Surgical Treatment of Thyroid Disease

The Thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland in the neck overlying the trachea or windpipe. This gland produces thyroid hormone, which regulates metabolism and helps other body systems to operate more efficiently. The overwhelming majority of thyroid problems can be managed medically without any surgical intervention.

Most commonly, surgical evacuation is needed for thyroid nodules or masses. These are frequently felt in the neck by the patient or by their primary care physician, but can be unnoticeable. Fortunately, most of these masses are not cancer, but need to be diagnosed by biopsy. Several tests can be done to decide whether biopsy is needed. An ultrasound can be performed either in our office or by the radiologist to determine if the mass is solid or cystic. Nuclear scans help determine the function of the gland and the nodule.

For diseases that require biopsy, a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) may be possible with or without ultrasound guidance in our office. This is a very minor procedure using a small needle to sample the cells of the thyroid mass. If further interventions is necessary, removal of part or all of the thyroid gland can be done as an outpatient surgery with quick return to normal activities.

Any questions, please contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons.

See the original news article written by Dr. Eric Rau below.

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