Removal of the thyroid gland

The thyroid is a gland with two lobes joined by an isthmus located in the neck, in front of the trachea, and with a secretion that is discharged into the blood (for this reason it is called endocrine secretion).

Pathologies of the thyroid gland

When the gland abnormally increases the production of thyroid hormone, it affects the entire metabolism and cardiac function. This is called hyperthyroidism. All body functions can be altered: high blood pressure, tachycardia, weight loss, exophthalmos (the eyes “bulge out of their sockets”), diarrhea, nervousness…

In the opposite case, in the decrease or absence of thyroid hormone production, all bodily functions slow down, with a tendency to increase body weight. This is called hypothyroidism.

The specialists in General Surgery explain that the excessive enlargement of the gland can cause tracheal compression, causing the patient to have a sensation of “choking”, especially at night.

Removal of the thyroid gland

The removal of the thyroid gland can be partial or total, and should be performed mainly in four circumstances:

  • When malignancy (cancer) is present or suspected. In these cases, and depending on the type of cancer, it may be necessary to perform a lymphadenectomy, that is, to remove the lymph nodes through which the tumor spreads.
  • When there is hyperthyroidism, i.e. an excess production of thyroid hormone, which can damage cardiac function. When it is resistant to medical treatment (conservative) it must be treated surgically.
  • When the growth is of such caliber that it causes compression of the trachea, esophagus or foreign body sensation in the neck. In these cases the surgery “decompresses” the structures of the neck that are deviated or compressed by the thyroid enlargement.
  • For aesthetic reasons, when the thyroid grows in such a way that, although it does not compress the viscera of the neck, it represents an aesthetic disturbance in the patient.