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Thyroidectomy: Surgery to Remove the Thyroid Gland

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Updated June 02, 2013

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Tests Before Thyroid Surgery
Thyroid Surgery

The Thyroid

Image: © ADAM

Prior to surgery, tests will be done including physical examinations, blood tests and a biopsy may be performed. This will help determine both the nature of the thyroid disorder and the origin of the problem. In some cases, a thyroid gland that is not excreting the proper amount of hormone may be reacting to a problem with the pituitary or hypothalamus. The blood tests can determine which gland is the problem.

Common Tests Before Thyroid Surgery:

  • TSH: Result will be low for hyperthyroidism, high for hypothyroidism
  • T4: High is hyperthyroidism, low for hypothyroidism
  • T3: High levels typically indicate hyperthyroidism
  • Endoscopic visualization: A physician uses an instrument with a light and a camera on it to look at the inside of the throat and the area of the thyroid
  • x-ray
  • Biopsy: A fine needle biopsy may be performed to examine the cells of the thyroid under a microscope
  • Thyroid scan
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