Frequently Asked Questions
What is Thyroid Surgery?
Thyroid Surgery or Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove the thyroid gland either partially or completely. This surgery helps to reduce symptoms such as anxiety, increased or decreased heart rate, weight loss, lump or growth in the neck region, etc.
Based on the extent of the thyroid gland to be removed, the surgeries can be classified into:
- Thyroid lobectomy
- Total or near-total Thyroidectomy
- Completion Thyroidectomy
The doctor can use different techniques for the surgery, they are as follows:
- Conventional Thyroidectomy: An incision is made near the lower region of the neck and partial or complete thyroid is removed.
- Transoral Thyroidectomy: The thyroid gland is removed through incision done inside the mouth.
- Endoscopic Thyroidectomy: The thyroid gland is removed with the help of an endoscope inserted through the neck or axilla (underarm).
What are the advantages of Thyroid Surgery?
The advantages of Thyroid Surgery are as follows:
- It helps in reducing the symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Decreases the risk of recurrence of malignant lumps or tumors of the thyroid
What are the indications for Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the indications for Thyroid Surgery:
- Individuals with papillary or medullary thyroid carcinoma
- People who are suffering from hyperthyroidism
- Graves’ disease
What is the preparation for Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the steps to prepare before the surgery:
- You may be asked about your present and past medical history and medication history.
- The doctor may ask you to undergo different lab tests before the surgery.
- Inform your doctor if you are using any blood thinners or pain killers.
- You may be having some imaging tests to see the condition of the thyroid gland.
- You may be advised to stop eating and drinking before 6 hours of the surgery.
- Inform your doctor if you are allergic to anesthesia or to any known contrast dye.
- Discuss all the risks, complications, and benefits associated with thyroid surgery with your Surgeon.
- You may be asked to sign a consent form before undergoing this procedure.
What are the steps involved in Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the steps involved in Thyroid Surgery:
- Anesthesia will be given to avoid pain during the surgery.
- The surgeon will make an incision at the lower or center of the neck.
- Through the incision, the surgeon carefully examines the thyroid gland and surrounding structures such as laryngeal nerves, parathyroid glands, etc.
- Based on the diagnosis, the surgeon can opt between either partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland.
- Once the gland is removed, the bleeding is controlled and the incision is closed with sutures and bandage and shifted to ICU for monitoring.
- The surgeon may add a small drain at the site of surgery to drain excess blood and fluid to help in the healing process which will be removed later during followups.
What is the postprocedure care/ recovery care for Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the post-care steps for Thyroid Surgery:
- After completion of the procedure, the patient may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two.
- The patient will be given some painkillers to ease the pain.
- If bleeding is seen at the site of incision, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- The patient may experience temporary throat irritation or a hoarse voice.
- If the whole thyroid gland is removed, the doctor may prescribe thyroid supplements, which may need to use for a lifetime after the surgery.
- In the case of partial thyroidectomy, the patient may not be recommended thyroid supplements.
- If thyroid surgery is done for treating cancer, the doctor may begin the cancer treatment soon after surgery.
Who can perform Thyroid Surgery [Right specialist for thyroid surgery]?
Thyroid Surgery can be performed by a certified and skilled ENT (Otolaryngologist) surgeon or a General Surgeon.
What is the cost of Thyroid Surgery in Bangalore?
The cost of Thyroid Surgery may vary according to the following factors:
- Admission fee
- Doctor fee
- Age of the patient
- Type of surgery planned to be performed.
- The medical condition of the patient
- Post-surgical complications that are involved
- Admission room that you opted for
- Any other lab tests or examination tests such as X-ray, ECG, etc
Minimum amount to be paid in Chennai starts from Rs.88,350
Average charges in Chennai is approximately Rs.1,71,000
Maximum cost in Chennai rises up to Rs.2,56,500
Is Thyroid Surgery a major surgery or minor surgery?
Thyroid Surgery is major surgery as it involves the removal of the thyroid gland.
What is the eligibility criteria for Thyroid Surgery?
People who can undergo Thyroid Surgery are as follows:
- Enlarged thyroid because of iodine deficiency, etc
- Difficulty in swallowing solid or liquid food
- Excess production of thyroid hormone due to the growth of tumors or goiter
- Individuals with anxiety, weight loss, insomnia associated with hyperthyroidism
- Suspected cancerous or non-cancerous nodules/ lumps in the thyroid
What is the ineligibility criteria for Thyroid Surgery?
People who cannot undergo Thyroid Surgery are:
- People with an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism.
- Individual of old age, weak or anemic individuals who are not fit enough for surgery.
- People who have recently undergone major surgeries.
What are the risks and complications associated with Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the risks or complications associated with Thyroid Surgery:
- Permanent hoarse or weak voice
- Respiratory infections
- Obstruction due to bleeding
- Decreased blood calcium levels (Hypocalcemia)
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
How long does it take to complete Thyroid Surgery?
Thyroid Surgery may take almost 3 - 6 hours to complete and sometimes it may take more than the usual time depending on the condition of the patient.
What is the recovery time?
The recovery time for Thyroid Surgery may vary according to the:
- Patient's health condition
- Patient's age
However, the recovery time for Thyroid Surgery is approximately 10 days - 2 weeks.
What is the success rate of Thyroid Surgery?
The success rate of Thyroid Surgery depends on the following factors:
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Type of surgery or procedure performed
- Experience of the doctor.
However, the success rate of Thyroid Surgery maybe 96%.
Is Thyroid Surgery painful?
Every surgery comes with a certain level of pain and discomfort. You won't be experiencing pain during this surgery because you will be under anesthesia.
Is Thyroid Surgery permanent?
Thyroid Surgery is a permanent surgery as it involves the removal of the partial or whole thyroid gland.
What are the long-term results of Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the long term results of Thyroid Surgery:
- Stable thyroid hormone levels
- Treatment for symptoms associated with increased levels of thyroid hormone
Can Thyroid Surgery be detected in the future?
Thyroid Surgery can be detected in the future with the help of imaging or screening tests. The person who has undergone thyroid surgery may have a visual scar at the site of surgery.
What are the alternatives for Thyroid Surgery?
The following are the alternatives for Thyroid Surgery:
Medicines - To control the production of thyroid hormone and reduce the symptoms associated with hyperthyroid
RAI Ablation (Radioactive iodine ablation)- Use of radioactive iodine to destroy the thyroid gland
What are the options if Thyroid Surgery fails?
If Thyroid Surgery fails, then the doctor may recommend revision surgery.