These are only general guidelines and not meant to replace instructions from a physician. Please talk with your physician about your specific condition.
The thyroid, part of your endocrine system, is a small, butterfly-shaped gland on the front of your neck. It makes and regulates hormones that control your heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism. Thyroid disorders can include hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid caused by a number of conditions, including Hashimoto’s disease), hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid caused by conditions such as Graves’ disease), thyroid goiters (enlargement of the thyroid gland) and thyroid cancer. It is possible to have more than one of these conditions at the same time. Surgery for thyroid disorders is indicated for treatment of cancer and definitive diagnosis of thyroid nodules that are suspicious for cancer. Surgical removal of thyroid goiters may improve your breathing, sleep apnea and swallowing if the goiter is compressing your trachea or esophagus. Surgery is also indicated for treatment of Graves’ disease if you do not tolerate or want the side effects of radiation or medication used to treat this condition non-surgically.
Prior to your surgery, you may be asked to:
Please ask your physician about any additional steps you should take before your surgery.
Surgery for thyroid disease is done through an incision at the base of your neck under general anesthesia. Whether part or all of your thyroid gland is removed depends on why you are having surgery. Based on your preoperative evaluation, your surgeon may also remove lymph nodes from your neck if there is evidence of cancer in the lymph nodes.
If you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, you most likely will be referred to an endocrinologist for follow-up after your surgery to discuss additional treatments.
If you have additional questions, please contact us at 763.780.6699.