Thyroidectomy is most often performed on patients who have a lump on the thyroid gland, or a massively enlarged gland that makes breathing and swallowing difficult.
For thyroid cancer, the entire gland and often the adjacent lymph nodes may be removed, and radioactive iodine is often used to optimize the cure rate.
Parathyroid surgery is most often done for hyperparathyroidism resulting in high blood calcium levels. Technical advances in this operation now allows the surgeon to identify and remove the abnormal parathyroid gland through a small 1-1.5-inch incision, since 80 to 85 percent of the time only one parathyroid gland is abnormal and overproducing hormones.
Due to the numerous small nerves within the neck which reside around the thyroid and parathyroid glands, thyroidectomy is a highly specialized surgery requiring the expertise of skilled surgeons.
At Duke, specialty surgeons provide state-of-the-art surgical management of the thyroid and parathyroid tumors.
A team approach involving an experienced surgeon, endocrinologists, and physicians trained in nuclear medicine is of critical importance to the comprehensive approach to the treatment of these common diseases.
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