Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Most cases of Thyroid cancer need surgical removal of tumor and all or part of the remaining thyroid gland. Surgery is considered as first part of treatment in almost all the cases but the type of surgery depends upon the location and size of tumor. Surgeon may choose from the following types of surgery for thyroid cancer:
Lobectomy: It is the procedure that involves removal of lobe containing the cancer along with the isthmus in differentiated thyroid cancers that are small and show no signs of spread beyond the thyroid gland. The procedure is advantageous as compared to other surgeries as patient might not need to take thyroid hormone pills after the procedure as some part of the gland is left behind.
Thyroidectomy: It is the most common surgery for thyroid cancer and involves removal of the thyroid gland. It can be of following types:
Total thyroidectomy, if the entire thyroid gland is removed.
Near-total thyroidectomy,if nearly all of the gland is removed.
Subtotal thyroidectomy, if most of the gland is removed.
In case of thyroidectomy, patient is required to take daily thyroid hormone (levothyroxine) pills after the procedure to maintain thyroid levels in the body.
Lymph node removal: In cases where the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes in the neck, the removal of lymph nodes by surgical procedure called a central compartment neck dissection is necessary.In addition to this, lymph nodes on the side of the neck are also removed in some cases by a modified radical neck dissection.
What will happen after the surgery?
Thyroid cancer surgery is very less associated with complications or risks.
In cases where thyroid gland is removed, patient is required to take daily thyroid hormone replacement pills.
Patients can leave the hospital within a day after the operation.
Surgery can cause temporary or permanent hoarseness or loss of voice.
Patient may have low blood calcium levels due to damage to the parathyroid glands during surgery.
Excessive bleeding or wound infection may occur in some cases.
Patient may have a small scar across the front of neck that will become less noticeable over time as it heals.
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