Thyroid Surgery

The thyroid gland is situated below the larynx (voice box). It is composed of a right and a left lobe joined around the front of the trachea by a part of the gland called the isthmus. Thyroid surgery is performed for both benign and malignant disease.

Indications for operation on the thyroid in the benign setting include surgery for obstructive neck symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, changes in voice or in extreme settings, difficulty breathing, as a result of thyroid enlargement. The cause of thyroid enlargement in this scenario is commonly due to a multinodular goitre (benign, lumpy enlargement of the gland). Surgery may be performed for other benign problems such as undiagnosed dominant nodules, overactive thyroid function or other inflammatory conditions of the thyroid. Either half or the entire gland may be removed, depending on the individual situation.

In the malignant setting, usually the entire gland is removed. Depending on the type of cancer involved, selective lymph node dissection may also be performed.

Surgery to the thyroid gland is performed through a skin crease incision at the base of the neck. Although the incision is in a very visual area, often the final result will be very cosmetically acceptable.

Apart from the general risks associated with most surgeries, more specific risks of thyroid surgery include injury to nerves such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve, resulting in a husky voice or other voice changes or the glands controlling calcium metabolism (parathyroid glands) can sometimes be affected, resulting in a temporary or permanent drop in calcium levels which require supplementation. Drains are commonly used post-operatively for one or two nights prior to patient discharge.

© Copyright 2013 Dr de Viana -, All Rights Reserved
DISCLAIMER: This website is presented with the sole intention of introducing you to Dr Daniel de Viana and his Gold Coast private practice. It should never be substituted for a personal consultation with qualified medical personnel. No information contained within this website should be used for personal diagnosis, or as a recommended treatment plan. Any person with a health concern should seek personal assessment and advice from their general practitioner without delay. Persons with interest in cosmetic surgery procedures should also seek personal professional guidance from a qualified medical practitioner on appropriate management of their concerns. If you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr Daniel de Viana, please contact his friendly staff on telephone 07 5532 3455.