Centres of Excellence -> Endocrinology and Diabetes -> Surgery of the thyroid gland

Surgery of the thyroid gland

Surgery of the thyroid gland is a surgical method of treating various thyroid diseases when all conservative treatment methods have been exhausted or when the nature of the disease itself requires a surgical principle of action. Operative treatment is carried out by making a small skin incision of about 5 cm in size in the front neck region, at the level of the thyroid gland. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and its length usually depends on the disease for which the operation is indicated (from 30 minutes to 2 hours). The postoperative stay in the hospital lasts 1 - 2 days.

What are the most common indications for surgery of the thyroid gland?

The most common indications for surgery of the thyroid gland are malignant thyroid tumors (thyroid cancer), large nodules that create a significant cosmetic defect, exert pressure on surrounding structures or interfere with head movements and swallowing, cystic changes in the thyroid gland and Basedow-Graves disease. In case of removal of the entire thyroid gland, lifelong thyroid hormone replacement treatment is carried out. If only one lobe of the thyroid gland is removed, lifelong hormone replacement treatment is also necessary in a significant number of patients, since the last lobe of the thyroid gland is not able to fully compensate for its function as it was before the operation.  Periodic control of TSH and T4 is also carried out postoperatively. During the operation, special care must be taken to preserve the parathyroid glands that regulate calcium metabolism and nerve structures, such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve that enables the proper function of the vocal cords.

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