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
- Biopsy: A fine needle biopsy may be performed to examine the cells of the thyroid under a microscope
- Thyroid scan