Symptoms such as neck swelling, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing are signs you may need a thyroidectomy to treat a problem with your thyroid gland. Avrum Kaufman, DO, at South Coast Ear, Nose and Throat is an expert in minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy, which protects the nearby nerves while removing part or all of your thyroid. If you have questions about your symptoms, call one of the offices in Ladera Ranch or Irvine, California, or schedule an appointment online.
Your thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck, just under your voice box, where it releases hormones that regulate your metabolism and most essential body functions, including your heart rate and body temperature.
You may need thyroidectomy, or surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland, when you’re diagnosed with:
Thyroid nodules are solid growths that are usually benign. A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland.
Thyroid nodules and goiters can become toxic by producing excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. When that happens, you’ll develop symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as weight loss, nervousness, excessive sweating, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
As a goiter or nodules enlarge, they cause hoarseness, pressure, and difficulty swallowing. A noticeable lump in your neck may be the sign of a goiter. Some nodules, even when symptom-free, may show signs suspicious for cancer.
Dr. Kaufman performs your thyroidectomy as an outpatient procedure, so you can expect to go home the same day. He specializes in video-assisted thyroidectomy, using endoscopic magnification to identify the nearby nerves, monitor nerve function, and help minimize the risk of injuring these structures.
Additionally, Dr. Kaufman utilizes intraoperative nerve monitoring, enabling identification and confirmation of nerve function to help reduce the risk of damage.
Using minimally invasive techniques, Dr. Kaufman makes a small incision, so your scar is barely noticeable. Minimally invasive surgery also reduces your postoperative discomfort.
Depending on the reason for your thyroidectomy, Dr. Kaufman may recommend one of the following:
Dr. Kaufman removes the entire thyroid and possibly the surrounding lymph nodes. A total thyroidectomy is preferred when you’re diagnosed with cancer.
Your thyroid gland consists of two lobes connected by a bridge called the isthmus. When Dr. Kaufman does a lobectomy, he removes one of the lobes. A biopsy is taken at the time of the procedure, and if the lobe is confirmed to be cancerous, he also removes the other lobe.