Thyroid Surgery in Reston VA
The thyroid gland, located in the neck around the trachea, consists of two lobes that sit on either side of the windpipe. The main function of the thyroid gland is to produce a hormone that controls a person’s metabolism, heart rate and the gastrointestinal tract.
Common Thyroid Disorders
your Thyroid is a gland located at the base of your neck. It produces hormones that regulate every aspect of your metabolism, from your heart rate to how quickly you burn calories.The thyroid gland is prone to developing a range of problems, most of which involve hormone fluctuation, an increase in the growth of the thyroid, formation of benign lumps and nodules, and formation of malignant lumps and nodules. The most common thyroid disorders include:
- Thyroid Nodules – Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths that cause a lump, or multiple lumps, in the thyroid gland. Even though most thyroid nodules are benign and not symptomatic, a physical examination, thyroid ultrasound, thyroid scan and biopsy are necessary.
- Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism causes your thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone, which may result in weight loss, rapid heart rate and mood swings. If hyperthyroidism is detected by a physician after a thyroid hormone test, you will begin antithyroid medicines.
- Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is caused by too little thyroid hormone being secreted by the thyroid. It may cause people to feel sluggish and can cause a decrease in metabolism. The most common way to treat hypothyroidism is with the synthetic thyroid hormone T4.
- Thyroid Cancer – There are many types of thyroid cancer, including papillary, follicular, medullary and lymphoma. If symptoms do occur, they most commonly include pain in the neck, difficulty swallowing, excessive coughing and pressure in the neck. Thyroid cancer can be detected through a thyroid ultrasound, CT scan, MRI and chest X-rays.
For more information, call Dr. Sachse at (571) 512-5300.
What is a thyroidectomy?
A thyroidectomy is the removal of part, or all of, your thyroid. The main reason for this surgery is to remove cancerous tissue, but it can also be necessary in order to remove non-cancerous growth (like a goiter) or to fix extreme cases of hyperthyroidism where medicine is unsuccessful. If your thyroid can function after the surgery/condition, then usually only part of the thyroid is removed, while more serious cases the whole thyroid is removed. If this is the case, daily hormone supplements will be given.
The thyroidectomy procedure
The actual procedure is done under general anesthesia so you won’t be conscious. Once you’re unconscious, Dr. Sachse makes a series of incisions some distance from the thyroid and is typically done endoscopically (small instruments are inserted through the incisions that have a camera on them to assist in the surgery). All or part of the thyroid gland is then removed, depending on the reason for the surgery. If you’re having thyroidectomy as a result of thyroid cancer, Dr. Sachse may also examine and remove lymph nodes around your thyroid. Thyroidectomy usually takes several hours.
After a thyroidectomy
After surgery, you’re moved to a recovery room where the healthcare team monitors your recovery from the surgery and anesthesia. Once you’re fully conscious, you’ll be moved to a hospital room. You may have a drain under the incision in your neck. This drain is usually removed the morning after surgery. After a thyroidectomy, you may experience neck pain and a hoarse or weak voice, which is totally normal and may go away within a few days. You can typically eat and drink after the surgery, and most patients stay in the hospital for 24 hours.