The thyroid and parathyroid glands in your neck produce essential hormones. Sometimes, the production is excessive, and they need to be removed. Cancer of the thyroid gland is also a common condition that requires surgical and/or medical therapy. Double board-certified Shivan Amin, MD, at Midtown ENT in Atlanta, Georgia, is a highly skilled surgeon with extensive experience in thyroid and parathyroid surgery. Call Midtown ENT today or schedule a consultation online if you have a thyroid disorder and require expert surgery.
Thyroid surgeries involve removing part or all of your thyroid gland. This walnut-sized gland in your neck produces hormones regulating metabolism (how your body uses energy) and other vital functions.
Thyroid conditions like Grave’s disease cause hormone overproduction (hyperthyroidism). This results in distressing and damaging symptoms, including a rapid heart rate and sudden weight loss.
Medication can often restore thyroid hormone levels to normal. But if medication isn’t working or your condition is severe, you might need thyroid surgery. Other reasons for needing thyroid surgery include cancerous and noncancerous growths, nodules, and toxic nodular goiters (swellings).
Thyroid surgeries Dr. Amin performs include:
Total thyroidectomy removes the entire thyroid gland.
Hemithyroidectomy or thyroid lobectomy removes one of your two thyroid gland lobes.
Isthmusectomy removes the isthmus. This is a section of tissue connecting the two thyroid lobes.
Dr. Amin uses advanced thyroid and parathyroid surgery techniques to reduce pain after surgery and promotes maximal outcomes. It’s often possible to have thyroid and parathyroid surgery on an outpatient basis so that you don’t need to stay overnight in the hospital.
After you have an anesthetic, Dr. Amin accesses the thyroid gland by making a small incision at the front of your neck. He uses special surgical instruments to extract part or all of your thyroid. This is a delicate operation because the gland is surrounded by nerves.
You should avoid overdoing things after thyroid surgery. Take a few days to rest, and don’t participate in vigorous physical activities. Dr. Amin will give you instructions on caring for the surgical wound.
You might need to take supplementary thyroid hormones after surgery, especially if Dr. Amin removes the entire gland. You must have regular blood tests to ensure that you receive the correct dose.
Parathyroid surgery is a procedure to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands. You have four such glands, each about the size of a grain of rice, located in your neck, near or attached to the back side of your thyroid gland. These glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates calcium levels in your blood.
Parathyroid surgery is most commonly performed to treat hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which one or more of the parathyroid glands produce too much PTH. This overproduction can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause a variety of health problems, such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, cardiovascular issues, and neurological complaints.
The surgery can be performed in several ways:
Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy (MIP): This is the most common method. The surgeon makes a small incision in the neck and removes the overactive gland(s). Preoperative imaging studies like ultrasound or sestamibi scans are often used to accurately locate the overactive gland(s). MIP typically allows for a quicker recovery and less post-operative pain.
Bilateral Neck Exploration (BNE): In this traditional approach, the surgeon makes a larger incision and explores both sides of the neck to inspect all four parathyroid glands. This approach is typically used when preoperative imaging is unclear or when multiple glands are involved.
The exact approach depends on various factors, including the patient's overall health, the number of glands involved, and the surgeon's expertise. After surgery, patients typically see a rapid decrease in PTH and calcium levels, often within hours, and the associated symptoms improve. However, like any surgery, parathyroid surgery does carry some risk, including potential injury to the nearby thyroid gland, injury nerves that control the vocal cords, and permanantly low calcium requiring lifelong calcium replacement. It's always important to discuss the benefits and risks with your surgeon.
Call Midtown ENT today or book an appointment online to learn more about thyroid and parathyroid surgery.