Thyroid conditions and thyroid nodules are relatively common. Most thyroid nodules are not cancer and can simply be monitored. When thyroid cancer is present, or when the thyroid gland becomes large enough to make it difficult to breathe or swallow, surgery to partially or completely remove the thyroid gland is necessary. The ENT specialists in Anchorage at Alaska Center for Ear, Nose, and Throat have years of experience diagnosing cancer, counseling patients, and performing thyroid surgery.
If you're concerned about an enlarged thyroid or thyroid nodule, request a consultation online, or call our office at (907) 279-8800 to schedule an appointment. For our Homer and surrounding patients, please call (907) 235-0310.
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Thyroid surgery is typically performed in a hospital or surgery center under general anesthesia, and takes about 2 hours or less. Minimally invasive surgery, resulting in a smaller scar and shorter recovery, is an effective option for removing smaller nodules. Thyroid surgery poses a risk to the nerves that stimulate the vocal cords, so the surgeons at ACENT monitor those nerves closely during surgery.
The recuperation period following thyroid surgery will likely be a week to 10 days. Most patients experience minimal pain. A minor sore throat the day after surgery is common. You may also notice a temporary change in your voice. Mild swelling and bruising are possible. A surgical drain may be placed during surgery and removed during recovery.