What is a Thyroidectomy?
The thyroid is an endocrine gland which produces hormones controlling different bodies’ functions.
To some extent it can be compared to the body’s general thermostat:
- When over performing, it triggers pulse acceleration, bowel movement acceleration, weight loss, excitation and aggressiveness.
- When Under performing, it triggers pulse slowdown, constipation, weight increase, Memory troubles and dépression signs.
The thyroid gland can suffer from minor disease or cancer.
- Up to 10% of people may suffer from a minor thyroid disease (goitre, nodule, hypo or hyperthyroidism)
- Cancer represents 10 to 12 % of thyroid’s tumour, which explains complete screening prior of deciding for a surgery. Prognostic is very good in more than 90% of cases.
The surgery called “thyroidectomy” is performed under general anaesthesia. It consists in removing part or all of the thyroid gland. Incision is done in the neck’s fold to hide the scar as much as possible.
If a cancer is suspected, an anatomo-pathologist doctor present during surgery will perform an immediate preliminary analysis of the removed nodule which will help the surgeon decide if a total gland removal is required, reducing the risk to have to perform another surgery later on.
If it only is a toxic nodule (e.g. which over produces hormones), only half of thyroid removal will be necessary.