Thyroid surgery is performed for several reasons and can include symptomatic thyroid nodules, recurrent thyroid cysts, goiter, Graves' disease, and to rule out or treat thyroid cancer. The purpose of thyroid surgery is to remove part or all of the thyroid gland.
When is Thyroid Surgery Needed?
- Thyroid cancer or possibility of cancer: Cancer is the most common reason for thyroid surgery. If you have thyroid cancer, removing part or the entire thyroid may be be a treatment option.
- Noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter): If you have a large goiter that is uncomfortable or causes difficulty breathing or swallowing or, in some cases, if the goiter is causing hyperthyroidism.
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism): Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
How to Prepare for Thyroid Gland Surgery
If you have hyperthyroidism, your doctor may prescribe medication, and an iodine or potassium solution to regulate your thyroid function.