Thyroid surgery - Dr. Ayman Harakeh, MD, FACS
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Thyroid Surgery

In some patients, the thyroid produces excess hormones and develops structural problems like swelling and the growth of cysts or nodules. Thyroid surgery may be necessary when these problems occur, as it might require removing all or a portion of the thyroid gland. The most common reason for thyroid surgery is the presence of nodules or tumors on the thyroid gland. Though majorly these nodules are benign, some can be cancerous or precancerous. In some cases, even benign nodules can cause problems if they grow large and obstruct the throat, or if they stimulate the thyroid to overproduce hormones, which is called hyperthyroidism. There is also swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland which has to be attended to via surgery.

Types of Thyroid Surgeries

There are different types of thyroid surgery, with the most common ones being lobectomy, subtotal thyroidectomy, and total thyroidectomy.

Lobectomy

Sometimes, a nodule, inflammation, or swelling affects only half of the thyroid gland. Only one of the two loves needs to be removed in this case, as the part left behind retains some or all of its function.

Subtotal thyroidectomy

A subtotal thyroidectomy removes the thyroid gland but leaves behind a small amount of thyroid tissue. This preserves some thyroid function.

Total thyroidectomy

A total thyroidectomy removes the entire thyroid and the thyroid tissue. This surgery is appropriate when nodules, swelling, or inflammation affect the entire thyroid gland, or when cancer is present.

Robotic thyroidectomy

In a robotic thyroidectomy, the surgeon can remove all or part of the thyroid through an axillary incision (via the armpit) or transorally (via the mouth).

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