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When Should You Have a Thyroidectomy?

Thyroidectomy is a surgery to remove a portion of the thyroid or the entire thyroid organ. This procedure is performed on patients who have thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, goiter, or sometimes hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are lumps inside the thyroid gland. Most nodules are non-cancerous and not considered a serious threat. However, some nodules can grow large enough to be visible or cause other symptoms, such as issues swallowing or lumps in the throat. If they are large enough, they can also cause issues with breathing. Most nodules will never develop into cancerous masses, but occasionally they can – at that time, a thorough workup and biopsy will be needed.

Thyroid Goiter

A goiter is the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. With a goiter, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with thyroid function. A goiter occurs when the gland produces too much of a particular hormone. Goiters are an indication of a condition, but most often can be treated without surgery.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a disease where malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the gland. This type of cancer can be differentiated (slow or aggressive) or Medullary (developing in the C cells and affects calcium levels). Knowing the risk factors of Thyroid Cancer will also help your ENT specialist diagnose your issues or symptoms. Risk factors include: being female between 25-65 years old, having Asian descent or ancestry, genetic conditions, or family history of thyroid issues or cancer.

Hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease)

When the thyroid gland inappropriately makes more hormone than it needs to, many will experience symptoms such as heart palpitations, nervousness and/or irritability, trouble sleeping and muscle weakness. This is condition is called hyperthyroidism. Treatment for this condition begins with thyroid medications; however, certain patients do not respond well to the medications and will have to consider a thyroidectomy.

If you are experiencing multiple symptoms above or have a family history, come see one of our ENT specialists. We will do a thorough examination to determine a diagnosis and to prescribe a personalized treatment if necessary. Contact us today: (770) 237-3000.

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