Are you scheduled to undergo thyroid removal surgery? Are you wondering what to expect? Are you still unclear exactly what this procedure is about and why you need it? Here’s a little information to help you prepare for the operation.
Technically this kind of surgery is called a thyroidectomy. It’s a routine operation with a high success rate. While some complications are always possible, it’s considered to be entirely safe when performed by a experienced surgeon. If successful, this type of surgery can dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of patients who suffer from thyroid dysfunction.
Thyroid removal surgery is used to fix problems with the thyroid gland. This is a small organ located in the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. It’s part of the endocrine system, a collection of glands throughout the body responsible for producing hormones that keep the body’s internal systems on an even keel.
Specifically, the thyroid produces three key hormones: calcitonin, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The first of these acts to keep levels of calcium in the blood from climbing too high. The other two moderate the body’s metabolism, production of proteins and use of energy.
Thyroid removal surgery is used when there are problems with the thyroid that can only be repaired by removing part or all of the gland. An operation to remove a portion of the thyroid is known as a hemithyroidectomy or partial thyroidectomy, while an operation to remove the entire gland is known as a total thyroidectomy.
Thyroid cancer, goitres and overactive thyroids are the usual reasons for thyroid surgery. It may also be performed when the thyroid obstructs the windpipe or oesophagus, or when the gland is much enlarged. Cancer is the a common reason for thyroid removal surgery.
Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, is also a common factor leading to thyroidectomy. In this condition, the thyroid generates too much of its key hormones, leading to deficits in metabolism, protein generation, energy and other bodily systems.
There are a number of possible complications from thyroidectomy which depend on the underlying thyroid problem and the operation needed. The most common is hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid function. This results from underproduction of the thyroid’s key hormones. To manage this many patients who have thyroid removal surgery are required to take daily hormone therapy for the rest of their lives to replace what the thyroid once produced. This includes all patients who require total thyroidectomy.
If you have questions or concerns about thyroid problems see your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.
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