Your thyroid gland is a powerful organ that governs the balance of your hormones. When it’s affected by diseases, a throat specialist can remove the gland with a procedure called a thyroidectomy. At Adult & Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this operation offers patients a way to address thyroid problems safely and effectively.
A butterfly-shaped organ that sits near the bottom of your neck, your thyroid is responsible for how your hormones regulate your metabolism. In a thyroidectomy, your physician removes part or all of your thyroid gland.
Usually, a thyroidectomy is necessary if you have specific thyroid conditions that aren’t responding to treatment, like thyroid cancer, enlarged thyroid, or hyperthyroidism.
Your physician decides how much of your thyroid gland is necessary to remove based on why you need the procedure. With partial thyroid removal, the gland can sometimes function normally after the operation. With total thyroid removal, you might need to take hormones to replace those lost after your thyroid is gone.
A thyroidectomy always involves general anesthesia. Aside from that, there are several ways to approach it.
Typically, your physician makes a small incision at the base of your neck and removes either part or all of your thyroid. They might also use the help of endoscopic technology to insert a tiny video camera into your neck to achieve a more precise angle for removing the thyroid.
In a robotic thyroidectomy, your physician makes incisions in the chest or the armpit and uses robotic tools to remove the thyroid.
After the procedure, you go to a recovery room for careful monitoring. Sometimes your physician needs to drain fluid from the incision on your neck.
Some patients experience neck pain or have a hoarse voice after thyroid removal. That's temporary and is a result of the irritation from the breathing tube that your specialist inserts into your trachea during the operation.
Most patients can return to eating and drinking after the procedure, but you might have to spend the night in the hospital. When you go home, your physician might recommend you wait a few weeks before performing any strenuous exercises or activities.
Your hormones are monitored with follow-up appointments, and you receive medications to keep them balanced and healthy.
To schedule a consultation about the thyroidectomy procedure, book an appointment online today.