Patients should never have to choose between superior surgical skills and warm, compassionate care. It’s true that sophisticated surgeries now seem almost commonplace, however, the surgeons of North Orlando Surgical group recognize that surgery is always a major undertaking for the patient. Our patients can feel confident that our surgeons are among the area’s best, widely recognized for our superior skills, low complication rate and excellent surgical outcomes
Dr. Jeremy Steinbaum completed his residency training at the University of Maryland. He also completed Fellowship Training in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma. He was a Clinical Instructor of Surgery at the University of Maryland. He yearned for a closer and longer lasting relationship with his patients and relocated to Florida to work in private practice. He has 19 years of experience in his field. Although he is well versed in all types of general, vascular and thoracic surgery, one of his favorite procedures is thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above the collarbone. It is one of the endocrine glands, which means it releases hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities play a role in the body’s metabolism.
Instances of Thyroid Removal:
There are many reasons why you may be advised to have your thyroid removed. In autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s and Graves ’ disease the body’s immune system attacks the gland like it would a virus. This can cause you to feel achy and tired, as though you were ill. It can also cause your thyroid hormone levels go up and down, making you feel jittery and anxious at some times, and fatigued and without energy at others. Long term inflammation of the gland can also increase your risk for developing a cancer. Another reason would be the presence of a nodule that is growing or an enlarged gland. An enlarged thyroid gland is called a goiter, and can cause a person to have difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or even shortness of breath. If a nodule is being followed by serial ultrasound and is found to have grown you will either be offered a biopsy or a thyroidectomy. Biopsies are generally done here in the office by ultrasound guidance.
What to Expect
For this procedure you will be given a local anesthetic. You are able to drive yourself to and from the procedure and no fasting is necessary. The nodule will be localized using the ultrasound machine and a tiny incision will be made. A small biopsy needle will then be placed into the nodule and tiny pieces of it will be removed and sent to pathology. A band aid will be placed over the incision and you will be asked to return in a week to discuss the results. Oftentimes the results are benign, however due to the risk of sampling error you will still need a new ultrasound in six months to see if there has been new growth. Sampling error is when the small amount of tissue from a larger nodule does not correctly identify the presence of a cancer. It is understood that while that bit of tissue may be benign the remaining nodule can still contain cancerous cells. For this reason you may be asked to return in six months after a new ultrasound.
In the event that there is new growth, or if you have any of the other types of thyroid conditions discussed, a total thyroidectomy may be offered to you. This is a procedure that is done in the hospital. You will spend one night there, and will go home the next day. You will be given general anesthesia, and an incision will be made in the neck over the thyroid gland. This incision is placed strategically in a natural neck crease, so that when it heals it will not be noticeable. The gland is then removed, with care given to protect and preserve the parathyroid glands and laryngeal nerves which are located just behind the gland. The incision will then be closed with absorbable sutures. No bandage will be placed over the incision to avoid irritation on the skin from tape. You will discharged the next day with instructions to return to the office for follow up in 1-2 weeks. You will have no restrictions on your activities any may resume full duty. You will be given a prescription for thyroid replacement medication at this visit once your pathology has come back as benign.
In the event that a cancer is found within the gland you will be sent to have one dose of radio-iodine by a radiation oncologist. This is to kill what few remaining thyroid cells may be left behind. You will be asked to stay off of any thyroid replacement until the radio-iodine has been given to you.
Contact Our Staff for More Information on Thyroid Diseases
Thyroidectomy is a very technically challenging procedure. It is vital that you choose a surgeon with a great deal of experience with this surgery, as doing so greatly reduces your chance of having complications. Our surgeons have this type of experience. Contact our office today to discuss what options are right for you!