Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck anterior to the airway. It controls the metabolism of your body by producing thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland can form nodules (growth) in multinodular goitre.

Thyroid Surgery


A hemithyroidectomy is the removal of half of thyroid gland. Indications for this operation include:

  • Rapidly enlarging thyroid nodule
  • Large thyroid nodule that causes obstructive symptoms or disfigurement
  • Or in the case of atypical biopsy to confirm a diagnosis or excluding cancer

This operation can be done as a minimally invasive procedure with a small incision in the neck in selected case. Majority of patients will not need thyroid hormone replacement after hemithyroidectomy.


Thyroidectomy (removal of the whole thyroid gland) is indicated in the following situations:

  • Thyroid cancer
  • Abnormal biopsy result
  • Graves disease
  • Large thyroid gland that causes obstruction of your airway or swallowing difficulty

This operation is often performed through an incision at the base of your neck. You will need to be placed on thyroid hormone replacement medication after total thyroidectomy.

Surgery Risks

Risks and complications of thyroidectomy are rare and reportedly less than 2%. These include:

  • Voice changes or voice loss from recurrent laryngeal nerves injury (temporary or permanent in less than 1%)
  • Hypocalcaemia or low calcium level (temporary or permanent)
  • Bleeding or wound complications

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