Goiter is a condition where the thyroid gland is swollen, forming a lump in the front of the neck. The lump will move up and down with your swallowing rhythm. When the size of the lump is too large or causes changes in hormones, you may need to undergo thyroid surgery. Through this article, easyhealthylive.com hopes to help you understand more about goiter surgery.
Treatments for goiter
Surgery is not the only way to treat goiter as many people think. Current methods for treating goiter include medication, hormone therapy, and surgery.
The treatment method for each patient depends on:
- The size of the goiter
- The impact of the goiter on daily life
- Underlying thyroid-related conditions.
When to have surgery for thyroid nodules
Doctors may monitor your condition rather than treat it in some cases, including:
- Blood tests show that your thyroid gland is functioning normally.
- The size of the nodule is small and under control.
You may need surgery to remove thyroid nodules if:
- The nodule obstructs your breathing or swallowing.
- You do not respond to other forms of treatment.
This procedure requires your doctor to remove part or all of your thyroid gland. This is called a thyroidectomy.
Many patients with Graves’ disease wonder if thyroid nodules can be removed through surgery. The answer depends on the patient’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation. If the patient’s condition does not respond to medication and internal treatment, and the nodule causes significant inconvenience in daily life, thyroid gland surgery may be recommended to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Surgical methods for thyroidectomy
The cost of thyroidectomy surgery is a concern for many people. However, this largely depends on the method of thyroidectomy used. There are several methods of thyroidectomy performed in hospitals nationwide. The most common methods include: removal of the thyroid lobe, removal of most of the thyroid gland, and removal of the entire thyroid gland.
Removal of the thyroid lobe
Sometimes, a small nodule, abscess or swelling only affects one half of the thyroid gland. In this case, the doctor will only remove one of the two lobes. The remaining portion will maintain some or all of the thyroid gland’s function.
Removal of most of the thyroid gland
Surgical removal of most of the thyroid gland removes the gland but leaves a small amount of thyroid tissue. The remaining tissue will preserve some of the thyroid gland’s function.
After undergoing this type of thyroidectomy, some patients may experience hypothyroidism. The reason for this is that the removed thyroid gland no longer produces enough hormones. This condition is treated by daily hormone supplementation.
Removal of the entire thyroid gland
Some patients will undergo thyroidectomy by having the entire thyroid gland removed. This surgery is usually indicated when a tumor or abscess affects the entire gland or when there are signs of thyroid cancer.
Postoperative Care for Thyroidectomy
Many patients wonder how long it takes to recover after a thyroidectomy. Patients can resume their normal activities and work after the surgery, but may need more time for strenuous activities. Typically, patients require at least 10 days to recover or until the doctor allows them to participate in exercise or vigorous physical activity.
After the thyroidectomy, you may experience a sore throat for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help you feel more comfortable. If these common medications do not relieve the pain, the doctor may prescribe a pain reliever with a local anesthetic.
Hypothyroidism can occur after thyroidectomy due to removal of the thyroid gland. The doctor may prescribe levothyroxine to regulate hormones in the body. You may require several dosage adjustments and blood tests to find the optimal dose.
The risks of thyroidectomy
Many people may wonder if thyroidectomy is a risky procedure. Like many other surgeries, thyroidectomy can have complications due to anesthesia. Some patients may experience excessive bleeding and infection.
Although rare, there are two common risks associated with thyroidectomy:
- Recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (this nerve connects to your vocal cords) Parathyroid gland injury (these glands control the amount of calcium in your body.
- Prescription drugs can regulate low calcium levels in the body (hypocalcemia).
- Patients who need to treat hypocalcemia should do so as soon as possible. Inform your doctor immediately if you feel anxious or nervous. Supplements can treat low levels of calcium in the body (hypocalcemia). Treatment should start as soon as possible.
- Notify your doctor if you feel anxious or nervous, especially if your muscles begin to twitch as this is a sign of low blood calcium.
- Only a small percentage of patients who undergo thyroidectomy develop hypocalcemia. Among those who do develop hypocalcemia, approximately 75% recover within one year.
In many cases, thyroidectomy is a necessary method for treating thyroid diseases. Thyroidectomy can have risks for patients, but with proper monitoring and care, most patients will recover and return to normal life. To minimize the risks of complications from thyroidectomy, patients should seek reputable healthcare facilities and skilled thyroidectomy surgeons for consultation.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.