One of treating options for Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism offered by doctors today is thyroidectomy- total or partial. Even though I am totally against this method of treatment it is well known and recommended in Europe and much less in the USA.
Thyroidectomy is actually a surgery where the entire thyroid gland is removed. From that point ahead the thyroid gland no longer can produce any thyroid hormone. This is not an attempt to heal the thyroid gland, or find the reasons for that condition. In fact, you’ll be cutting this beautiful butterfly on the left into pieces (the picture is a gift from one of my clients).
However doctors believe that by that invasive procedure the problem will be completely resolved, no matter that it creates many other irreversible problems for a life time- one of them is that you’ll be on thyroid medication for the rest of your life, to substitute the hormones which the thyroid gland should be producing, but it is not, because you don’t have a thyroid gland any more!
When the entire thyroid is removed it is called a total thyroidectomy. When 1/2 or even 1/4 of the thyroid gland is removed (such as in removal of a lobe) it is referred as a partial thyroidectomy. In short:
Partial thyroidectomy: surgery that removes only part of the thyroid gland (usually one of the lobes)
Near-total thyroidectomy: removal of nearly all of each thyroid lobe, leaving only a small portion of the thyroid gland, to produce some thyroid hormone.
The surgical removal of the thyroid gland, called thyroidectomy, is the oldest known treatment option. Surgery is also an option for people who have a very large goiter, and those who are allergic to, or who develop severe side effects from, the drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism.
A lot of people ask me if they should go for Subtotal Thyroidectomy/ Total Thyroidectomy to resolve their hyperthyroidism issues (or not), what are the pros and cons of that surgery.