Thyroidectomy is the complete or partial removal of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a H-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It produces hormones that regulate every aspect of your metabolism, from your heart rate to how quickly you burn calories.
The procedure will be performed under general anaesthetic which means that your whole body will be numb and you will not feel pain during the operation. A incision is made across the front of your neck. Some or all of the thyroid is taken out. Normally enough thyroid is left to supply your needs for thyroxine. Sometimes this is not possible, but you can easily take tablets of thyroxine to top up your supplies. Extra care is taken to avoid damaging the nerves that control your voice. The surgeon also avoids the nearby glands (parathyroid glands) that control your blood calcium salts. The cut in the skin is closed so that it heals with a barely visible scar. You should be able to go home four to five days after your operation.
When you wake up from the operation you will have a drip providing you with fluids, probably going into a vein in the back of your hand. You may have a catheter to drain urine from your bladder into a bag. You may also have fine tubes running out from the wound. These drain fluid into another bag and are usually removed after a day or two.
You may have some pain and stiffness in your neck. If you’re in a lot of pain, let your surgeon or a nurse know and he or she will give you some painkillers.
For cancerous tumors
Surgery to remove the entire thyroid will be the best method to get rid off from the thyroid cancer. In most cases, the surgeon leaves small rims of thyroid tissue around the parathyroid glands to reduce the risk of parathyroid damage.
Thyroid surgery is conducted by making an incision in the skin at the base of your neck. Thyroid surgery may carry a risk of bleeding and infection. Damage can also occur to your parathyroid glands during surgery, later leading to low calcium levels in your body. There’s also a risk of accidental damage to the nerves connected to your vocal cords, which can cause vocal cord paralysis, hoarseness, soft voice or difficulty breathing.
The main symptoms of cancerous tumors in throat are
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Severe pain in throat and neck
- Hoarse in voice
- Stiffness in throat
A thyroidectomy incision requires little to no care after the dressing is removed. The area may be bathed gently with a mild soap. The sutures or the metal clips are removed three to seven days after the operation.