How The Procedure Works
A thyroidectomy is performed with general anesthesia. It typically takes one to two hours to complete. When it is done in cases of thyroid cancer, the surgeon may need to remove some of the lymph nodes around the thyroid. The conventional form of the procedure involves surgeons making an incision at the center of the neck to access and remove the thyroid. The surgeon will attempt to make the incision in a skin crease so that any scarring will be easily hidden.
With an endoscopic thyroidectomy, several smaller incisions are made in the neck. Surgical instruments and cameras are inserted into the incisions, and the camera provides visual guidance for the surgical team. The newest approach to this procedure is a transoral thyroidectomy. In this method, the surgeon does not need to make any incisions in the patient's neck. Instead, incisions are made inside the mouth, and there is no scarring. The surgeon will choose the safest and most appropriate surgical method for the patient's condition.