Let's Talk About Thyroidectomy

Hello Hivians, hope you're all fine and your night was cool. I went for an emergency night duty yesterday and it wasn't funny at all. Going for night duty is never an easy task as you're all aware of how tough it tends to be. The shift started very calmly with just four patients although they rushed in another patient that was very restless but my duty is to make him feel good and alright. We did all we could to ensure he became calm. My night duty was cool as I said earlier but *mosquitos are horrible for me*. If you've ever worked in any of the public hospitals here, you would understand better why I said the night was horrible because of mosquitoes. But as a nurse I have to render my full care for my patients as they are there for me to give them better care.

I'm actually interested in one of the conditions of which I would tell you about it, don't worry. So why am I interested in this condition? Entering the ward, I saw three patients on a tube called tracheostomy tube. Maybe this is the first time you're hearing about this tube or you must have heard of it before. But just know that the tube is majorly used for unconscious patients to help breathe during and after surgery.

This tube is inserted by the Doctor, maybe at bedside or in the theater after surgery.

Going through the patients folders, I discovered that three of the patients had almost the same surgery before they were moved to the ward for care.

So I was like today I have to teach this great family what this condition is all about. These patients all had the same surgery called thyroidectomy. Don't worry I will tell you about it. Just keep reading and get the knowledge.

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What is thyroidectomy?

Thyroidectomy can be defined as a surgery done by a professional surgeon to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that secretes the thyroid hormone which is needed for daily metabolism. It is located in the neck and placed in front of the trachea (windpipe). During the surgery, a tube called a drain is placed in the neck to drain out fluid from the incision site. This drain is removed before the patient is discharged from the ward.

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Reasons for removing the thyroid gland

Removal of the thyroid gland is sometimes the best option for the treatment of most thyroid conditions. Although medication can also be used as a treatment for some thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism (decrease secretion of thyroid hormone). Thyroidectomy is indicated by a physician in the following conditions;

  • Large thyroid nodules (a cancerous growth of the thyroid gland)

  • Goiter: this is a condition that occurs as a result of swelling of the thyroid gland. This condition leads to difficulty in swallowing, trouble breathing and coughing.

  • Retrosternal goiter: this condition occurs when goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland) extends into the chest.

  • Thyroid cancer

  • Hyperthyroidism: this is the over secretion of the thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland.

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Types of thyroid surgery

There are different types of thyroid surgery that are best diagnosed for the different thyroid conditions. Some of this surgery is diagnosed depending on the size and the medical history of the thyroid gland. These surgeries include;

Partial thyroid lobectomy:

This is a type of surgery that involves the removal of one of the lobe of the thyroid gland. This is the least common type of thyroid surgery.

Thyroid lobectomy:

This is a surgery done to remove either the entire right or left lobe of the thyroid gland.

Thyroid lobectomy and isthmus removal:

This is the surgery done to remove the isthmus and the entire lobe of the thyroid gland.

Subtotal thyroidectomy:

This involves the removal of the part of the lobe and the entire isthmus of the thyroid gland. One part of the lobe of the thyroid gland will remain.

Total thyroidectomy:

This is the surgery done to remove the entire lobe of the thyroid gland and the isthmus.

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During the surgery, for the patient to breathe while asleep, the surgeon will insert the tracheostomy tube into the trachea. This tube helps the patient to breathe during and after the surgery. The tube is removed either a day or two days after the surgery. If the tube is not removed early, it may lead to loss of voice of the patient.

Side effects of thyroidectomy

Thyroid surgeries are safe when done with an experienced surgeon. Although there are some side effects that occur as a result of poor management. These side effects includes;

  • Pain

  • Hoarseness: this happens when there is damage to one of the nerves that enters into the voice box. Few weeks after the surgery, it may go away. Although proper management can prevent it.

  • Loss of thyroid function: this happens when most part of the thyroid gland is removed during surgery. This would require the patient to take drugs that would work as thyroid hormone in the body

  • Difficulty breathing: Bleeding, swelling and damage of nerves, would lead to difficulty in breathing.

  • Low calcium: most times, thyroid surgery affects the parathyroid gland which is responsible for calcium secretion in the body. The parathyroid gland is found just at the back of the thyroid gland.

Medications and food before the surgery

Iodine and potassium solutions are medications prescribed by the health care provider when they discover that you have hyperthyroidism. These medications help in controlling the thyroid function and decrease the chances of bleeding that would occur after the surgery.
To prevent the complications of anesthesia, patients are advised not to eat or drink anything through the mouth for sometime before the surgery. Instructions would be given to the patient by the health care provider before the surgery commences.

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What to expect before the surgery

These surgeries are performed under general anesthesia, so the patient would be sleeping during the surgery. The anesthetic injects the patient with a prescribed medication that would help the patient to fall asleep during the surgery. Monitors are then placed on the patient's body that would help monitor the blood pressure, pulse and temperature of the patient.

During the surgery

Once the patient is unconscious, the surgeon would make an incision in the center of the neck. Depending on the reason for the surgery, all or part of the thyroid gland will be removed. The surgery usually takes 1-2 hours before it would be done.

After surgery

After surgery, the patient is moved to the recovery room until he or she becomes conscious before they are transferred to the ward for proper care by the nurses.

Just hope you just added something new to your knowledge today.

Thanks for stopping by and would be expecting your questions in the comment section 🥰🥰🥰.



My health



Thanks for the shared knowledge, this was really informative. I hope the patient will be sedated before the procedure is carried out. because I can imagine having an eye wide open to experience such a procedure like that lady in the picture.


Yeah they would be sedated definitely. The lady in the picture in just for description on where the surgery is been carried out. Thank you


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