he thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that is located on the lower part of the neck below the voice box. The thyroid works to produce hormones, secrete calcium in the blood, regulate metabolism and body heat.
When the thyroid secretes too much hormones, it may swell and grow nodules or cysts. When these problems happen, a thyroid gland surgery may be needed. When thyroidectomy is performed, the whole or a portion of the thyroid is removed under general anesthesia.
Thyroidectomy is needed if:
How is Thyroidectomy performed?
There are different kinds of thyroid gland surgery performed depending on the needs of the patient. Nowadays, thyroid gland surgeries are now performed using an endoscope. Endoscopic thyroidectomy is where small incisions are made to the skin and a tiny camera with instruments is passed to guide the operation.
Total thyroidectomy. The surgeon will remove the lymph nodes and both sections (lobes) of the thyroid gland. Additional treatments will be required such as radioactive iodine along with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) suppression.
Thyroid lobectomy with or without an isthmectomy. Your surgeon will remove thyroid nodules that are located in one lobe (lobectomy). Alternatively, with an isthmectomy, the isthmus or narrow band of tissue that links the two lobes are removed. After surgery, the removed nodules will be examined under a microscope to check is there are cancer cells present. If there are, your surgeon may advise you to have a completion thyroidectomy.
Subtotal (near-total) thyroidectomy. The surgeon will remove the isthmus, one complete lobe, and the other part of the lobe. This procedure is highly indicated for patients with hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease (an autoimmune disease wherein one’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, making it secrete high levels of the hormone thyroxine).
How Much Does Thyroidectomy Cost?
For a total and partial thyroidectomy in the US, it may cost $17,000 - $23,500 not including doctor’s fees. However, it may shoot up at $35,000 if complications occur. Meanwhile costs for thyroid cancer treatment may range $20,000-$40,000 for surgery alone and $4,000 for radioactive iodine treatment.
In India, a partial thyroidectomy (hemi thyroidectomy) may range $1,300-4,600, while a parathyroidectomy ranges $1,350- $4,700. For a total thyroidectomy, it can cost $1,960-$5,200. These procedures already include the surgery cost, doctor's fees, hospitalization costs, nursing care charges and airport pickup/drop off for 3-4 days hospital stay.
On the other hand, in Turkey, thyroid gland surgery may cost $3,422 for a two-day stay in the hospital.
Who Performs Thyroidectomy?
Most patients choose an endocrine surgeon who has performed 300 or more thyroidectomies. A general surgeon and oncology surgeon are also capable to perform thyroidectomy.
In choosing the right surgeon, seek someone who is experienced in performing a thyroidectomy. You may also ask if he or she underwent fellowship training in thyroid surgery and its sub-specialization. Of course, you should prefer a well-trained and experienced surgeon to perform your surgery.
For more information about thyroid gland procedures and where you can find the best treatment option, do not hesitate to contact us!