Neck and Thyroid Surgery

Also known as: thyroidectomy

What are neck and thyroid surgery?

The thyroid gland is a small organ in the neck that produces hormones that impact how your body uses energy. When all or part of the thyroid gland needs to be removed due to thyroid cancer or another medical condition, this neck surgery is known as thyroid surgery, or a thyroidectomy.

What happens during the treatment?

The exact nature and extent of a neck or thyroid surgery will vary depending on the severity of the disease and the amount of tissue being removed. Most are now performed using minimally invasive techniques that minimize complications and improve outcomes. These surgeries are performed under anesthesia and require a short hospital stay.

Is any special preparation needed? 

You may need to stop eating, drinking or taking certain medications prior to neck or thyroid surgery. Follow your health care provider’s instructions closely.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection, airway obstruction, low parathyroid hormone levels or a hoarse voice are all potential complications of neck or thyroid surgery. You may also need to have a drain placed under the incision in the neck after surgery, but this is usually removed the day after the procedure.

Reviewed by: Alejandro Diaz, MD

This page was last updated on: June 14, 2022 02:12 PM

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