Thyroid Gland Removal
When certain conditions interfere with normal thyroid production, surgical removal of the thyroid gland is performed. This is usually done when thyroid cancer has been detected, an otherwise benign thyroid nodule grows so large it causes problems, or when Graves’ disease (a disorder in which excess thyroid hormone is produced) does not respond to treatment with medications or radioactive iodine, though this is rare.
Thyroid surgery is known as a thyroidectomy. Two types of procedures are performed: a total thyroidectomy to remove the entire gland or a subtotal thyroidectomy, which removes part of the gland.
Complications of Thyroid Surgery
Overall, thyroid surgery is safe, but may have complications that include:
- injury to the nerves controlling the vocal cords, which could cause hoarseness and /or problems swallowing or breathing
- injury to the parathyroid glands which could result in production of too little parathyroid hormone and subsequent low blood calcium levels and
- the usual risks associated with surgery such as bleeding and infection.
Call Comprehensive ENT at (804) 228-4480 for more information or to schedule an appointment.