source: American Thyroid Association
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
Who Should Consider Thyroidectomy for Management of Graves’ Disease?
Thyroidectomy should be considered for anyone with Graves’ disease (GD) and moderate-to-severe eye disease, or smokers with GD due to increased risk of exacerbation of eye disease after radioactive iodine. Women with GD who are pregnant, nursing, or who have young children at home would benefit from a surgical consultation in an effort to avoid radiation exposure to the home. Patients who are found to have an associated thyroid cancer or a nodule suspicious for thyroid cancer should undergo thyroidectomy as the primary treatment. Anyone with GD who is interested in a rapid resolution of hormone control and hopes to avoid a prolonged transition from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism would benefit from surgical consultation.