Thyroid Surgery

What You Need to Know About Thyroid Surgery

A surgical procedure aimed at getting rid of all or part of a thyroid gland is known as a thyroidectomy. This procedure is used to treat conditions like thyroid cancer, an underactive or overactive thyroid, goiter, and thyroid nodules that may cause breathing or swallowing difficulties due to symptomatic obstruction. If you are struggling with such problems, there is hope. Your Gillette thyroid surgery experts at Wyoming Medical Associates are dedicated to offering quality treatment using modern methods and the latest equipment.

Understanding thyroid surgery

The thyroid is a gland that secretes hormones to regulate metabolism. When diseases affect the gland, its size and activity are abnormally altered. Thyroid surgery is also known as a thyroidectomy. It is a procedure that is performed to get rid of all or part of a thyroid.

Symptoms of a condition that might need thyroid surgery

A thyroid condition that needs surgery usually causes body-wide symptoms because they affect hormone production. These are some of the signs that suggest the need for a thyroidectomy;

1. Swollen lymph nodes in your neck

2. Goiter (an enlarged thyroid or swelling in your neck)

3. Difficulty in breathing and swallowing or a feeling of food stuck in your throat

4. Changes in your voice, for example, hoarseness

Thyroid surgery procedure

Your care provider should take the first step to perform a physical exam to diagnose the location, size, type, and, if cancerous, the tumor stage. This step helps your surgeon to determine the best surgical approach you will need.

Thyroid surgery usually involves minimally-invasive techniques. However, in cases where open surgery is required to remove a thyroid tumor completely, a slightly larger incision is made. Surgical glue is then applied to your incision and is usually removed about 10-14 days after your operation.

Understanding thyroid conditions that require surgical intervention


Hyperthyroidism is the condition where your thyroid becomes overactive. Radioactive iodine is usually used to treat this condition. However, when you cannot tolerate the medication, surgery is used to rectify the problem. Surgery may also be necessary when the gland produces dangerously high amounts of thyroid hormone, a condition called a thyroid storm or thyrotoxicosis. Due to infection or stress, thyrotoxicosis usually develops in those suffering from hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid nodules

Several forms of thyroid nodules are noncancerous. These include follicular adenoma, colloid nodule, thyroid cysts, and inflammatory nodules. Some of these nodules usually diminish on their own. Other times, medication is used to treat them. Surgical intervention is recommended in cases where the nodules are abnormally large and because of the size, they cause breathing and swallowing difficulties.

Thyroid cancer

 A thyroidectomy is recommended when a diagnosis of cancer is confirmed before an operation. The primary tumor is removed during the procedure. Usually, all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. In cases where cancer has spread beyond the tumor, the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes are also removed.

To find out whether you need a thyroidectomy and learn more about thyroid surgery, call Wyoming Medical Associates to schedule your appointment.