The thyroid gland is one of the endocrine glands of the body, which secretes hormones that have vital regulatory role in metabolism of the body. The thyroid gland is located in the lower midline portion of the neck immediately in front of the voice box and the windpipe. Thyroid gland frequently develops cystic or solid growths within itself that in majority of instances are non-cancerous (benign) and do not require surgical removal. In minority of cases, however, the growth inside the thyroid gland may be malignant and in those cases, the primary treatment is thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland). In those circumstances where the diagnostic tests such as ultrasound or fine needle aspiration biopsy (sampling of a few cells from the growth using small needles under local anesthesia and examining them under the microscope) do not definitively diagnose the growth as malignant or benign, and if malignancy is suspected, partial thyroidectomy is performed, removing only the portion of the thyroid gland containing the suspicious tumor, so further pathology testing and evaluation can be performed on the removed tissue. Every attempt is made to perform minimally invasive surgery through very small and almost invisible incisions when appropriate criteria are met. We also use intraoperative laryngeal nerve monitoring to minimize surgical risks such as vocal cord paralysis. Recovery from thyroid surgery is generally well tolerated and easy. The downtime is quite short ranging around a few days. As thyroid surgeons, we work closely with endocrinologists, internists, radiologists, and pathologists to coordinate and optimize the care of our patients.
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