Getting Thyroid Surgery Thyroid Conditions


Together, you and your doctor will decide if thyroid surgery is right for you. If it is, you’ll have either traditional thyroid surgery or minimally invasive thyroid surgery.

Is It Right For Me?

Thyroid surgery may be the only treatment option if:

  • Your thyroid is greatly enlarged and is causing problems for your breathing or swallowing
  • Your doctor thinks you may have thyroid cancer
  • You have an over-active thyroid that drugs/radioiodine treatment cannot control

What To Expect

Traditional surgery

In traditional, open thyroid surgery, a 2–8 cm incision (cut) is made in the skin of the lower part of the neck. The surgery is done under a general anesthetic. You will need to stay in the hospital for one or two days.

More: Getting traditional thyroid surgery

Minimally invasive surgery

A minimally invasive approach leaves only a tiny scar that may be less visible. The surgery may be done under local or general anesthetic. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may or may not require an overnight stay in the hospital.

More: Getting minimally invasive thyroid surgery

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.