A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of your thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that produces hormones used to control your metabolism. Thyroidectomies are used to treat thyroid disorders such as cancer, noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter) and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Partial or entire removal of your thyroid gland during a thyroidectomy depends on the reason for surgery. If you need only a part of your thyroid removed (partial thyroidectomy), the thyroid may work normally after surgery.
Who is a candidate?
Good candidates for thyroidectomies include those who have:
- Thyroid cancer
- A noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter)
- Indeterminate or suspicious thyroid nodules
What to expect
Thyroidectomies are usually performed with general anesthesia. Once the patient is unconscious, a surgeon at Jefferson Surgical Clinic will make an incision low in the center of the neck. All or part of the thyroid gland is then removed depending on the reason for surgery, and the procedure usually takes 1-2 hours. After a thyroidectomy, patients are able to eat and drink as usual and, depending on the type of surgery, may be able to go home the same day.