If you have a problem with your thyroid gland, your doctor may recommend a thyroidectomy.
Your thyroid gland is located over your larynx, or voice box.
It wraps around your trachea, or windpipe.
Your thyroid produces a hormone called thyroid hormone and secretes it directly into your bloodstream.
Your body uses thyroid hormone to increase your energy and raise your body temperature when necessary.
For example, these effects help offset the heat your body loses when exposed to cold weather.
Your doctor may recommend a thyroidectomy if you have certain thyroid cancers,
an enlargement of the gland, called a goiter, benign nodules, cysts, or an overactive thyroid.
Before your procedure, an intravenous line will be started.
You may be given antibiotics through the IV to decrease your chance of infection.
You will be given general anesthesia.
A breathing tube will be inserted through your mouth and down your throat to help you breathe during the operation.
To begin, your surgeon will make a small horizontal incision in your neck.
Depending on the reason for your surgery, your surgeon will remove one lobe of your thyroid or the entire gland.
Your surgeon may put a surgical drain in your incision to remove excess fluid. The drain will remain there for a day or two.
At the end of your procedure, the incision will be closed with stitches, staples, surgical glue, or closure-tape dressings.
After your procedure, your breathing tube will be removed and you will be taken to the recovery area for monitoring.
Your surgeon may check your larynx for injury. You’ll be given pain medication as needed.
You may continue to receive antibiotics through your IV.
Most patients are released from the hospital one or two days after the procedure.
Your doctor may prescribe calcium supplements.
If your entire thyroid is removed, you will take daily thyroid hormone replacement medication.