What is the thyroid?

Your thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, located just underneath your Adam’s apple. The thyroid produces hormones that help stabilize your metabolism, heart and muscle function, brain development and bone strength.

What types of thyroid conditions require surgery?

There are several types of thyroid conditions that may require surgery. These can include:

  • Goiters, which are when the thyroid is swollen or enlarged. Goiters are the most common thyroid disorder and are often associated with an iodine deficiency, hyperthyroidism (creation of too much hormone) or hypothyroidism(creation of too little hormone).
  • Hyperthyroidism, which is when the thyroid is overreactive and produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. When this occurs, it can increase your body’s metabolism and lead to certain health conditions such as rapid and unexpected weight loss, an irregular heartbeat, Grave’s ophthalmopathy (double vision and light sensitivity), osteoporosis, fertility issues and/or pregnancy complications.
  • Thyroid nodules, also known as thyroid adenomas, this is when a small lumpor mass is found on the thyroid. Depending on the type of nodule, the mass can be full of fluid or be solid, or it can be smooth or bumpy.
  • Thyroid cancer, which occurs when the cells in the thyroid grow out of control. While not common, five to 15% of thyroid nodules end up being malignant, or cancerous.

In some instances, a thyroid condition may only require a “watch-and-wait” approach for treatment, while others need surgical intervention. Your surgeon will discuss what is most appropriate for your individual case.

Thyroid surgery options

The type of surgery that your surgeon recommends will depend upon multiple factors, including how severe your thyroid condition is, its root cause and your individual needs and preferences.

Additionally, your surgeon will likely ask that you undergo imaging or other medical tests prior to determine if surgery is appropriate.

The most common types of thyroid surgeries include: 

  • Hemithyroidectomy: removal of part of the thyroid (also called a partial thyroidectomy)
  • Total thyroidectomy: removal of the entire thyroid
  • Neck dissection: removal of lymph nodes near the thyroid if there is suspicion of cancer (also called a lymphadenectomy)

Your surgical care team

Your surgical care team

At GenesisCare, you have a team dedicated to developing a personalized treatment plan, taking into account your needs, medical history, cancer type and goals of treatment. Your thyroid surgery team will include:

  • Your otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon): Your surgeon specializes in the surgical management of benign (non-cancerous) and cancerous tumors of the head and neck, as well as reconstructive surgery. He/she will perform your thyroid surgery.
  • Your anesthesia team and certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs): These individuals evaluate, administer and monitor your anesthesia throughout your procedure. Ask your anesthesia team about pain management options for both during and after surgery.
  • Your operating room care team:  This team is led by your surgeon and comprised of your circulating nurses, your scrub technicians and other team members, all committed to providing your care while you are undergoing your operation.
  • Your supportive care team member(s): You may also meet with additional healthcare professionals, such as advanced level practitioners, dietitians, occupational therapists and/or speech therapists who can help you manage side effects and better understand your treatment plan. 

Locations offering Parathyroid surgery

Fort Myers Surgical Oncology
4571 Colonial Blvd., Suite 210
Fort Myers, FL 33966
Call: 239-790-3480

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Our provider

Scott Larson, MD, Otolaryngologist at Head & Neck Surgical Cancer Specialists of SW Florida, has undergone extensive training to offer TORS and recently performed the first TORS procedure in Southwest Florida. 

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