Thyroidectomy Surgery and Its Potential Complications

Thyroidectomy Surgery
and Health

What is Thyroidectomy?

Thyroidectomy is a surgery that removes all or part of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ in the neck that produces hormones that regulate growth and metabolism.

Why is Thyroidectomy Surgery Needed?

A thyroidectomy may be performed to remove all or part of an enlarged thyroid gland, to remove cancerous tissue, or to reduce the production of thyroid hormones.

Types of Thyroidectomy

There are several types of thyroidectomy, including:

  • Subtotal thyroidectomy: removes part of the thyroid gland
  • Total thyroidectomy: removes all of the thyroid gland
  • Lobectomy: removes one lobe of the thyroid gland
  • Near-total thyroidectomy: removes all of the thyroid gland but a small portion of the isthmus
  • Isthmusectomy: removes only the isthmus

Potential Complications

The potential complications and health risks associated with thyroidectomy include:

  • Thyroid Storm: This is a life-threatening condition caused by excessive release of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland that can occur after thyroidectomy.
  • Injury to the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve: This is a nerve that runs throughout the neck and is responsible for controlling the vocal cords. Injury to this nerve can impair speech or cause hoarseness.
  • Damage to the Parathyroid Glands: These glands control the body’s calcium levels and if damaged can lead to hypocalcemia.
  • Hematoma or seroma: Hematoma occurs when blood collects near the site of the surgery, while seroma is a swelling from fluid accumulation.
  • Infection: This may occur during or after the procedure.

Potential Benefits of Thyroidectomy

Thyroidectomy can have potential benefits, such as:

  • Reducing symptoms associated with an enlarged thyroid (goiter), such as difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Reducing symptoms associated with thyroid cancer, such as pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Removing potentially cancerous cells to reduce the risk of developing thyroid cancer in the future.
  • Preventing hyperthyroidism (over-production of thyroid hormones).
  • Improving abnormal heart rhythm caused by an overactive thyroid.


Thyroidectomy can be an effective treatment for some cases of thyroid enlargement, cancer, and over-production of thyroid hormones. However, it is important to be aware of the potential complications and speak to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits associated with this procedure.

Keywords: thyroidectomy, thyroid, surgery, thyroid gland, hormones, subtotal thyroidectomy, total thyroidectomy, lobectomy, near-total thyroidectomy, potential complications, health risks, thyroid storm, recurrent laryngeal nerve, parathyroid glands, hematoma, seroma, infection, benefits, enlarged thyroid, thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, abnormal heart rhythm.

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