Reasons for thyroid surgery can range from known or suspected thyroid cancer to one or more enlarged nodule that causes swallowing or breathing problems. Just as the reasons for surgery can vary, there are several surgical solutions that range from traditional operations to minimally invasive procedures. A Victorville or Glendora General Surgeon will analyze your individual situation. The surgeon will recommend the best procedure, based on your particular symptoms and overall health status. You will be given pre and post-surgery instructions on how to care for the surgical site when to resume your daily activities, and when to schedule checkups in the surgeon’s office. If the entire thyroid is removed, your thyroid functions will be tested after surgery to determine if you need to take a daily thyroid hormone replacement.
Thyroid surgeries are performed at a hospital as either an outpatient or inpatient procedure. You will be given anesthesia before surgery so that you will not feel any pain or discomfort. Thyroid surgery generally requires 1 to 2 hours for completion. If a laboratory diagnosis is required to determine if there are any cancerous cells, the completion time may be longer. If you have an outpatient procedure, you will go home the same day after several hours of post-surgery observation. If you have an inpatient operation, you will remain in the hospital for one or two days.
Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision and there will be a scar line. Thyroidectomy is the medical term for thyroid surgery. There is one thyroid lobe on either side of your trachea connected with a band of tissue called an isthmus. The major forms of a thyroidectomy are:
- Total Thyroidectomy: Removal of all of the thyroid gland.
- Subtotal Thyroidectomy: Removal of one entire lobe, the isthmus, and a portion of the other lobe.
- Thyroid Lobectomy: Removal of solitary nodules in one lobe, or one entire lobe.
- Thyroid Lobectomy with Isthmus: Removal of one entire lobe and the isthmus. This ensures that all infected tissue has been extracted.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Endoscopic Thyroidectomy uses a laparoscopic approach for thyroid surgery. There are several small incisions made in either your armpit or the front of your chest wall. Special medical instruments, one with an attached camera, are used to perform any one of the traditional thyroid surgeries described above. The advantages of an endoscopic operation are faster healing time, no scar line in the neck area, and less post-surgery sore throat issues.