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  • Background
  • Benign Non-toxic Multinodular Goiter
  • Diseases of Thyroid
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Thyroid FAQ
  • Thyroid Nodule
  • Thyroid Surgery
  • Thyroid The Office Visit
Thyroid Image

What Is The Thyroid?

In depth readingThe thyroid gland is one of the body’s most important endocrine organs because it helps to regulate the body’s metabolism.  The thyroid is located in the central neck and overlies the trachea (windpipe) and is below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) and cricoid cartilage. Although its size can vary, based on a person’s…

Image of a thyroid scan

Thyroid Preparation for Surgery

Aside from the routine pre-operative tests that may be required to assess the patient’s overall health (i.e. blood tests, chest X-ray, EKG), the evaluation of a patient prior to thyroid surgery may include: Imaging studies — ultrasound, chest X-ray, CAT scan, RAI scan Blood tests — to check thyroid and parathyroid function Fine-needle aspiration biopsy — to assess for malignancy. Rarely, the…

Thyroid Imagery

Thyroid Office Visit

What questions will I be asked? When a thyroid nodule is detected, the physician will ask you about your medical history and perform a complete physical exam. Symptoms such as pain, swelling in the neck, difficulty with swallowing, shortness of breath, difficulty with breathing, or a change in your voice should be discussed. Your family…

Hand touching throat of patient

Thyroid Nodules

Background What is a Thyroid Nodule? Signs and Symptoms Risk Factors Diagnosis What is Thyroid Biopsy? Bethesda Criteria Results of FNA Biopsy Summary

Doctor performing routine medical checkup

Thyroid Lymphoma

Overview Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare type of thyroid cancer. It arises from special blood cells called lymphocytes. PTL accounts for 1 to 5% of all thyroid cancers, 1 to 2% of all lymphomas outside of lymph nodes, and has an annual incidence of 2 cases per one million people. There are several…

mockup thyroid gland

Thyroid Frequently Asked Questions

What is the thyroid gland? The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits low in your neck along the front of the trachea (windpipe). It has two lobes, left and right, and is connected by a band of tissue, called the isthmus. It is responsible for secreting thyroid hormones, which act throughout the body…


The Importance of Finding an Experienced Thyroid Surgeon

Research has proven that the chance of having a safe and successful thyroid surgery depends on the experience of the surgeon. In general, a surgeon should do at least 30 thyroid operations a year to be minimize the chances of surgical complications. Patients should not be shy or embarrassed to ask how many thyroid operations…

Recovery Photo

Recovery After Thyroid Surgery

There is not much pain involved with thyroid surgery. Most patients will experience excellent pain control using over the counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol)  or ibuprofen to control their discomfort. Rarely is narcotic pain medication (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine) required, and usually this is in the immediate post-operative period in the recovery room. After surgery,…

Iodine pill and bottle

Radioactive Iodine

What is Radioactive Iodine (RAI)? RAI (I131) is a radioactive form of the more common iodine that can be found in foods (especially shellfish). Thyroid cells take up iodine much more than any other cell in the body in order to make thyroid hormone. When RAI is taken up by the thyroid, the radioactive iodine…

Second Opinion

Obtaining a Second Opinion

Should I get a second opinion? How do I find one? Obtaining a second opinion is a personal choice. If you feel uncomfortable with the advice you have received from one surgeon and wish to have another expert opinion, it is certainly your right to do so. You should be confident in your treating physician…

Woman holding purple ribbon

Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Overview Medullary thyroid cancer is a rare form of thyroid cancer and accounts for 3 to 10% of all thyroid cancers. MTC grows from specialized thyroid cells called parafollicular cells, or C-cells that make a hormone called calcitonin. Calcitonin helps control bone formation and blood calcium levels, but its action in humans is not very powerful. Unlike thyroxine (T4), calcitonin does…


Lymph Node Biopsy or Dissection

Will lymph nodes be sampled during my thyroid operation? Lymph nodes are small glands throughout your body that collect any fluid, infection, or cancer cells. Each group of nodes is responsible for a particular body part. For example, groin lymph nodes are responsible for the legs and axillary (armpit) lymph nodes are responsible for the…

Decrease Thyroid


Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone. This condition also is called underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Over time, hypothyroidism that isn’t treated can lead to other health problems, such as high cholesterol and heart problems.



Overview Hyperthyroidism is a disease in which the thyroid gland is over active and makes too much thyroid hormone. Like most conditions of the thyroid gland, it is more common in women. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by either overproduction of thyroid hormone or excessive release of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland due to inflammation…

Scientist in a laboratory with microscope

Frozen Section

Will a biopsy (Frozen Section) be done in the operating room to look at the tumor? The number of frozen sections done during an operation has decreased significantly over the last decade. The first reason for this is the improved ability to diagnose papillary thyroid cancer and benign (non-cancerous) lesions pre-operatively. Secondly, it is known…

Thyroid Cancer

Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Differentiated thyroid cancer This group includes papillary (PTC), follicular (FTC), Hurthle (HCC), and follicular variant (FVPTC) types of thyroid cancer. If the cancer is very small and found only one side of the thyroid, or there is only a small amount of capsular invasion, without any evidence of vascular or lymphatic invasion, it is classified…


Complications from Thyroid Surgery

Surgery to remove the thyroid gland is well tolerated and has low complication rates when performed by an experienced thyroid surgeon. In general, thyroid surgery is very safe and has a low risk of major complications. Your surgeon will discuss the risks of your specific thyroid operation with you in detail, and you will have…

Clinical Trials and Targeted Therapy

Clinical Trials and Targeted Therapy

Patients considering enrollment in a clinical trial should read the list of conditions below from the National Cancer Institute. They can also call the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and ask for a customized search of the PDQ database, which provides information on current studies. From the National Cancer Institute, National…

adult woman with wavy purple hair

Cancer Survivorship and Long-term Follow-up

Cancer Survivorship and Long-term follow-up There are currently more than 800,000 thyroid cancer survivors in the United States. The issues that develop during survivorship (which starts at the time of diagnosis) can be multiple, and have been under-addressed for decades. These needs generally fall into the categories of informational, practical, and emotional / psychosocial realms.…

Benign thyroid enlargement

Benign Thyroid Enlargement

Overview A Goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. The gland can be generally enlarged or have multiple growths (nodules) leading to enlargement of the whole thyroid gland. The latter is termed multinodular goiter (MNG). There are two forms of multinodular goiter: 1) nontoxic MNG and 2) toxic MNG. If the goiter makes normal amounts of thyroid hormone, it is…


Anesthesia for Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid surgery is most commonly performed using general anesthesia. With general anesthesia, a breathing tube is placed into the trachea (airway) once you have been drifted off to sleep with IV medications. You are asleep for the entire operation. When needed, this also allows for the recurrent laryngeal nerves (responsible for vocal cord motion) and other nerves…

Thyroid Cancer

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

Background Signs and Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Prognosis Summary