Thyroidectomy, Parathyroidectomy

  • Medical Name: Thyroidectomy, Parathyroidectomy
  • Common Name: Thyroid Surgery, Thyroid Removal, Parathyroid Surgery
  • Anesthesia Type: General Anesthesia
  • Procedure Duration: 2 hours
  • Recovery Time: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Procedure Location: Hospital
Thyroidectomy, Parathyroidectomy

About Thyroidectomy, Parathyroidectomy

A thyroidectomy (partial or total) and parathyroidectomy are surgeries to on specific endocrine glands that regulates specific critical body functions. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) which is released into the blood stream and controls metabolism. Thyroid hormone is counter-regulated by a hormone in the pituitary gland called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

The thyroid may be overactive (hyperthyroidism) thus producing too much thyroid hormone, or underactive (hypothyroidism) producing too little. The thyroid may be partially or totally removed for a variety of conditions: Grave’s disease, thyroid cysts, goiters or thyroid cancer. There are four types of thyroid cancer, namely papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic, with require surgical intervention.

Parathyroid glands regulate the calcium levels in the blood by a hormone named parathyroid hormone (PTH). This hormone increases the serum calcium levels by increasing intestinal absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium, and increasing calcium release from bones.  Indications for surgery on parathyroid glands include overactive parathyroids (hyperparathyroidism) by which there is elevated PTH and calcium in the blood promoting bone resorption, osteoporosis and kidney stones.  The parathyroids are critical in controlling the calcium level which is essential for muscles, nerves and the heart to function normally.  Symptomatically, patients with elevated calcium levels experience abdominal pain, bone pain, generalized aches and pains, kidney stones and psychological mood swings.  Typically, hyperparathyroidism is due to an abnormally enlarged parathyroid gland (parathyroid adenoma) or enlargement of numerous thyroid glands (parathyroid hyperplasia) which requires surgical exploration and removal of the involved glands.  Rarely, a parathyroid gland would be removed for a malignancy (cancer).

Thyroid or parathyroid surgery is the standard of care for these conditions.

Benefits of Thyroidectomy, Parathyroidectomy

A thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy is the standard of care for the above described conditions.

Risks and Limitations to Thyroidectomy, Parathyroidectomy

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks of complications, however rare. These include bleeding, infection, nerve injury, scarring, fluid collection and airway obstruction.

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