The thyroid gland, a part of the endocrine (hormone) system, plays a major role in regulating the body's metabolism.
Thyroidectomy may be recommended for:
- increased thyroid function (hyperthyroidism; thyrotoxicosis)
- decreased thyroid function (hypothyroidism) with enlargement(hypertrophy) of the gland
- primary cancer of the thyroid
- enlargement of the thyroid (nontoxic goiter)
While the patient is deep asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia), an incision is made in the front of the neck.
The thyroid gland is removed. Either one lobe of the thyroid gland, or the entire gland, is removed, depending on the disease process being treated.
The results of thyroid surgery are usually excellent. Monitoring of thyroid hormone production may continue for some months after the operation. Some patients may need to take supplemental thyroid hormone after thyroidectomy.
Review Date: 1/30/2009
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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