Reasons for Thyroid Surgery
Most of us have heard of the thyroid. It's often called the "master gland" because of its role in maintaining the body's metabolism. Just like other endocrine glands (such as the pancreas), the thyroid can malfunction or even develop cancer. In either case, thyroid surgery may be necessary. In Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks, CA, the otolaryngologists at West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery precisely diagnose and treat thyroid issues in patients of all ages. Read here about thyroid disorders and the surgeries which alleviate them.
Symptoms of thyroid problems
Your thyroid is an H-shaped gland located near the Adam's Apple in the neck. While the adrenal gland in your brain gives off TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, the thyroid gland secretes T3 and T4 which regulate your heart rate, temperature and other factors associated with metabolism.
While people of all ages suffer from thyroid malfunction and cancer, these problems are more prevalent in women during postpartum or post-menopause. Sometimes the thyroid secretes too much thyroxin and sometimes, too little.
With hypothyroidism (too little of the hormone), sufferers often gain weight, lose hair and are generally listless. With hyperthyroidism (Graves' Disease), the opposite is true. Patients lose weight, sweat, feel irritable and suffer from insomnia.
Additionally, some individuals develop benign tumors of the thyroid (nodules) or fluid-filled cysts. Others fall prey to thyroid malignancies. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 54,000 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States, and yes, the majority of patients are women.
Treating the thyroid
Of course, treatment depends on several factors. At West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery, our doctors specialize in disorders of the thyroid and also perform thyroid surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks. Through physical examination, precise imaging and review of lab work and symptoms, these physicians accurately diagnose and treat a variety of thyroid problems.
While some issues may be treated with medication only (supplemental calcium or thyroxin, as examples), others require thyroid surgery. Thyroid cancer is a common reason to remove part or all of this endocrine gland.
Thyroid surgery in Simi Valley, Camarillo, Ventura County and Thousand Oaks
The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons says there are three categories of thyroidectomies. They include:
- Total thyroidectomy in which the entire gland is removed
- Lobectomy which removes part of the gland, typically for biopsy
- Completion thyroidectomy in which the rest of the gland is removed after a partial resection
Most thyroid patients have some scarring after surgery. However, the endoscopic techniques used by the doctors at West Coast ENT reduce the extent and the appearance of scars. Additionally, a majority of surgical patients take thyroid hormone replacement afterward.
The thyroid and its associated conditions really aren't mysterious. To understand it and to know when drug and surgery therapies are needed, talk to West Coast ENT Head & Neck Surgery. Their six physicians are highly skilled and experienced. They'll help you be well-informed and healthy, too. Call today for your consultation.