Thyroid surgeries are conducted in patients who have different types of thyroid related conditions such as thyroid nodules cancerous and non cancerous (benign), large thyroid gland (goiter) and overactive gland (hyperthyroidism).
There are quite a few thyroid surgeries or operations that a doctor (surgeon) could perform:
- Biopsy: Removing a small portion of a person’s thyroid gland through biopsy (FNA = Fine Needle Aspiration).
- Lobectomy: in this procedure, 50 % of the patient’s thyroid gland is removed.
- Sub – total thyroidectomy – only a small portion of the thyroid tissue is left or near – total thyroidectomy, in which only a single gm / cm of the thyroid tissue is left on each side.
- Total thyroidectomy: in this procedure most of the thyroid tissues (identifiable) are removed.
These operations are carried out based on different types of indications which are specific in nature. The different types of risks associated with such thyroid surgeries include possible damaging of anatomical structures close to it (thyroid), mainly the parathyroid glands (which are responsible for regulating calcium levels in the body) and recurrent laryngeal nerves and external (that control a person’s vocal cords). Thus, before opting for thyroid surgery, it is necessary that a person is sure that there are no other treatment options, because of the risks associated with the surgery.
When is surgery needed?
Surgery is often recommended if any of these results are found in a biopsy:
- Cancer (papillary, follicular, mixed, etc.).
- Possible cancer.
- Benign: Node/s, is size is unknown or large.
Surgery is could also be recommended as a treatment option for hyperthyroidism for multi-nodular goiters and large goiter that causes any symptoms like difficulty in swallowing, acute pain etc.
Thus, thyroid surgery has a lot of complications associated with it and so it should be the last option for treatment of any thyroid problem.