Thyroid gland removal is surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located inside the front of the lower neck.
Total thyroidectomy; Partial thyroidectomy; Thyroidectomy; Subtotal thyroidectomy; Thyroid cancer - thyroidectomy; Papillary cancer - thyroidectomy; Goiter - thyroidectomy; Thyroid nodules - thyroidectomy
Depending on the reason you are having your thyroid gland removed, the type of thyroidectomy you have will be either a:
- Total thyroidectomy, which removes the entire gland
- Subtotal or partial thyroidectomy, which removes part of the thyroid gland
You will have general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free) for this surgery. In rare cases, the surgery is done with local anesthesia and medicine to relax you. You will be awake, but pain-free.
During the surgery:
- The surgeon makes a 3- to 4-inch (7.5 to 10 centimeters) cut in the middle of your neck, right on top of the thyroid gland. Or, the surgeon makes a smaller cut less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) long.
- All or part of the gland is removed through the cut.
- The surgeon is careful not to damage the blood vessels and nerves in your neck.
- A small tube (catheter) may be placed into the area to help drain blood and other fluids that build up. The drain will be removed in 1 or 2 days.
- The cuts are closed with sutures (stitches).
Surgery to remove your whole thyroid may take up to 4 hours. It may take less time if only part of the thyroid is removed.