Total, Subtotal, HEMI
Removal of Thyroid Gland


What is thyroidectomy?

Surgical removal of thyroid gland is called thyroidectomy.

There are three types of thyroidectomy:

  • Total thyroidectomy
  • Subtotal thyroidectomy
  • Hemithyroidectomy

Under what circumstances is

removal of thyroid gland surgery(thyroidectomy) is performed?

Thyroidectomy is one of the treatments for thyroid disease and thyroid cancer.

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are two types of thyroid conditions.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces more thyroxine than what is needed.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is under active and produces less amount of thyroxine.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin, Hair and nails
  • Feeling cold

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:

  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Fast heart rate
  • Jittery and irritable feeling
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Heart intolerance

What are the other thyroid

related ailments?

There are 2 other types of thyroid ailments they are:

  • Nodules
  • Goiter

Nodules: A thyroid nodule is a solid or a liquid filled lump. They do not cause any variations in the functioning of the thyroid gland most of the time but there are chances in some rare cases that they may turn cancerous.

Goiter: This is a condition where there is an enlargement of thyroid gland due to over secretion of thyroxin (hyperthyroidism).

How is the surgery

carried out?

The surgery is carried out under the influence of anesthesia. Once the patient is unconscious a breathing tube is placed in the trachea to help breathing during the operation.  All the vital parameters of the body are monitored by the surgical team.

Incisions are made in the lower central part of the neck and using the surgical instruments and depending upon the condition of the patient either the thyroid gland is completely removed (total thyroidectomy) or a portion of it is removed (Subtotal thyroidectomy) or half of the thyroid gland is removed (Hemithyroidectomy).

Total thyroidectomy: A total thyroidectomy is performed when there is a need to remove the gland completely; for example when there is cancerous growth.

Subtotal thyroidectomy: In this procedure only a portion of the thyroid gland is removed and the remaining part is left to function.

Hemithyroidectomy: if this procedure is carried out only half of the gland is removed, this procedure is carried out when the nodules are not spread all over the gland and only restricted to a portion of it.

What are the different types of


There are three main approaches to perform thyroidectomy they are as follows:

  • Conventional thyroidectomy: In this procedure incisions are made in the center of the neck in order to gain access to the thyroid gland. This is the common approach most surgeons opt for.
  • Transoral thyroidectomy: In this procedure the neck incisions are avoided and instead they are made inside the mouth.
  • Endoscopic thyroidectomy: A small incision is made in the neck and along with the surgical equipment a small camera is inserted through the incision and when proper visual is obtained thyroidectomy is carried out.

How should we prepare for the


The doctor will examine the complete medical profile of the patient in order to see other medical complications the patient might have. The doctor might also advise the patient to stop taking medicines for these ailments before the surgery.

A few hours before the surgery the patient will be asked to not eat or drink anything.

How long does the recovery


The patients will have to stay in the hospital for a day or two. 

After the surgery the patient may experience pain in the neck and weak voice which he/she will recover from in 2 to 3 days.

Return to normalcy will take 10 days to two weeks; the doctor will also schedule a regular check up every 15 days till the patient makes complete recovery. It takes up to a year for the surgical scars to go.

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