Thyroid glands are one or the largest endocrine glands in the human body. It is located in the neck below the larynx and just above the collar bones. It has two lobs one on each side of the neck which are connected by a small band of tissue in the lower part of the gland. Uncontrolled growth of cells on thyroid glands whether it is benign or malignant can cause problems to the thyroid gland by obstructing the throat or by producing difficulty in speaking, swallowing or breathing. Over growth of the thyroid gland, swelling caused by infection etc can also create problems in the throat. Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is the only solution for the problems faced by this gland.
When the swelling or infection in the thyroid gland has spread to the entire gland or when thyroid gland cancer which has spread to other regions is diagnosed then only the removal of the entire thyroid gland is necessitated. If the infection or swelling is found only on one of the lobs, then removal of that lob only is necessary. The other lob will remain intact and will be able to perform the functions of the thyroid gland.
This surgery is done under general anesthesia and will be conducted in an operation theatre. The patient is required not to drink or eat anything after the midnight of the previous day of the surgery. The surgery starts with an incision in the neck about 3 to 4 inches in length.
With the help of a magnifying glass the surgeon identifies the thyroid gland and the lob that has to be removed. He carefully dissects the lob or the entire thyroid gland, as the case maybe, and removes it. It will take only two or three hours for the completion of the surgical procedure. After completing the surgery the incision is stitched and the patient is taken to the recovery room. The patient will be under special nursing care in the recovery room till he wakes up. On the evening of the operation day the patient can have liquid food as his dinner. If any bleeding or severe pain is noticed in the throat it has to be brought to the notice of the physician immediately.