Goiter can be expressed as an enlargement of the thyroid gland in general terms. The fluid or solid tissues formed within the thyroid glands are called thyroid nodules. Factors such as iodine deficiency, family history, Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid cysts and exposure to radioactive substances at a young age lead to the formation of thyroid nodules.
Goiter disease, which is expressed as an enlargement of the thyroid glands, manifests itself with some insidious complaints such as swallowing, breathing difficulties and chronic cough, as well as prominent masses. This picture, which may feel like something is stuck in the throat in some patients, can sometimes cause a feeling of tightening in the throat of the patients, even if the thyroid gland has not grown excessively. Goiter disease is usually detected during routine examinations.
Before answering the question of when goiter is operated, it should be emphasized that it is important to diagnose this disease, which manifests itself with insidious complaints and is usually detected during the examination, by undergoing regular physician control.
Goiter can be treated with different methods. After the definitive diagnosis is made in the light of comprehensive examination and tests, treatment methods are determined depending on the cause and degree of the disease. For this reason, it is very important to make the correct diagnosis before goiter surgeries.
In Which Situations Are Goiter Surgery Performed?
The surgical removal of the thyroid gland, which is performed to eliminate the structural or functional disorders of some goiter diseases, is called “Goiter Surgery”. At this stage, in the title of When Goiter is Operated;
- When cancer is detected as a result of biopsy
- In case of detection of suspicious cells in terms of cancer risk
- Patient experiencing breathing problems as a result of enlarged thyroid glands exerting pressure on the neck
- Swallowing problems while talking or eating due to enlarged thyroid glands
- Patients with no success after long-term drug use (uncontrolled hyperthyroidism in drug and nuclear medicine treatments)
- Patients in whom the size of the thyroid gland causes cosmetic problems
- In the presence of benign nodules, known as toxic adenomas, where the thyroid hormone is secreted in excess
- Patients at risk of cancer despite their small nodule size
Although swelling in the neck does not pose a risky situation, goiter surgeries should be performed in patients who cause aesthetic problems.
Thyroid nodules can be easily detected during examination or by imaging methods. Single or multiple nodules, which are more common especially in women, can be seen as goiter. However, it should not be forgotten that not all thyroid nodules require surgery.
Although a large nodule in the neck region spoils the appearance in that region, it can cause a number of problems, from shortness of breath to swallowing. If the goiter formed by multiple thyroid nodules is not large enough to cause these complaints and does not carry a cancer risk as a result of the examinations, it does not require surgery. However, in some people, thyroid gland enlargement may not be obvious from the outside, since the growth of the nodules is towards the chest cavity. It is called internal goiter among the people.
The important point to be discussed in the title of When to Operate Goiter is poisonous goiter. After the diagnosis of toxic goiter, “hyperthyroidism” can be seen after the thyroid nodules secrete excess thyroid hormone. First of all, hormone levels should be reduced to normal with medication. If necessary, then surgical treatment is recommended. However, in some of these patients, atomic therapy may be preferred instead of surgery.
Before goiter surgeries, the general condition of the patient is checked in detail. Effective and permanent treatment is obtained in all patients after goiter surgeries. It should be known that there is no risk of recurrence of the disease after the thyroid gland is completely removed by surgery. Another point to be considered is; After the removal of the thyroid gland, patients should use one tablet of medicine every day for life.
Hoarseness or changes in voice quality, which are likely to be experienced after goiter surgeries, may cause patients to be afraid of surgery and refuse to have surgery. However, it should be known that the risk of hoarseness is eliminated by using special nerve finder devices in surgeries performed by experienced endocrine surgeons. For this reason, some risks that cause fear before the decision of surgery are reduced and the tables that negatively affect the treatment decision are eliminated.