The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and is located over the windpipe (or trachea) in the front, lower part of the neck. It has two parts (right and left) connected in the middle of the neck by a region of the thyroid known as the isthmus. The thyroid gland produces a hormone that is important for metabolism and regulates a number of bodily functions.
Depending on the indications for thyroid surgery, one half or the entire thyroid gland may need to be removed. If the whole thyroid gland is removed, after surgery you will need to take regular medication in the form of thyroid hormone replacement.
Thyroid surgery may be required for a number of reasons, such as when:
- biopsy of a thyroid gland lump has identified abnormal or cancer cells,
- the thyroid gland is enlarged (i.e. goitre) and causing pressure symptoms
- such as choking and difficulty swallowing, or there are cosmetic concerns,
- the thyroid gland is overactive (i.e. producing too much thyroid hormone),
A consultation with your GP and endocrinologist at New Victoria Hospital will decide whether surgery is the definitive treatment for this condition.