The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck that controls the metabolism, or energy use, of the body. Most thyroid problems are treated medically. However, a thyroid nodule or goiter (enlarged thyroid) may require surgery. Surgery is indicated when there is a concern of cancer, when the thyroid is enlarged enough to cause symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or breathing and in rare cases when medications cannot control an overactive thyroid.

The type of thyroid surgery used will depend on the nature of your condition.

THYROID LOBECTOMY - when nodules are found only on one lobe of the thyroid, that lobe may be removed, leaving the remainder of the thyroid intact. During thyroid lobectomy, an isthmectomy may also need to be performed. This procedure removes the isthmus, which is the band of connective tissue between the two lobes.

TOTAL THYROIDECTOMY - the entirety of the thyroid tissue is removed, including both lobes and the lymph nodes around the gland.

SUBTOTAL THYROIDECTOMY - also known as near-total thyroidectomy, this procedure removes one complete lobe, the isthmus and part of the other lobe.

Most patients will go home within 24 hours and have excellent cosmetic results.

NIMS: the nerve integrity monitor is used to detect and preserve the recurrent laryngeal nerve (responsible for voice).

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