DR DOCRAT’S SURGICAL EXPERTISE
THYROIDECTOMY & PARATHYROIDECTOMY
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. By producing hormones, the thyroid controls the metabolism and heart rate.
WHY MIGHT I NEED SURGERY?
A thyroidectomy may be advised as treatment for thyroid cancer or in cases where the thyroid is swollen or enlarged, interfering with breathing, eating and speaking. In some cases nodules may form on the thyroid and be an indication of something more serious like cancer. In such cases one or both sides of the thyroid gland may be surgically removed. When only one side of the thyroid is removed, it is known as a thyroid lobectomy.
A parathyroidectomy on the other hand may be advised as treatment for hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which the parathyroid glands located next to the thyroid gland, produce too much PTH. When too much PTH is produced, calcium is removed from the bones and goes into the blood. This increased level of calcium in the blood and urine can diminish bone density and cause kidney stones, depression, muscle weakness and fatigue. In 85-90% of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, only one gland is abnormal and thus when non-surgical treatments fail, a parathyroidectomy may be done to remove only the abnormal parathyroid glands.
WHAT DOES THIS SURGERY ENTAIL?
A thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy is done through open surgery. Once under general anaesthesia Dr Docrat will make a small incision low in the centre of your neck. From here your surgeon will delicately remove a part of the thyroid (the abnormal parathyroid glands) or the entire thyroid before closing the incision with stitches. If the surgery is done to remove a tumor Dr Docrat may also remove the nearby lymph nodes, to prevent the cancer from spreading.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER SURGERY?
After waking up from the anaesthetic, you can expect to feel some pain in the neck. Dr Docrat will prescribe painkilling tablets to help with this. You will need to stay in the hospital for observation for the next day or two. You will have a drain placed to drain any excess fluids, which will remain in place for 24 hours. You may also have difficulty chewing and swallowing and have a hoarse voice for a few days. As with any surgery, any symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, bleeding and pussing from the incisions and excessive pain should be a reason for concern, in such cases, you should contact your doctor. You will have a drain that will remain for 24 hours.