Welcome to the comprehensive medical library of Anniston General Surgery Center. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any condition or treatment, please contact Anniston General Surgery Center. To schedule an appointment please call 256-Anniston General Surgery Center (240-9660) or use our online Request an Appointment form.

Anniston General Surgery Center - Health Education Library

Welcome to the comprehensive medical library of Anniston General Surgery Center. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any condition or treatment, please contact Anniston General Surgery Center. To schedule an appointment please call 256-Anniston General Surgery Center (240-9660) or use our online Request an Appointment form.

Thyroid SurgeryCirug­a de la tiroides

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The incision is made at the base of your neck.
Thyroid Surgery

Surgery can be done to remove a very large goiter or nodule, a hyperthyroid gland that can't be controlled with medications, or a thyroid gland that may be cancerous.

Preparing for Surgery

Ask your surgeon whether you need to stop taking aspirin, other medications, supplements, or herbal remedies before your procedure. Unless instructed otherwise, don't eat or drink anything for 12 hours before the procedure. You'll probably be admitted to the hospital or surgery center on the day of surgery. You usually need to be monitored after surgery, so prepare to spend one or more days in the hospital.

The Surgical Procedure

During the procedure, an intravenous (IV) line provides you with fluids and medications. You'll be given general anesthesia, so you'll be asleep during the procedure. An incision is made in your neck, along a crease in your skin. The surgeon may remove one half of the thyroid gland (lobectomy), most of the gland (subtotal thyroidectomy), or the entire gland (total thyroidectomy). Sometimes, the decision about how much of the thyroid to remove can't be made until the surgeon makes the incision and can see the area around the thyroid. Once the procedure is completed, the incision is closed with surgical strips, surgical clips, or sutures. Occasionally, a drain may be left in the incision to remove fluid that can build up.

Risks and Complications

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Damage to nerves in your voice box leading to temporary or permanent hoarseness

  • Permanent damage to the parathyroid glands, making them underactive (hypoparathyroidism). Because these glands control the amount of calcium in your bloodstream, permanent calcium supplements may then be necessary.

After the Procedure

You can usually begin to eat and drink normally the evening after the procedure, but you may still be a little queasy from the anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has worn off and you're feeling up to it, you'll be able to get up and walk around. You may be given oral medication for pain the first day or so, but discomfort is usually minimal. A sore throat and hoarseness are common and may last for a week or so after surgery. During your hospital stay, you'll be monitored for bleeding and to make sure your parathyroid glands are working normally. The stress of surgery may stun these glands for a short time, so you may be given calcium supplements for a few days.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00