Thyroid Problems And Operative Treatment


Thyroid Problems and Operative Treatment

Thyroidectomy is the removal of the thyroid gland,Thyroid Rescue 911either a total thyroidectomy or partial removal, called a sub-total thyroidectomy, hemithyroidectomy or lobectomy. There are several reasons for removing all or part of the thyroid gland. Overactivity of the thyroid gland is the main reason, known as hyperthyroidism or Graves' disease or when goitre occurs with an enlarged thyroid. Goiters are removed either because they are causing pressure on the windpipe or gullet, are causing breathing or swallowing problems or they may look unsightly.

Thyroidectomy will be carried out under a general anaesthetic which means the patient is unconscious during the whole operation. An incision will be made in the neck, often made in the natural skin crease just above the top of the breastbone and always made symmetrically. This helps the incision to heal, leaving a scar which is usually inconspicuous and may become virtually invisible in time. The surgeon may leave a small drain tube in the neck to collect wound fluid and help speed up the healing process, removing it on the first or second day after operation. The stay in hospital will usually be two to four days.

Patients should refrain from eating for six hours before the operation and take clear fluids only up to two hours before the event. A venflon will be placed in the arm and through this the anaesthetic is given to last for the hour or two the operation will take. Some surgeons put stitches under the skin so removal is not necessary, others may use clips or stitches in the skin which are taken out after a few days. Two to four days is the typical hospital stay but this is dependent on how well people are, and on discharge they should be collected by a relative. The level of pain after thyroidectomy varies and typically patients have some around the neck.

It is uncommon to get a wound infection and patients should monitor the wound to check it does not become sore and red, in which case antibiotics will be used. Rarely the wound needs to be re-explored to release pus. There is a one in fifty chance of bleeding occurring into the wound and the hematoma has to be explored and removed in rare cases. It is common to have wound swelling and bruising which is caused by the bleeding under the wound and later by scarring.


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