Thyroid surgery

Thyroid surgery, known as a thyroidectomy, is employed to treat a host of thyroid conditions including: thyroid nodules, compressive thyroid mass, thyroid cancer, and hyperthyroidism. The process involves removing all or part of the thyroid gland.

Conditions Requiring Thyroid Surgery (Thyroidectomy)

Thyroid conditions which may require a thyroidectomy include:

  • Thyroid cancer
  • Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid)
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Grave’s disease

Types of Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid surgery can involve a total or partial removal of the thyroid. The type of thyroid surgery recommended will depend on the thyroid disorder being treated. Thyroid surgery options include:

Total thyroidectomy:

Removal of the entire thyroid gland, thyroid tissue, and surrounding lymph nodes. Typically recommended for thyroid cancer, inflammation or swelling of the entire gland, or occasionally, Grave’s disease. Benefits include fast results with a lower rate of relapse or recurrence.

Subtotal (near total) thyroidectomy:

Removal of the thyroid gland while leaving a portion of thyroid tissue intact to allow for some thyroid function. Often used to treat hyperthyroidism brought on by Grave’s disease.


Removal of either the right or left thyroid lobe where swelling and/or nodules are present. The remaining lobe can usually maintain all or some hormonal function.