Thyroid Surgery

A THYROIDECTOMY, the surgical procedure to remove the thyroid gland, is performed through a curved incision measuring 5 - 8 cm in the lower central neck. It is one of the safest operations performed today, and is the most common procedure we perform here at the Thyroid Head & Neck Surgery Centre.

The main concern with thyroid surgery is the risk voice damage from injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, an important nerve that supplies the voice box and runs just behind the thyroid gland. This risk is exceedingly low, less than 1%, when surgery is performed by an experienced thyroid surgeon.

The other important risk is damage to the parathyroid glands, four small glands that sit behind the thyroid that are responsible for regulation of blood calcium levels. The risk of permanent damage to the parathyroid glands is also very low at 1 – 2%.

Recovery from thyroid surgery is very quick; most patients are discharged from hospital after an overnight stay with a normal voice, normal swallowing and regular diet, minimal postoperative pain and complete independent mobility.

In the majority of patients the lower neck incision heals very well as an inconspicuous skin crease in three to six months.

For Robotic Thyroidectomy (see ROBOTIC SURGERY)

The Thyroid Head & Neck Surgery Centre