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What Is Thyroidectomy?

Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure in which part or all of the thyroid gland is removed. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, just below Adam's apple. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism and play a vital role in many bodily functions. Consult our leading surgeons for an effective thyroidectomy procedure.

When to Consult A Doctor for Thyroidectomy?

Thyroidectomy may be recommended for a variety of reasons, including the presence of thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, overactive thyroid function (hyperthyroidism), or an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre). Furthermore, the procedure may be recommended for patients diagnosed with the following -

  • Thyroid cancer - In cases of thyroid cancer, surgery may be necessary to remove the cancerous thyroid tissue.
  • Hyperthyroidism - Overactive thyroid function can cause a range of symptoms, including weight loss, nervousness, and rapid heart rate. If medication or other treatments do not effectively manage the condition, thyroidectomy may be recommended.
  • Goitre - A goitre is an enlarged thyroid gland that can cause difficulty swallowing or breathing, as well as cosmetic concerns. If the goitre is large enough or causing significant symptoms, thyroidectomy may be recommended.
  • Suspicious thyroid nodules - If thyroid nodules are found during imaging tests, a biopsy may be performed to determine if they are cancerous. If the nodules are suspicious, thyroidectomy may be recommended to remove the affected tissue.
  • Recurrent or persistent hyperparathyroidism: In rare cases, thyroidectomy may be recommended to remove parathyroid tissue that is causing the overproduction of the parathyroid hormone, leading to high calcium levels in the blood.

How To Prepare For Thyroidectomy?

Before the Thyroidectomy procedure, initial consultation with the specialist involves examining the severity of the symptoms and detecting the primary cause of thyroid disease. Once the doctor is convinced that you need thyroidectomy, it's important to discuss the procedure thoroughly with your surgeon and ask any questions you may have about the technique, risks, and recovery.

The doctor discusses the procedure and the possible outcomes depending on the type of thyroidectomy. Subsequently, the surgeon provides pre-surgery tips to guide you before the procedure and prevent any complications. Here are some pre-surgery instructions which can help you prepare for the thyroidectomy procedure to reduce the risk of complications during the surgery -

  • Do not eat or drink 8 to 9 hours prior to the surgery. It is generally recommended to not take any meal post-midnight. 
  • Inform your doctor of any ongoing medications and history of an allergic reaction to anesthesia to avoid complications during the procedure 
  • Discuss your history of chronic medical condition(s) and surgical procedures with the doctor
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcohol a week before the surgery as they can increase the recovery time
  • Inform your doctor in case you have a history of bleeding disorders
  • Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes which do not put pressure on the surgical site
  • Take antibiotics or prescribed medications prior to the surgery as directed by the doctor

What Happens During The Thyroidectomy Surgery?

Thyroidectomy surgery involves the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. The procedure is typically performed under general anaesthesia. After the patient is sedated, the surgeon makes a small incision in the neck to access the thyroid gland. After the gland is removed, the surgeon may use stitches, staples, or surgical glue to close the incision. 

Thyroidectomy can be performed through several techniques, depending on the size and location of the thyroid gland and the underlying condition that necessitates surgery. The surgeon determines the most effective type of thyroidectomy based on the individual’s condition and medical history. Here are common thyroidectomy types -

  • Open Thyroidectomy - In this procedure, the surgeon makes a horizontal incision in the neck, below the thyroid gland, and removes the gland through the incision. The incision is then closed with stitches or staples.
  • Endoscopic Thyroidectomy - This technique involves making small incisions in the neck and using a tiny camera and specialized instruments to remove the thyroid gland. The procedure is less invasive than the conventional approach, and recovery time is typically faster.
  • Robotic Thyroidectomy - In this procedure, the surgeon uses a robotic arm to control specialized instruments to remove the thyroid gland. The robotic arm provides better precision and control during the procedure.
  • Transoral Thyroidectomy - This is a newer technique that involves making a small incision in the mouth and removing the thyroid gland through the mouth. The procedure is less invasive and leaves no visible scar on the neck.

Recovering After Thyroidectomy Procedure:

After the procedure, the patient is taken to the recovery room where the medical staff checks the vitals and monitors recovery. Recovery after thyroidectomy depends on the type of surgery performed and the extent of the procedure. Generally, recovery from a thyroidectomy takes several weeks, during which time patients may experience discomfort and fatigue. Here are some things to expect during the recovery period - 

  • Pain and Discomfort: Patients may experience some pain and discomfort in the neck area for several days after surgery. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage this.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising around the incision site are common and may take a few days to subside.
  • Voice Changes: Some patients may experience hoarseness or changes in their voice, which usually resolves in a few days to weeks.
  • Thyroid Hormone Replacement: If the entire thyroid gland is removed, thyroid hormone replacement medication will be needed for life.
  • Rest and Recovery: Patients are advised to rest for the first few days after surgery and avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least two weeks.
  • Follow-up Care: Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon are necessary to monitor the healing process and ensure proper recovery

Why Choose CMRI for Thyroidectomy Surgery in Kolkata?

The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is one of the largest multispecialty hospitals in Kolkata. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology which has revolutionized the healthcare industry for the best surgical outcomes. 

In addition, our hospital has several eminent specialists, surgeons and healthcare providers of national and international repute for comprehensive and personalised treatment. CMRI provides patient-centric care and empathy from internationally trained nurses to ensure holistic care for patients seeking effective thyroidectomy surgery. Here are a few advantages of choosing CMRI for your thyroidectomy - 

  • Highly qualified and experienced surgeons
  • 440-bed capacity along with cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Hygienic and patient-friendly infrastructure
  • Screening and diagnosis
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Complete and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers.


What to do after thyroidectomy?

Here are some post-operative tips which can help you recover after your thyroidectomy - 

  • Take adequate rest
  • Engage ins minimal physical activity like walks
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity and lifting heavy objects for 3 weeks after surgery
  • Do not over-extend your neck backwards for 2 weeks after surgery

How long does a thyroidectomy take?

Thyroidectomy usually takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the severity of the condition and the type of thyroidectomy. The OT time can vary depending on the expertise of the surgeon and the medical health of the patient.

What are the different types of thyroidectomy procedures?

There are three major types of thyroidectomy which include - 

  • Lobectomy or partial thyroidectomy
  • Subtotal or near-total thyroidectomy
  • Total or completion thyroidectomy

How to sleep comfortably after thyroidectomy?

You must sleep in Fowler's position which is sleeping on your back with your head inclined at 45 degrees after the surgery for a comfortable sleep.

What are the complications of the thyroidectomy procedure?

Possible complications of thyroidectomy include - 

  • Abnormal bleeding after the surgery
  • Injury to a recurrent laryngeal nerve
  • Damage to your parathyroid glands
  • Reaction to anaesthesia
  • Infection at the surgical site

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