Total thyroidectomy

Some thyroid conditions require surgical removal of the thyroid called a total thyroidectomy. This procedure may be used to treat thyroid tumors (cancerous and noncancerous), multinodular goiters and hyperthyroidism. Your Texas Children’s surgeon will remove your child’s thyroid through an incision (precise cut) at the base of your child’s neck.

The initial therapy for all types of thyroid cancer is surgery. The type and extent of surgery depends on the location and number of nodules, and whether the neck lymph nodes are involved.

What to expect after surgery?

Your child will remain in the hospital overnight for recovery. Typically, your child won’t feel pain after the first few days. In about three days he or she will able to return to school and then full activity in two weeks.

After a total thyroidectomy, your child will no longer make thyroid hormone on their own. Your Texas Children’s Hospital physician will prescribe a daily thyroid hormone replacement medication, which your child will take for the rest of his or her life.