.|
|The thyroid is a butterfly (pear)-shaped gland, it consists of 2 symmetrical lobes joined by a central isthmus that normally covers the 2nd & 3rd tracheal rings.|
|Congenital hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland disorder that may lead to deafness or mental retardation if left undetected.|
|Hypothyroidism can cause depression. Most people don?t realize that this feeling is depression caused by the thyroid gland not functioning as it should.|
|Papillary thyroid cancer is one of the thyroid cancer types. This type of thyroid cancer arises from the follicles in the thyroid gland.|
|The thyroid gland is located immediately below the larynx on each side of and anterior to the trachea. It is one of the largest of the endocrine glands|
|These thyroid hormones are responsible in regulating the body?s metabolism, which is how much food will be broken down into useful energy for consumption.|
|When the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, one may suffer from hyperthyroidism.|
|The thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. The thyroid stimulating hormone promotes the growth of the thyroid gland.|
|Thyroid hormones are chemical substances produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck.|
|Natural thyroid supplements are helpful as a remedy to thyroid disorders. Its natural ingredients assure one of its safeties in taking it.|
|The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that is the primary responsible in regulating the body?s metabolism.|
|Thyroid surgery is used to treat people with thyroid problems such as thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and hyperthyroidism.|
|Thyroid tests or thyroid function tests are done to check the thyroid function in one?s body. A doctor will be able to determine and diagnose the thyroid disorder.|
|Treatment for thyroid disorders should be done to prevent unwanted results caused by the severity of the condition. Consult a physician for more of these treatments.|
|Thyroidectomy is a surgical process wherein the whole or a part of the thyroid gland is removed. This surgical process is used to treat thyroid disorders.|
|Having an underactive thyroid is a minor problem but it seeks proper attention to avoid further health problems. Consult a physician about any thyroid problem.|
|Low thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is a condition where the thyroid gland is under active.|
|Following a healthy meal plan, exercise and proper medication goes hand in hand to treat hypothyroidism. Consult a physician for a more individualized plan.|
|Each thyroid cancer treatment depends on the type of thyroid cancer and the extent or stage of the thyroid cancer one is suffering from.|
|Parathyroid hormones are considered to be the most important endocrine regulator. It basically regulates the calcium and phosphorus concentration in the body.|
|Studies show that since 1925, the standard treatment for parathyroid disease is to surgically remove the parathyroid gland(s) which are overproducing parathyroid hormones.|
|Parathyroid adenoma is a small tumor of the parathyroid gland and is known to be the most common disorder of the gland.|
|Medullary thyroid cancer is one of the types of thyroid cancer. This type of thyroid cancer is more common in women than in men.|
|Most people don?t feel any symptoms. Others can just lose weight and just feel depressed for no reason at all.|
|Suppose you go in for a routine checkup and your doctor decides to test your thyroid function. You?ve experienced no thyroid disease symptoms|
|Hypothyroidism develops for over a long period of time. It?s normally from several months to even several years.|
|People who are suffering from hypothyroidism are advised to get plenty of exercise and have a balanced and healthy diet. The diet must be rich in protein and iodine.|
|Self medicating one?s thyroid disorder with hypothyroidism diet pills without proper information of the diet pill does not address the problem.|
|Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormones more than the body needs.|
|Hypothyroidism is one of the chronic diseases in the world. Hypothyroidism is also known as underactive thyroid; hypo means under or below normal.|
|Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a type of thyroid cancer that is rare and aggressive. It affects the thyroid gland and most especially its function.|
|Problems arise if the thyroid gland is overactive or underactive. There are three common thyroid disorders. These are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and the thyroid nodules.|
|Hair loss may happen for so many reasons but it is commonly associated to thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.|
|Thyroid Function Tests are the different tests conducted to assess and determine the cause of an individual?s thyroid problems.|