What Is a Thyroidectomy?
A thyroidectomy is a surgical healthcare procedure performed to remove some or all of the thyroid glands from the body.Â The thyroid is an H-shaped gland located in front of the windpipe in the neck.Â It produces a hormone called thyroxine that, among other things, helps keep the body active.Â
Who Requires a Thyroidectomy?
A thyroidectomy is required if the thyroid glands swell and press against the windpipe.Â This healthcare procedure is also required if the thyroid makes excess thyroxine hormone, since this causes the body to become overactive and places extra strain on the heart.Â There is no viable alternative to a thyroidectomy for treating a thyroid that is swollen or producing excessive thyroxine.Â Moreover, without a thyroidectomy, it is not possible to detect whether there is cancerous growth in the thyroid.Â
What Happens in a Thyroidectomy?
After placing you under a general anesthetic, your surgeon will make an incision across the front of your neck and remove the infected area.Â The surgeon will take care to ensure that the nerves which control your voice are not damaged, and that the nearby parathyroid glands (which controls the bodyâ€™s blood calcium) are not damaged.Â The surgeon will then stitch up the skin and send the removed gland tissues to a laboratory for microscopic examination.Â Postoperative hospital stays usually last four days.Â Your healthcare provider will prescribe whatever painkillers are necessary to manage discomfort, although most pain subsides considerably after 3 or 4 days.Â You may frequently feel tired and will need to rest often for the first couple of weeks.Â You will most likely be able to resume all regular activities in two to four weeks.