Patients may need to have part of their thyroid removed (a procedure called thyroid lobectomy) or their entire thyroid removed (called total thyroidectomy) for one of the following reasons:
The thyroid gland is traditionally removed through a small horizontal incision in the front of the neck. In most patients, this heals to a thin line that is difficult to see over time. However, some patients heal with thicker scars or keloid, which can be more visible.
A new technique called Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy Vestibular Approach (TOETVA) has been developed. With this surgery, the thyroid gland is removed without leaving any visible scars in the neck. Small incisions are made inside the mouth, and the thyroid gland is removed using a video camera and laparoscopic instruments. In some cases, an additional well-hidden ½ inch incision is made just under the chin.
Good candidates for Scarless Thyroidectomy include patients with smaller thyroid nodules or cancers. This technique is not appropriate for patients with very large or invasive thyroid cancers.
Patients with hyperparathyroidism have one or more overactive parathyroid glands, which produce too much parathyroid hormone. This can cause osteoporosis, kidney stones, and other symptoms such as fatigue.
Similar to thyroid surgery, parathyroid surgery is traditionally performed through a small horizontal incision in the front of the neck. The new TOETVA technique can be performed for patients with hyperparathyroidism.
Good candidates for Scarless Parathyroidectomy include patients with a well-localized parathyroid adenoma (imaging clearly shows which parathyroid gland is abnormal). This technique is not appropriate for patients who have had prior parathyroid or thyroid surgery.