The thyroid is a very complex gland and many problems may happen. Not always surgery is necessary in thyroid problems, but if there is two things must be taken into consideration. One is the aspect of the gland and it’s anatomy and second is what kind of disease we suffer from.
As we all know, the thyroid consists of an isthmus and two lobes. Now, depending on what parts of this gland are affected, doctors recommend different types of surgery. If only one nodule is found in one of the gland’s lobes, then if surgery is indeed necessary, the affected lobe is removed. In case the nodule is producing more hormone than necessary, the same procedure is being used(removal of the lobe).
But if the nodule is not solitary or small, the case of goiters, doctors must operate and remove that huge mass which can compress the esophagus or trachea. That means that a total or sub- total thyroidectomy is performed.
If the case of another thyroid problem comes into discussion, the thyroid carcinoma, most of the doctors recommend a thyroidectomy. This means that the entire mass is removed. But there are always exception to this operation. If the size of the carcinomas is small, a lobectomy is necessary(a sub total thyroidectomy). If the nodes can be palpated, a dissection of the lymph node may be the best solution.
There are also cases when an aggressive dissection is needed or even a total thyroidectomy for those who have medullary carcinoma.
After establishing what kind of interventions patients may be exposed to, it is now time to detail them.
An operation which is not performed frequently is the partial lobectomy. This can take place only in the fortunate situations when the location of the tumor is ideal(the lower or upper part of the lobe). When a single nodule is found, a dominating one, the procedure used is the lobectomy. This is considered the easiest medical intervention and the most indicated in these cases. Another operation performed to both lobes and the part that unites them is lobectomy with isthmusectomy.
An intervention such as this is often used when for the safety of the patient, larger parts must be removed. There is also the case when only one lobe must be removed together with the isthmus. It is called subtotal thyroidectomy and used in some other cases like goiters and mainly to the less aggressive cancer.
Of course there is also the total thyroidectomy. And as you have probably guessed by now, it is used to take out all the thyroid glade. This drastic measure is taken for patients whose thyroid cancer is aggressive and in an advanced state. It may also be the choice for other patients, to assure themselves that cancer does not regress.