The thyroid is a small gland located in the front part of the neck just below the voice box. The thyroid gland produces crucial hormones that affect every tissue in the body. In a sense, the thyroid is much like an electrical control panel, in that it’s normal function regulates the body’s metabolism and how the body turns food into energy. A normal thyroid gland also regulates the body’s temperature and other internal organ function.
Sometimes, however, the thyroid can produce too much hormone which can cause massive problems in the body. This can involve swelling and the growth of cysts or nodules on the thyroid gland. Thyroid surgery may be necessary with certain problems. In thyroid surgery the surgeon removes all or a portion of the thyroid gland.
When is thyroid surgery necessary?
The most common reason requiring thyroid surgery is to remove nodules or tumors on the thyroid gland. Many times such nodules are benign, but in some cases, the nodules can be cancerous or pre-cancerous. Even benign nodules can create problems when the grow big enough to obstruct the throat or if they affect normal function of the thyroid gland.
A second reason for thyroid surgery the enlargement of the thyroid gland, which can be referred to as a goiter. Like large nodules, goiters can block the throat and interfere with eating, talking or breathing.