When faced with a thyroid condition, thyroidectomy is an option for some patients to address their health challenges. As with any surgery, there are risks and benefits to consider before making a decision about whether or not to undergo a thyroidectomy. Here, we take a look at both the risks and benefits of undergoing this type of surgery, so that patients can make an informed decision about their healthcare.
The Risks of Thyroidectomy Surgery
One of the primary risks of thyroidectomy surgery is the possibility of damage to the nearby nerves or tissue that may result in airway protection issues, hoarseness, altered voice, and a decreased ability to swallow. There is also the risk of receiving an incomplete removal of the thyroid tissue, or that the cancer has spread to the nearby nodes. Furthermore, a thyroidectomy could lead to low levels of thyroid or an overactive thyroid, which could affect other parts of the body, including potential heart palpitations, shortness of breath, weakness or stiffness in the joints, an increased sensitivity to cold, or even depression.
The Benefits of Thyroidectomy Surgery
Of course, with the risks come many benefits of thyroidectomy surgery. One of the primary benefits is the ability to treat a patient’s thyroid cancer, if present. During a thyroidectomy, the surgeon is able to remove all affected tissue that may contain cancerous cells. This not only helps treat the cancer but also helps to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. In addition, if a patient is suffering from severe thyroid-related symptoms, a thyroidectomy could help to alleviate those symptoms, leading to a higher quality of life.
Making the Decision
When considering whether to undergo a thyroidectomy or not, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor, taking into account your personal health history and lifestyle. It is important to bear in mind that there is no “right” or “wrong” decision, as every situation and individual is different. Ultimately, the decision is up to the patient, and it should be made with careful consideration.