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Thyroidectomy: Surgery to Remove the Thyroid Gland


Updated June 20, 2014

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Reasons for Thyroid Surgery
Thyroid With Goiter Image

Thryoid With Goiter

Image: © ADAM

There are many reasons that thyroid surgery is necessary. Some problems affect the function of the thyroid, while others merely change the size of the thyroid. In some cases, an enlargement of the thyroid gland, even if the thyroid is functioning normally, will necessitate surgery. This is because the thyroid rests on top of the windpipe and as it increases in size, it can cause difficulty breathing.

Reasons for Thyroid Surgery

  • Cancer of the thyroid
  • Hyperthyroidism that does not respond to other treatments
  • Hypothyroidism with enlargement of the gland
  • Goiter: Noncancerous enlargement of the gland that may impair the function of the windpipe and esophagus
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