Thyroid Surgery (Thyroidectomy) - Anchorage, Alaska

Thyroid Surgery (Thyroidectomy)

Thyroid surgery becomes necessary when the thyroid produces excess hormones or develops structural problems like the growth of cysts and swelling.The surgery involves removing all or part of the thyroid gland. Our surgeon, Dr. Prasad has the experience and expertise in performing thyroid surgery for treating thyroid problems.

Reasons for Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid surgery is recommended in the following conditions:

  • Noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter) that causes difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • Hyperthyroidism: when the thyroid overproduces the hormone thyroxine
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Problems with antithyroid drugs and radioactive iodine therapy

Types of Thyroid Surgery

The most common types of thyroid surgery are:

  • Lobectomy – when only one of the two lobes is removed.
  • Subtotal thyroidectomy – when the thyroid gland is removed, but a small amount of thyroid tissue is left behind.
  • Total thyroidectomy – when the entire thyroid gland and the thyroid tissue is removed.


Lobectomy is a type of surgery where half of the thyroid gland that has the nodule is removed. It is an effective surgical procedure to treat small or intermediate size papillary thyroid cancers. In this procedure, a small incision in the lower central neck is made after giving general anesthesia to the patient.

It is sometimes called ‘diagnostic lobectomy’ because the preoperative diagnosis may be uncertain, and the reason for this surgery is to make a diagnosis whether you have cancer or not. Generally, a frozen section (biopsy of the nodule) is performed during the procedure while the patient remains under anesthesia. The pathologist then examines the nodule, and if cancer is found, the patient would have to go for a total thyroidectomy.

The patient will have to get their thyroid levels checked after surgery. Depending on the thyroid levels, some patients might have to undergo thyroid hormone replacement.

How Is Thyroid Surgery Performed?

Your surgeon will use general anesthesia during the procedure. Several monitors are placed on your body to ensure your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen are at safe levels throughout the surgical procedure. The surgeon makes an incision in the neck or several incisions around the thyroid. All or part of the thyroid gland is removed depending on the type of surgical procedure. If you have thyroid cancer, the surgeon may remove lymph nodes around the thyroid. The main approaches to thyroidectomy are:

  • Conventional thyroidectomy in which an incision is made in the center of the neck.
  • Laparoscopic thyroidectomy in which smaller incisions are made in the neck through which a small video camera and surgical instruments are inserted.

[Also Read: Major Surgery and Minor Surgery: What Are the Differences]

Why Choose Us for Thyroid Surgery?

At Alaska cancer treatment center Far North Surgery, we use the latest techniques, tools, and surgical procedures to treat thyroid problems. Our surgeon Dr. Madhu Prasad uses laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery in treating thyroid problems and thyroid cancer. Call us at 907-276-3676 to get the best treatment option for thyroid problems or answer any questions you may have. You can also fill out our 1-minute contact form here.


Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

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