Thyroid / Parathyroid

Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid Surgery | Parathyroid Surgery Hickory NC | Lincolnton NC | Morganton NCLocated in the neck just below the larynx, the thyroid gland regulates your body's energy levels and releases hormones that regulate your metabolism. Thyroid hormones influence virtually every organ system in the body, telling organs how fast or slow they should work. We diagnose thyroid conditions using ultrasound surveillance and ultrasound-guided biopsies done in our office. As a group, we perform hundreds of  thyroid procedures per year.

Types of Thyroid Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery, you may need to have all or part of the thyroid removed.

  • Lobectomy - If nodules are located in only one lobe of the thyroid, your surgeon will remove that lobe alone.
  • Total Thyroidectomy – Removal of the entire gland (both lobes and the isthmus) and the lymph nodes surrounding the gland.

We also use Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring to enable us to identify, confirm, and monitor motor nerve function to help reduce the risk of nerve damage.

Recovery from Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid surgery usually takes between 1 to 3 hours. After the procedure you may feel soreness in your throat because of the breathing tube that was inserted. You will be hospitalized for about 24 hours following the operation and will be able to return to normal day-to-day activities in a few days. You should not engage in strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or vigorous sports, for at least 10 days after the operation.

Expectations after Thyroid Surgery

Patients may develop hypothyroidism after surgery, which requires treatment with thyroid hormone. Hypoparathyroidism is under functioning of the parathyroid glands which control your body's calcium levels. If the parathyroids are damaged during surgery, this can cause temporary or permanent shutdown, resulting in a lowered calcium level, called hypocalcemia. Permanent hypoparathyroidism is rare and occurs most often in surgeries for thyroid cancer.

The success of a thyroidectomy to remove thyroid cancer depends on the type of cancer and whether it has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body. You may need follow-up treatment with radioactive iodine to treat cancer that has metastasized or to help prevent the cancer from returning.

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Parathyroid Surgery

The parathyroid glands are four small glands in the neck that are part of the endocrine system. They produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which maintains calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. The primary disease associated with the parathyroids is overproduction of PTH, known as hyperparathyroidism.

Hyperparathyroidism involves an excessive production of PTH, regardless of the amount of calcium in the blood. Although not a cancerous condition, hyperparathyroidism is often caused by a tumor on the parathyroid gland, known as an adenoma, which enlarges the affected gland and causes it to continuously secrete PTH. Symptoms are often subtle and may include:

  • Weakness, fatigue, and depression
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and constipation
  • Impaired thinking and loss of memory
  • Bone pain, osteoporosis, fracture
  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney stones/Gallstones

Parathyroid Surgery

Although medication is available to treat hyperparathyroidism, certain levels require surgery, which has a  > 95% percent success rate.

Surgical removal of one or more parathyroid glands is called a parathyroidectomy. During the operation, you will be given a general anesthetic. Your doctor will make a small incision in your neck and remove the affected gland. Your particular problem will determine how many of the parathyroid glands need to be removed. Some parathyroid tissue must be left in place to help prevent hypoparathyroidism and resulting hypocalemia, which can be dangerous.

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