Your thyroid gland is responsible for a number of bodily functions, including the production of key hormones, but if problems develop, part or all of the gland may need to be removed. Some thyroid problems can be safely managed with conservative treatments, but for the sake of this blog, we’re going to shine a light on conditions that can lead to the need for an operation. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at four thyroid issues that may need to be corrected with a surgical operation.
Do I Need Thyroid Surgery?
Here’s a look at four thyroid-related conditions that respond well to surgery in the event that non-operative methods fail to produce the desired result.
- Thyroid Cancer – Thyroid cancer is the most common reason that some undergo a partial or total thyroidectomy. Thyroid cancer can spread to other areas of your body, so removal is the safest option to ensure the cancer no longer presents a threat. In most cases, a total thyroidectomy is performed in order to fully remove the cancer, and this can oftentimes be performed on a minimally invasive basis.
- Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too many hormones, which can lead to things like sweating, weight loss, anxiety and irregular heartbeats. In a fair amount of cases, hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications or radioactive iodine therapy, but if those options are unavailable or ineffective, surgery may be an option.
- Goiter – A goiter is a noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland. They can affect your ability to swallow or breathe, and they can leave a person feeling self-conscious about their appearance with a visible lump on their neck. In some cases, goiters can actually negatively affect the gland’s ability to produce hormones, leading to a condition called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can lead to weight gain, tiredness and other symptoms. Hypothyroidism can be treated with medications, but surgery may ultimately be needed to care for the goiter.
- Potentially Dangerous Thyroid Nodules – A thyroid nodule is an abnormal growth of thyroid cells that form within a lump inside the thyroid gland. In many cases they are asymptomatic and do not cause symptoms, but in other cases they can be an indication of thyroid cancer. If these nodules are cancerous, or doctors can’t safely determine if they present a threat, a partial or total thyroidectomy may be performed.
If you have reason to believe that you’re dealing with any of these conditions, or you’ve been told by your primary care physician that you have a thyroid issue, reach out to a specialist in your area. Dr. Koeplin specializes in diagnosing, treating and surgically addressing thyroid problems, and he can help put your thyroid problem in the past. For more information, or to talk to someone at his clinic, give him a call at (651) 224-1347.