Thyroid Removal Surgery: Side Effects of Surgically Removing Thyroid

Thyroid removal surgery is medically known as ‘thyroidectomy.’ This surgical procedure covers two types of process:

  • Total thyroidectomy , which pertains to the removal of the entire thyroid gland; and
  • Partial thyroidectomy, which pertains to the removal of a part of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating metabolism in the body as it produces and stores hormones that modulate heart rate, blood pressure, and the conversion of food into energy. The thyroid gland is located in the neck, within the windpipe.

Thyroidectomy is performed only on the following circumstances:

  • The patient has thyroid cancer;
  • The patient has a bothersome, benign nodule that is bog enough to make breathing or swallowing difficult or impossible; and
  • The patient suffers from a recurring presence of a cystic or fluid-filled nodule.

How Long is Thyroid Removal Surgery?

The whole procedure may last between 90 minutes to four hours, depending upon the type of surgery or the severity of the condition.

Also read about Effects of Low Production of Thyroid

Thyroid Removal Surgery Recovery

After undergoing thyroidectomy, patients are instructed by doctors to take a complete bed rest, and to spend one whole day at the hospital so they could be monitored for bleeding or breathing difficulty. Once the patient gets home, his or her mobility, diet and medications must be handled with utmost care. Recovery for thyroidectomy patients require a long period of recovery time, depending on the severity of the condition. During this phase, patients are usually advised to take calcium supplements to strengthen the body.

Thyroid Removal Surgery Side Effects

Patients may experience the following side effects after undergoing thyroidectomy:

  • The voice gets hoarse or undergoes dramatic change, as the nerves controlling the voice may be damaged during surgery. This is prevalent in cases of total thyroidectomy.
  • Development of hypoparathyroidism, as parathyroid glands may have been erroneously incised or damaged during the surgery. This is prevalent in cases of total thyroidectomy.
  • Development of hypothyroidism, a condition wherein the thyroid gland no longer produces enough hormones.

See more on Thyroidectomy Recovery

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