Treating Thyroid Disorders With Surgery

The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland and it is located in the neck region, below the Adam’s apple. It has two lobes positioned on either side of the windpipe. These lobes are connected by isthmus, a thyroid tissue bridge. The thyroid gland plays an important role in regulating the speed at which the human body cells work. It secretes thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones into the blood, which influences cell metabolism.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders are common and are classified as follows:

  • Hypothyroidism, where the thyroxine produced is less than the required quantity
  • Hyperthyroidism, where the thyroxine produced is more than the required quantity

Thyroid Surgery

Although thyroid disorders can be treated with medicines, some conditions require a surgery. Your doctor might suggest a surgery in the following conditions:

  • Large thyroid or multi-nodular thyroid
  • Benign thyroid nodule, which is large and causes difficulties in swallowing or breathing
  • Thyroid cyst or a cystic nodule
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Grave’s disease

The types of thyroid surgery include:

  • Total thyroidectomy – In this surgery, the entire thyroid gland and the lymph nodes are removed.
  • Lobectomy or hemithyroidectomy – In this surgery, half the thyroid gland is removed.
  • Near-total thyroidectomy – In this surgery, the entire thyroid gland is removed, but a small tissue on one side is retained.
  • Isthmusectomy – This surgery is performed occasionally. The isthmus or the central bridge connecting tissue is removed.

Before the surgery, various routine tests like thyroid function, calcium, blood tests, CT-scan, and heart-related tests like ECG and chest X-rays are taken. The vocal cords are also tested. Patients can now choose surgery packages online after enquiring about the required type of surgery.

During the surgery, an incision is made and extreme care is taken with respect to the nerves connecting the voice box. The surgeons are also cautious in handling the blood supply to the parathyroid glands, which controls the rate of calcium in your body. Before removing the gland, the arteries are tied with utmost care to prevent bleeding. After the gland is removed, the cut is closed with skin through sutures. Drainage tubes are placed temporarily to drain the excess fluid.

Some hospitals use advanced medical technologies and perform endoscopic and laproscopic thyroidectomies.

The main problems after thyroid surgery that you can experience is low calcium and voice-related problems, which might be temporary. Your voice might sound hoarse. However, if the main nerve, which connects to the voice box is damaged, the voice gets affected. The parathyroid glands are four tiny glands beside the thyroid and these glands control the calcium balance in the human body. Sometimes, the parathyroid glands might get damaged or the blood supply to these glands might be disrupted. This damage can result in temporary or permanent hypoparathyroidism. If one of the parathyroid glands is damaged, the remaining three can control the calcium balance, but it takes many weeks or months for these glands to bring about balance, in the absence of one missing parathyroid gland.

The cost of total thyroid removal can vary depending on the hospital that you choose and various other factors such as, the type of anesthesia used, health and condition of the patient, the incision type, location where the incision is made, and the patient’s diagnosis. It is advisable to consult an experienced surgeon to perform the surgery.

The thyroid surgery cost in Mumbai can run into several lakhs depending on various parameters. However, it is advisable to contact the hospitals and get the latest quote. Hospitals also provide surgery packages.