Thyroidectomy surgery is suggested for patients who can not benefit from such treatments of anti-thyroid drugs or radioactive iodine therapy etc. There might be a necessity for pregnant women to wait until their second or thirdtrimester of a pregnancy before they have thyroidectomy surgery. Also, patients who have aggressive forms of cancer and intense breathing difficulties are listed among the exclusions
Discharge From Hospital
Patient is required to stay 1 night in the hospital
As a preparation thyroid ultrasound is required for patients, who will have a thyroidectomy.CT scan, blood tests, and the patient's vocal cord assessment are also needed before the thyroidectomy procedure.
How It Is Performed
For thyroidectomy surgery, general anesthesia is used, and during the operation, surgeons follow up the vital signs of the patient.
Thyroidectomy operation can be performed in three different ways:
● Conventional thyroidectomy:A collar incision is created above the sternal notch. The incision is created in the natural creases of the skin. Most incisions are between 6 and 8 cm in length. ● Robotic thyroidectomy: In this method, cuts can be in the armpit, neck, or chest. ●Endoscopic thyroidectomy: In this technique, smaller cuts which have short space between them are made to perform the operation.
After making the required cuts, surgeons remove the thyroid gland either totally or partly. In case of necessity, lymph nodes might be removed as well. Thyroidectomy surgery takes a couple of hours. The area is then sutured and bandaged. After the operation patient should spend a night at the hospital under the supervision of medical staff.
Most patients return to normal activities in 10 days after the thyroidectomy procedure. Some restrictions may apply during this period – the surgeon will provide you with specific guidelines. Pain, discomfort and a very weak voice are to be expected after the surgery.
Risks and complications related to a thyroidectomy procedure are:
● Permanent changes in voice ● Infection – around 2% chance ● Bleeding ● Airway obstruction ● Permanent low calcium levels ● Permanent need for thyroid hormone replacement drugs – around 50% chance
The following are the possible side effects of thyroidectomy surgery:
● Bleeding ● Pain in the neck ● Swelling around the incision site ● Temporary, weak voice
Depending on the kind of cancer the patient is suffering from and its spread, the success rate of thyroidectomy changes. However, the success rate of thyroidectomy performed for cosmetic reasons is in the high 90s.
Before And After
After the thyroidectomy surgery, a patient needs to take thyroid hormone medications. There might be a need for radioactive iodine therapy after the operation, for the patients who suffered from thyroid cancer.
– When can I start doing sports again after the surgery? 2 weeks after the operation, patients can start doing sports.
–When will I be able to go back to work after the thyroidectomy operation?
Many of the patients are able to go back to their work for around 10 days.
– What are the chances of having permanent low calcium levels after the thyroidectomy procedure?
The risk is lower than 1%.
Back To Work
Back To Sports
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.