Thyroid-When to Operate?

1.Thyroid-When to operate?

Thyroid gland is butterfly shaped gland situated in front of the neck which secretes thyroid hormone which regulates various body functions.

Thyroid surgery is a commonly done procedure mainly for a swelling in the region of the thyroid.The following are the conditions when the doctor would recommend to undergo an operation.• Nodule in the thyroid which is suspicious of a cancer• A cancer of the thyroid• Non cancerous swelling (goitre)which is large or causes a compression of the trachea(windpipe) or difficulty in swallowing• In some thyroid secreting goitres,surgery might be recommended.

2.How much thyroid will be removed?

If only one side of thyroid is enlarged, a half of the thyroid will be removed(Hemi-thyroidectomy).

If the biopsy result comes as cancer, another surgery to remove the entire gland would be advised. If a diagnosis of a thyroid cancer is established by an ultrasound guided FNAC prior to surgery, a total thyroidectomy is done. In case of non cancerous swelling of the thyroid, a near total thyroidectomy is advised.For certain types of cancers like a papillary cancer of thyroid, lymph glands in the neck also are removed.

3.Is Surgery the only option?

Surgery is the treatment of choice if there is suspicion or a diagnosis of cancer of thyroid.For other swellings of the thyroid ,depending on the FNAC report, your doctor would advice appropriate mode of treatment.

4.As there any risks of Operation?

Thyroid surgeries are generally a safe procedure.A thorough Pre operative evaluation would be done.Vocal cord function will be evaluated with a videolaryngoscopy.

Bleeding can occur into the operated site which would be controlled promptly by the surgeon.

In the immediate post operative period,calcium levels might fluctuate due to parathyroid dysfunction which will be managed with medications.Very rarely, the nerve supplying the vocal cord could get stuck in the tumor and cause a change in the voice.

5.What can I Expect during a thyroid surgery?

Thyroid surgery is done under general anesthesia.Usually it takes about 2.5hours or more depending on its size and the diagnosis.

A drain will be kept in the wound to collect any fluid which would usually drain out for few days.Once the drain is removed, patient can go home.

An Endocrinologist opinion would be obtained to titrate the thyroid and calcium supplements.

6. Does Head and Neck centre hospital,Chennai specializes in thyroid surgery?

Yes.Thyroid surgeries are routinely done at the head and neck centre and hospital.

A comprehensive approach to the problem facilitates a holistic treatment for the patient.Nerve Integrity Monitor (NIM) is used during surgery to prevent nerve injury during the surgery.

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