Thyroid surgery takes out part or all of your thyroid gland. The gland makes hormones that control how your body makes and uses energy (metabolism).
A doctor may take out part or all of the gland when it gets too big, does not work right, or has a growth. Most growths or lumps in this gland are benign. This means they are not cancer.
During your surgery, your doctor may take out a lump or nodule. A doctor will look at the tissue under a microscope.
The doctor will take out the tissue, lump, or tumour through a cut (incision) in the front of your neck. You will likely have a tube, called a drain, in your neck. It lets fluid out of the cut. The drain is most often taken out before you go home.
You may go home on the same day. Or you may stay one or more nights in the hospital after surgery. You may return to work or your normal routine in 1 to 2 weeks. This depends on whether you need more treatment and how you feel. It may also depend on the kind of work you do.
Your doctor will check your incision in about a week. You may need to take thyroid medicine. If you have thyroid cancer, you may need to have radioactive iodine therapy. Your doctor will talk to you about what happens next.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 15, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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