Thyroidectomy Surgery in India ---an overview
Thyroidectomy is a surgery that involves the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. Thyroid is an H-shaped gland located in the neck and produces several hormones such as thyroxin, triidothyronine, calcitonin, etc. that regulates metabolism and other important functions of the human body. Thyroidectomy is advised when one of the following conditions is found in a person;
Non-cancerous enlargement or nodule
Candidates for Thyroidectomy Surgery:
Thyroidectomy may be recommended for any of the following:
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) after failure of medications
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) with enlargement of the gland
Cancer of the thyroid
Noncancerous thyroid nodules that cause breathing or swallowing problems
Preparation for Thyroidectomy Surgery:
Prior to any surgery, your doctor will give you a complete medical examination and evaluate your overall health and your health history. You may be required to get additional tests such as X-rays and lab tests. Your doctor will also review with you the potential risks and benefits of the operation and will ask you to sign a consent form. It is important that you ask questions and be sure you understand the reason for the surgery as well as the risks. It is important that you inform your doctor if you have allergies to any medications, what medications you are taking, and if you have bleeding problems. It is also important to inform your doctor if you are pregnant. Your doctor will also give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.
Thyroidectomy Surgery Procedure:
Before a thyroidectomy is performed, a variety of tests and studies are usually required to determine the nature of the thyroid disease. These include Blood test (to determine the levels of active thyroid hormone), Sonograms and computed tomography scans (to determine the size of the thyroid gland and location of abnormalities), A thyroid nuclear medicine scan (to assesses the function of the gland), A needle biopsy may also be done. In most cases, the surgery takes a maximum of two hours.
Partial Thyroidectomy takes somewhere around 45 minutes to an hour and Total Thyroidectomy may take an hour and a half or two hours.
Surgery may be inpatient or outpatient, depends on the condition of the patient. It is performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia. Thyroidectomy is performed either by a general surgeon or an otolaryngologist. The surgeon makes an incision in the front of the neck and ensures that the parathyroid glands and the recurrent laryngeal nerves are not injured. The blood supply to the portion of the thyroid gland that is to be removed is clamped off. Then all or part of the gland is removed. A drain which is a soft plastic tube that drains fluid out of the area may be placed before the incision is closed. The incision is closed either with sutures or metal clips. A dressing is placed over the incision and the drain, if one is used.
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