Latest Treatment for Thyroid Nodules

Latest Treatment for Thyroid Nodules
By Todd E. Samuelson, M.D., otolaryngologist on staff at USMD Hospital at Fort Worth

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in front of the windpipe 1 to 2 inches below the Adam’s apple. Some people may develop nodules on their thyroid called goiters. If the nodule is small and benign, your doctor may just keep an eye on it. But if it’s larger, your doctor may want to run some tests, like a fine needle aspiration or surgical biopsy. You may need to have the thyroid or parathyroid (near the thyroid) tissue removed.

Treating Thyroid Nodules

The latest and quite frankly coolest technique for treating thyroid nodules is minimally invasive surgery. 

Developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, minimally invasive thyroid surgery uses a far smaller incision to remove the thyroid (and/or parathyroid) tissue, decreasing pain and the size of the scar.

I’ve been performing thyroid and parathyroid surgery for almost 25 years. Here in the Fort Worth area, the standard incision for a small nodule ranges from 4 cm to as much as 5 inches. But I started focusing on minimally invasive techniques when improved equipment became available around 2003, and have since made incisions as small as a little over 1 cm. 

It gives me great joy when a patient comments on how much smaller their incision was than their neighbor's or relative's, or when an endocrinologist calls to say he can’t believe I got the thyroid out through such a small incision. The minimally invasive approach just offers a much better result for the patient.

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Learn more about having smaller scars and less pain through minimally invasive thyroid surgery.

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