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Traditional Thyroid Surgery

Removing the goiter using traditional surgery used to be the common method of treatment. The thyroidectomy removing the entire thyroid gland takes around 2.5 hours while the patient is under general anesthesia. The doctor will create an incision of around 4cm on the thyroid gland and directly remove it from the neck region. Patients may resume feeding and move around few hours after the surgery, and will be hospitalized for around 3 to 5 days. They need to take thyroxine, a hormonal replacement after the operation. Patients who have only had part of the thyroid gland removed does not need to take this replacement. However, traditional thyroidectomy may leave scars on the neck area, depending on the individual. This may not be appealing for female patients.

Endoscopic Thyroidectomy

Compared to the traditional surgery, endoscopic thyroidectomy will not leave behind unsightly scars. Performed under general anesthesia, the surgeon will first incise four tiny holes in the patient’s underarms and areola, with the largest one of 1.5 cm over the axilla and other three 5 mm incision around the areola. Equipment will then be placed inside the body through the incisions and remove the thyroid glands. A total thyroidectomy takes around 3.5 hours, while a partial thyroidectomy takes around 2.5 hours. Patients will be hospitalized for 3 to 5 days and may resume feeding and move around few hours after the surgery. As the underarms and areola wounds are barely noticeable, and the skin on the areola heals relatively quickly, patients will not be left with noticeable scars after the surgery. Patients who have undergone total thyroidectomy will also need to take Thyroxine as hormonal replacement. This is not necessary for patients who have undergone partial thyroidectomy.

Risks of Goiter Treatment

  • Usual surgical risks, including bleeding and infection.
  • Damage to the parathyroid glands, result in hypocalcaemia, cramping occurs more easily and calcium deficiency. However, this situation is rare and patients can recover quickly even when it occurs. It is advisable to consult an experienced thyroidologist.
  • Laryngeal nerve damage, voice may become coarse, but this situation is rare.

The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only. Please consult your physicians before considering treatment or for detailed medical advice.