Thyroidectomy

This surgery refers to the mainstay of treatment in nearly all cases of thyroid cancer, with the exception of some anaplastic thyroid cancers. If thyroid cancer is diagnosed with a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy, surgery is usually recommended to remove the tumour and all or part of the remaining thyroid gland.

Thyroidectomy

In this surgery, the thyroid gland is removed. This surgery is most common for thyroid cancer. Like a lobectomy, this procedure is usually done through an incision several inches in diameter at the front of the neck. After the surgery, there will be a small scar on the front of your neck, but this scar will become less noticeable over time.

If the entire thyroid gland is removed, the surgery is called a total thyroidectomy. Sometimes the surgeon may not be able to completely remove the thyroid. If almost all of the thyroid is removed, the operation is called a near-total thyroidectomy.

When Is Thyroidectomy Indicated?

Thyroidectomy is indicated for both benign and malignant processes. Among the benign processes, cases of patients with symptomatic goitre stand out. Another indication for thyroidectomy in cases of goitre is the aesthetic component. Because a large mass in the anterior part of the neck can become very noticeable. Finally, another indication for thyroidectomy is pathologies resistant to medical treatment, such as Graves' Disease or Hyperthyroidism. Surgical treatment in cases of thyroid cancer will depend on the histological diagnosis prior to surgery, which is normally performed with fine needle aspiration.

How Is Thyroidectomy Performed?

Both hemithyroidectomy and total thyroidectomy are operations performed under general anaesthesia. Today, this surgery can be performed with an open approach with a small incision in the anterior part of the neck or with a minimally invasive approach with endoscopic surgery and robot-assisted surgery.

In this case, the cloth is removed with an incision made under the armpit or with an incision made at the top of the neck where the wound can be camouflaged much better. In all cases, the goal will be to remove the gland from its bed, to control bleeding, and to preserve the function of the parathyroid glands. They are located posteriorly and in close association with the thyroid gland, and their main function is to regulate calcium metabolism.

Finally, it will be necessary to identify and preserve the integrity of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which is located on the posterior surface of the thyroid gland and whose function is to innervate the intrinsic musculature of the larynx.