Home Thyroid Surgery - Traditional
Thyroid Surgery - Traditional Thyroidectomy
Thursday, 26 March 2009 17:14


What is a thyroidectomy, thyroid surgery?


Traditional Technique


The traditional thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy) consists of making a 3-4 inch incision in the neck and removing the thyroid gland.  This surgery is invasive and requires general anesthesia.  A non-complicated thyroidectomy typically takes 2-3 hours.  One can also have a hemi-thyroidectomy.  In this surgery only half of the thyroid is removed. 


The traditional thyroidectomy usually requires a patient to be admitted to the hospital for 2-3 days for monitoring.  A full recovery typically takes 2-4 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery and if any addition surgery was required (lymphectomy).


Thyroid surgery can be very intimidating.  The thyroid gland is located next to the Laryngeal nerve which controls your voice.  If the laryngeal nerve is damaged from surgery one can have permanent voice changes or hoarseness.  


Risks of Thyroid Surgery:


Damage to the laryngeal nerve

Damage to the parathyroid glands




Difficulty swallowing



Here is an actual traditional thyroidectomy surgery that I found on youtube.  It is a little bloody so if you don't like to see fresh I would not watch it. 



Below is a video of a young female that has gone through thyroid cancer and surgery.  I was touched by her story so I thought I would add it to this blog.  I guess once you go through thyroid cancer you feel a bond to anyone else that has had to go through the same thing.  I'm sure you'll learn from it.  I believe she is in the military and has gone through two surgeries at a German hospital.  She had the traditional thyroid surgery so her incision is larger.  Her videos are about 10 minutes long but I think they are a good perspective.  She does swear a few times so it's probably a PG 13 video. 


Don't let her experience scare you.  My experience was much different.  Read MY STORY if you want to compare.  The biggest difference is that I had the minimally invasive surgical technique.  The recovery time is much faster. 

First Surgery



She discovered that the nodule was a thyroid carcinoma.  This is always a very hard thing to find out.  I heart goes out to her.  It's very hard knowing that you have to go through the entire surgery again.  I experience the same thing.  However, I did my second surgery two days later instead of a few months later.  My scar didn't really have much time to heal. 


Second surgery post operative. 



Month after surgery.




Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2012 11:42

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