Thyroid surgery is a fairly standard procedure. However, it does come with some risks.
If you’re considering thyroid surgery, it’s essential to understand these risks before proceeding. It is especially true if you’re concerned about the possibility of infection. To avoid infection, you can do a few things before your surgery.
Schedule Your Appointment
Each surgery experience is unique, but some general guidelines can help you prepare for thyroid surgery Miami FL. The first thing to do is schedule an appointment at a pre-assessment clinic, usually up to 2 weeks before your operation.
During the pre-assessment clinic, your surgeon and specialist nurse will go through all the details of your operation with you. It’s a good idea to bring someone with you so they can ask any questions you might have.
Thyroid surgeries typically involve removing part or all of the thyroid gland, depending on your condition. If your surgeon removes the whole thyroid, you must take a hormone replacement pill for life. The medication regulates your metabolism and helps maintain healthy blood calcium levels.
Get Your Tests Done
You’ll be given blood tests and a thyroid scan or ultrasound during the appointment. These will check your thyroid function and help determine whether or not you need surgery.
Your thyroid gland secretes hormones that regulate protein synthesis and how your body uses energy. The rust-colored organ is made of butterfly wing-shaped lobes and sits at the base of your neck.
A thyroid cancer diagnosis is often made through a blood test called Thyroglobulin. After thyroid cancer surgery, with or without radioactive iodine treatment, the level of this protein should drop to zero or undetectable.
Benign thyroid nodules observed on blood tests may be celebrated instead of treated, provided they’re not overactive (causing hyperthyroidism), growing or progressing, or causing symptoms like a goiter that extends into the chest or pushes the windpipe or swallowing tube. Your surgeon should be familiar with published guidelines for observing benign nodules.
Fast for 12 Hours
Thyroid surgery is often the only treatment option for people with Graves disease or a thyroid nodule or cyst that looks cancerous (or has a high risk of cancer). It’s also a standard procedure for people with thyroid cancer.
The procedure is called a thyroidectomy, and it removes all or part of your thyroid gland, depending on the reason for the operation. The surgeon makes a small cut in your neck and eliminates the gland through that cut.
You may have a drain in your neck after the surgery. That’s used to help control bleeding. You might also have a blood pressure cuff on your arm and heart-monitoring leads attached to your chest. The doctor will place these monitors during your thyroid surgery to track your heart rate and blood pressure.
Take Your Medication
If you have a thyroid tumor, you may need to stay in the hospital for one or more nights. The endocrine team will evaluate you before surgery and ensure your heart can handle the anesthesia.
A small needle will be inserted into your neck nodule for a tissue biopsy. A syringe will gently suction out a small nodule sample, which will be tested for cancer or other causes of your problems.
Mild, temporary hoarseness is common after thyroid surgery. It usually resolves within a few days.
If your surgeon removes part of your thyroid, you may need to take lifelong hormone replacement pills. You will need to have your hormone levels checked regularly. You can get thyroid hormone replacement from a drug or an injection.
Talk to Your Surgeon
The surgeon will advise you whether you need to stop certain medications. You will also be told when to arrive at the day surgery department. Generally, you should be ready to go two hours before your operation.
If your thyroid is enlarged and causing symptoms (hyperthyroidism from Graves disease or toxic multinodular goiter), it may need to be removed entirely in a thyroidectomy procedure. The parathyroid glands that control the level of calcium in the body are not usually affected by this type of surgery.
Some patients experience changes in their voice or hoarseness after thyroid surgery, often caused by damage to the nerves that control the vocal cords. These are known as the recurrent laryngeal nerves, and they must be identified and spared in every thyroid surgery.