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About thyroidectomy surgery

A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland (partial or total) for a variety of reasons such as thyroid nodules, hyperthyroidism, etc. The amount of thyroid tissue to be removed depends on the severity and the nature of the thyroid disease. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck that controls the metabolism. Hence, thyroid diseases can wreak havoc on the entire body if not treated properly in time. While for some thyroid issues such as Graves’ disease, hyperthyroidism, etc., medical management is possible in mild cases, for others such as thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, etc., immediate surgical management is preferred. At Pristyn Care, you can consult the best ENT specialists in Chennai for expert consultation and treatment regarding thyroid issues.



Types of thyroidectomy based on technique

Conventional thyroidectomy

Transoral thyroidectomy

Endoscopic thyroidectomy

Types of thyroidectomy based on thyroid tissue removal

Total thyroidectomy (TT)

Subtotal thyroidectomy (STT)

Thyroid lobectomy (Hemithyroidectomy)

Thyroid isthmusectomy

Recovery period for thyroidectomy

Hospitalization: 1-2 days

Resume work: 5-6 days

Perform strenuous exercise and activity: 10-14 days

Total recovery: 3-4 weeks

Risks of delaying thyroidectomy

Graves’ disease

Thyroid storm

Thyrotoxic crisis

Metastasis of thyroid cancer

Airway obstruction

Difficulty in speaking and swallowing, etc.

Facts you should know about thyroidectomy

Thyroid cancer can be completely cured through thyroidectomy and radiotherapy.

Thyroid disease can occur in people of any age and gender.

You may need to take TSH and thyroid hormone supplements for a long time after surgery.

Only 5% of thyroid lumps are cancerous.

Benign lumps can grow and cause problems like airway obstruction, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, etc.

Thyroidectomy diagnosis and procedure

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.

Thyroidectomy procedure

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. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of thyroidectomy in Chennai?

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Is thyroidectomy painful?

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What are the types of thyroidectomy provided at Pristyn Care in Chennai?

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What are the chances of recurrence of thyroid problems after thyroidectomy?

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How should I prepare for thyroidectomy?

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How long will it take to fully recover from a thyroidectomy?

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Why is a partial thyroidectomy preferred over a total thyroidectomy?

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For which thyroid problems is a hemithyroidectomy performed?

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What is the life expectancy of people who’ve undergone a thyroidectomy?

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How long does it take for a thyroidectomy scar to fade?

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What are the risks associated with thyroidectomy surgery?

With the advancement in medicine, thyroidectomy has become a very safe procedure. However, there are some thyroidectomy complications that can still occur, such as:

  • Hemorrhage and infection: Postoperative infections can delay healing and lead to further complications. Make sure there is no pain, swelling, warmth, redness, or pus drainage at the surgical site after the surgery.
  • Seroma: Sometimes, there can be fluid collection at the surgical site, known as a seroma. Generally, small seromas disappear on their own but if large, they can cause further delay in healing.
  • Airway obstruction: The trachea may be compressed during the surgery, which may lead to a hematoma formation and airway obstruction if not resolved promptly.
  • Damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve: Irritation of the recurrent laryngeal nerve is common during a thyroidectomy, but if the nerve is injured, it can lead to a permanently hoarse and weak voice.
  • Low PTH and calcium levels: Low serum calcium and PTH levels are common side effects of thyroid/parathyroid gland removal. To manage this, the patient may have to take supplements for a long time.

How can I improve my recovery after the surgery?

You should follow the given tips to improve your recovery after a thyroidectomy surgery:

  • Although there are no restrictions on food after the surgery, since you may have a sore throat, you should eat soft, cold, and easy-to-swallow foods for a few days and avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy meals.
  • You should take your pain, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic medications, hormone supplements, etc., as prescribed to ensure your recovery stays on track.
  • There are no restrictions on light activities after hospital discharge. You should start taking short walks almost immediately after the surgery.
  • Since the neck is retracted for the surgery, neck stiffness and soreness are expected after the surgery, so you should perform gentle neck exercises to relieve that.
  • Your voice may be hoarse and weak after the surgery, but you should not refrain from talking during the recovery period.
  • You can shower within 24-48 hours of the surgery, but you must be careful and avoid wetting your incision/bandage. Avoid swimming, baths, and hot tubs for at least 2 weeks post-surgery.
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