What is a thyroidectomy, thyroid surgery?
The traditional thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy) consists of making a 3-4 inch incision in the neck and removing the thyroid gland. This surgery is invasive and requires general anesthesia. A non-complicated thyroidectomy typically takes 2-3 hours. One can also have a hemi-thyroidectomy. In this surgery only half of the thyroid is removed.
The traditional thyroidectomy usually requires a patient to be admitted to the hospital for 2-3 days for monitoring. A full recovery typically takes 2-4 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery and if any addition surgery was required (lymphectomy).
Thyroid surgery can be very intimidating. The thyroid gland is located next to the Laryngeal nerve which controls your voice. If the laryngeal nerve is damaged from surgery one can have permanent voice changes or hoarseness.
Risks of Thyroid Surgery:
Damage to the laryngeal nerve
Damage to the parathyroid glands