Thyroid gland is a gland located in the front part of the neck and its function is producing the two hormones that controls metabolism, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Dysfunction of thyroid gland could lead to numerous problems depending on which kind of disorder has happened.
The main problems of the thyroid gland are:
- Hyperthyroidism – too much of thyroid hormone;
- Hypothyroidism – insufficient production of thyroid hormone;
- Increasing of the gland;
- Nodes in thyroid;
- Thyroid cancer.
Some of above diseases could be treated with conservative methods, while the others need surgery.
One of the indications for surgery is appearing of the nodules in the gland. The other reason is a tumor. Those neoplasm are often benign but they also could be a signs of cancer developing. In any case, it is better to remove them; otherwise, situation could be worsened.
Hyperthyroidism also could be corrected with the operation. The reason of hyperthyroidism is often in autoimmune disorder, when the body takes a thyroid gland as alien body and tries to attack it. It causes excessive production of hormone. Overactive thyroid gland leads to intoxication (thyrotoxicosis) , that is why it should be removed.Another reason for surgery is overgrowing (or swelling) of the gland, that is commonly called a goiter. Goiter blocks the throat and makes breathing, speaking or eating difficult. All of those conditions could be treated with the surgical methods.
- Lobectomy. In cases, when only a half of the thyroid gland is affected with the nodules, or swelling, only one of the two lobes is removed. The rest of the gland takes the function of the whole.
- Subtotal Thyroidectomy. When a subtotal thyroidectomy performed is removed the gland, but some of thyroid tissue are left which allows to save some of thyroid function.
- Total Thyroidectomy. The entire thyroid and the thyroid tissue are removed. This surgery is appropriate for cancer or some other complex dysfunction with affection of the whole gland.
Both for total and partial thyroidectomy an operation is carried out under general anesthesia. It is not very complicated procedure but as there are many nerves and nodes in the gland and it is quite small it could take up to 4 hours to perform the removal.
The patients could have some pre-operational preparation 1-2 weeks before, as iodine treatment. A few days before it is needed to stop using the medicine causing blood clots as aspirin or ibuprofen.
After IV anesthesia the patient falls asleep and a surgeon makes an incision about 10 cm long. The gland is removed via this cut and the surgeon cleans everything around with care not to damage the nerves. The cut is stitched.
Recovery after thyroid surgery is not long at all. The patient might go home the next day. Rarely, it could take 3 days in the clinic. The doctor should be ensured the patient could swallow liquids.
You might experience some pain after surgery, but it is because of incision and will pass in couple of days. Most patients are able to get up and walk on the day after surgery.
Thyroid cancer is one of the most common among the cancers types. The women are more prone to it rather than men. There are for types of thyroid cancer:
- Papillary thyroid cancer
- Follicular thyroid cancer
- Medullary thyroid cancer
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer
The thyroid cancer has quite high rate of survival in the patients, more than 97% if treated timely. The worst of them is anaplastic cancer, it is quite rare (about 2%) but almost incurable, as it grow asymptomatically and normally is found when spread in the tissue.
For thyroid cancer, chemotherapy is very effective. The thyroid cells are quite unique, they could absorb iodine, and that is used for therapy. The radioactive iodine is given to the thyroid cells and absorbed, and shortly after that the cancer cells poison themselves from within. Normally this kind therapy follows after the surgery. Surgical method remains a main treatment of cancer.
The main thing is to choose a clinic where you would be advised on every aspect of the treatment. The thyroid surgery is not very complex but it is important to have right combination of surgery with hormonal therapy. Apply for consultation right now to learn everything on the treatment in one of the German medical center. We are ready to help you.