Thyroid Cancer
Treatment & Surgery

Jump to: The Thyroid | Hyperthyroidism | Causes | Symptoms | Nodules | Treatment | Expectations

What is the Thyroid Gland and What Does It Do?

The thyroid, located in the front lower region of the neck, is a gland that produces thyroid hormones. These hormones are necessary for many bodily functions, as they impact our muscles, bones, skin, heart, brain, liver, kidneys, digestive tract, and more. Primarily, surgery is performed only after the thyroid is deemed suspicious by a biopsy. Unusual findings, or a biopsy that shows signs of cancer, may indicate a number of problems in your endocrine system. Operations, medication, or other therapies are advised for patients who have a variety of thyroid conditions.

What Is The Thyroid Gland and What Does It Do Diagram

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Definition: Hyperparathyroidism is often a debilitating disease that takes a large toll on the entire body. In most cases, a parathyroid tumor is located in one of the four parathyroid glands. Often the tumor is benign, called a parathyroid adenoma. As the tumor grows, it begins to release greater than normal amounts of PTH, causing Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Simply put, Primary Hyperparathyroidism is an excess of parathyroid hormone in the bloodstream due to overactivity of one or more of the parathyroid glands.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism?

The leading cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease, a disorder that causes the thyroid to become inflamed and unable to produce enough thyroid hormone.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

  • Weakening of the bones or osteoporosis
  • Fatigue, memory loss, poor concentration, anxiety, and depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Rhythm abnormalities in the heart and heart palpitations
  • Intestinal issues such as acid reflux and constipation

What are Nodules?

Definition: Cancerous and benign (non-cancerous) growths are called nodules.

Causes: Iodine deficiency, overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue, cysts, chronic inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis)

Symptoms: Benign nodules, while not life-threatening, may cause symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, intolerance to heat, nervousness, irritability, trouble sleeping, and rapid or irregular heartbeat. This is because the nodules are producing extra hormones. Additionally, swelling of the thyroid glands can cause difficulty in breathing and swallowing.

How is Thyroid Cancer Treated?

Endocrine disorders can be treated surgically and non-surgically, depending on the severity of symptoms. There are several types of thyroid surgery that a surgeon may perform, including:

1. Excisional biopsy – Removal of a small part of the thyroid gland

2. Lobectomy – Removal of half of the thyroid gland

3. Total thyroidectomy – Removal of all identifiable thyroid tissues

A lobectomy is a surgery in which half of the thyroid is removed when removing a nodule and, in some cases, a thyroidectomy is necessary for complete gland removal, as well as removal of the lymph nodes surrounding the gland. Depending on what’s right for you and your condition, our surgeons may offer other forms of nonsurgical therapy that will, with time, regulate your endocrine activities.

No Scars Left on Patient After Lobectomy Surgery

In general, thyroid surgery is best performed by a surgeon who has received special training and who performs thyroid surgery on a regular basis. At The Surgery Group of Los Angeles, we have one of the country's top thyroid surgical oncologist. SGLA’s founding father Dr. Jason Cohen is on the forefront of thyroid cancer treatment and prevention.

Dr. Cohen is also the only surgeon in the Los Angeles area trained in robotic (Da Vinci) thyroid surgery. He also specializes in minimally invasive surgery, leaving a minimal scar that isn’t noticeable. The incision will be cosmetically located to ensure it isn’t visible in most situations.

In general, thyroid surgery is best performed by a surgeon who has received special training and who performs thyroid surgery on a regular basis. At the Surgery Group of Los Angeles we have one of the country's top thyroid surgical oncologist. SGLA’s founding father, Dr. Jason Cohen is on the forefront of thyroid cancer treatment and prevention. Dr. Cohen is also the only surgeon in the Los Angeles area trained in robotic (Da Vinci) thyroid surgery. He also specializes in minimally invasive surgery, leaving a minimal scar that isn’t noticeable. The incision will be cosmetically located to ensure it isn’t visible in most situations.

Procedure Expectations

If it’s determined that thyroid surgery is the best thyroid treatment for your situation, it may calm your nerves to know what to expect. Surgery can be a scary experience for some patients, and we want to ensure that you feel safe and relaxed before your procedure.

Dr. Cohen, our highly experienced thyroid surgeon, specializes in minimally invasive surgery. Traditional thyroid surgeries leave a large, noticeable mark on the neck, but Dr. Cohen has perfected the use of a small incision that won’t leave you feeling unconfident after surgery.

During the procedure, you will receive general anesthesia, which means that you won’t be conscious. Once you're unconscious, the thyroid surgeon will make a small incision in the center of your neck. The surgeon will then remove a portion of your thyroid or the entire gland. The procedure typically lasts a few hours, depending on the type of surgery required.

After the Procedure

the thyroid system

Once the procedure is over, you may experience a weak or hoarse voice along with neck pain. This is often a result of nerve irritation that occurs during most surgeries. You are able to eat and drink as usual, and you may be able to go home the same day. Your surgeon will determine the best aftercare for your specific situation.

Once you've left the hospital, you can usually return to your routine activities within a week. You will want to wait at least two weeks before doing any strenuous activity.

If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, you want to receive the best care possible. Our team of experts provides top-notch thyroid surgery in Los Angeles. No matter the type of surgery you require, you can count on us for treatment that allows you live a healthier and happier life.

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