What is Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery?
In some people, the thyroid produces too many hormones or experiences structural problems, such as swelling or cysts. While most cysts are benign, some can be cancerous or grow large enough to obstruct one's throat. When one or more of these problems occur, thyroid surgery may be necessary to remove all or part of the thyroid gland, also known as a thyroidectomy.
Similarly, parathyroid glands can sometimes release too much calcium into a person's bloodstream, a condition known as hypercalcemia. When this takes place, parathyroid surgery may be required to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands.
How to Prepare for Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
Before your thyroid or parathyroid surgery, your doctors will ask you to stop taking medications that can interfere with your blood's ability to clot, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. You may also be required to fast after midnight the night before your surgery.
What Can You Expect?
Your thyroid or parathyroid surgery will take place in the hospital. After checking in, you'll put on a hospital gown, and a nurse will insert an IV in your hand or arm to administer fluids and medication during surgery. Before surgery, you'll meet with your surgeon and anesthesiologist to discuss what will take place, as well as answer any questions you may have. Once you're put to sleep, the doctor will remove your thyroid or parathyroid through an incision on your neck. The surgery usually lasts around two hours.