When Is Thyroid Surgery Recommended?

When Is Thyroid Surgery Recommended?

Could thyroid surgery improve your health? Here at Tan Head and Neck Center in Long Beach, CA, your ear, nose and throat doctors, Drs. Jesse Tan, Jesus Tan, and Rose Eapen, can determine if you need the surgery during a routine examination.

Do you need thyroid surgery?

Your thyroid plays a very important role in your health. Hormones produced by the gland help control metabolism, heart rate, breathing, temperature, cholesterol level, and the menstrual cycle in women. Over or underproduction of the hormones can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms including fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, difficulty concentrating, irregular heartbeat, sensitivity to cold, weight loss, or weight gain.

Although thyroid disease and conditions can often be treated with medication, surgery to remove growths or all or part of your thyroid gland may be needed in some cases. You might need surgery if:

  • You have cysts or nodules on your thyroid.
  • You've been diagnosed with cancer or your ear, nose and throat doctor suspects that you have cancer.
  • Medications don't control your hyperthyroidism symptoms effectively.
  • You have a goiter (enlarged thyroid) that makes breathing or swallowing difficult.
  • You can't use thyroid medications.
  • Your nodule or goiter is causing your thyroid to overproduce hormones.

Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may need to take thyroid medication for the rest of your life to keep your hormones balanced. Medication is usually needed if your entire thyroid gland is removed. If only part of the gland is removed, you may or may not need to take medication.

Surgery usually takes about two hours or a little longer at our Long Beach office. Some thyroid patients return home a few hours after surgery while others stay the night in the hospital. You may notice that your throat feels a little sore after your procedure or that your voice sounds a little hoarse. These issues will improve in the days following surgery.

In most cases, you can resume your normal activities once you're home. It's best to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity or exercise for the first week or two after surgery.

Concerned? Give us a call

Protect your thyroid health with regular visits to your ear, nose and throat doctors in Long Beach, CA. Call Drs. Jesse and Jesus Tan and Dr. Eapen at (562) 988-8818 to schedule your appointment.