Diagnosis of thyroid problems
Proper diagnosis is necessary to provide the right treatment for full recovery without recurrence. The diagnosis begins with a proper medical history to determine the cause of the disease. Once the history is taken, the doctor will perform several diagnostic tests to determine the exact nature of the disease.
- Physical examination: The ENT surgeon will palpate the neck and throat region to see if you have a goiter or swollen lymph nodes. If so, they will schedule further lab tests for you.
- Blood tests: Blood tests to measure thyroxine (T4 hormone) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can help confirm a thyroid disorder diagnosis. Hyperthyroidism is characterized by high thyroxine levels and low or nonexistent TSH levels (overactive thyroid gland).
- Radioiodine uptake test: This test is used to determine how much iodine our thyroid gland absorbs by having the patient consume radioactive iodine orally. Increased iodine uptake indicates extra thyroxine production caused by Graves’ disease or hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules.
- Thyroid scan: This procedure involves injecting radioactive iodine into the patient’s bloodstream in order to see the amount of iodine uptake by the gland and determine whether the patient has thyroid issues such as hyperthyroidism, cancer, or other growths.
- Thyroid ultrasound: Ultrasounds are extremely useful for imaging thyroid problems in patients where radioactive exposure is prohibited, such as pregnant women, developing children, etc.
- Tissue biopsy: If the patient has suspicious nodules/growths on the thyroid gland, a fine-needle aspiration biopsy may be performed to extract thyroid gland tissue to determine if the patient has thyroid cancer.
Depending on the type and severity of the patient’s symptoms, the doctor may order additional diagnostic tests such as antibody tests, endoscopy, etc.
Depending on the cause and severity of the symptoms and the patient’s and surgeon’s preference, the surgeon will determine the amount of the thyroid tissue to be removed. Types of surgical techniques for thyroidectomy are:
- Open/conventional thyroidectomy: It used to be the most common approach for thyroid surgery. The surgeon makes a neck incision to gain direct access to the thyroid gland. Since this surgery is performed by cutting the neck muscles for access to the thyroid gland, it is not preferred anymore.
- Transoral thyroidectomy: For transoral thyroidectomy, the surgeon does not make an external incision. Thus it is more pleasing aesthetically for most patients. The surgical instruments are inserted through the mouth, and the surgery is performed through internal incisions.
- Endoscopic thyroidectomy: It is a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon makes small incisions in the neck and inserts surgical instruments (including a small endoscope) through these incisions. The camera assists in guiding the surgical instruments and ensuring that the surrounding tissues are not damaged. Most surgeons nowadays prefer endoscopic procedures.
At Pristyn Care, you can avail expert consultation with the best ENT surgeons near you for thyorid treatment and thyroidectomy in Chennai.