Thyroid cancer surgery can often be minimally invasive with an approximately one inch incision in the lower front neck that will heal beautifully in nearly all patients. We have a thyroid cancer surgery which is minimally invasive for you to watch here. You don’t need to be afraid of seeing something shocking. There is no trickery here. Thyroid cancer surgery has no bleeding associated with it. Literally, a drop or two of blood may be lost in these surgeries. What you will see is how important an expert surgeon is to having the correct thyroid cancer surgery. You will also see how a minimally invasive thyroid cancer surgery will remain minimally invasive but still remove all of your cancer.

Incision one month following thyroid cancer surgery Neck incision one month after thyroid cancer surgery

Look at this photo here of a young woman one month following her thyroid cancer surgery. The incision will basically not be visible within one year despite removal of all of her thyroid gland and the surrounding central compartment lymph nodes.

The results are a cure, no complications, and an almost invisible scar (The entire surgery takes 20-40 minutes. It is a piece of art, see for yourself). You don’t need to be concerned over watching any videos on this website. These videos are meant to inform you. You will never be surprised by blood or any ability to identify any individual. Take this opportunity to learn more.

Quick Facts

Thyroid Cancer Surgery is the most common first treatment and most effective known treatment for the following thyroid cancers:
  • Papillary thyroid cancer (and all of the different types (variants) of papillary thyroid cancers that exist within this group)
  • follicular thyroid cancer
  • hurthle cell cancer
  • medullary thyroid cancer
  • anaplastic thyroid cancer which is confined to the thyroid gland or only found in the neck

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Thyroid cancer surgery is not only the first treatment but is commonly the only treatment that may be indicated for many patients with favorable papillary, follicular and medullary thyroid cancers. It is critical that a highly experienced thyroid cancer surgeon and the correct thyroid cancer surgery is obtained the first time. Thyroid cancer surgery should only be done by expert thyroid surgeons. By choosing the right thyroid surgeon and the correct thyroid cancer surgery, you are cured. The wrong choice may lead to repeated surgeries, complications, and even worse!

Thyroid cancer surgery was one of the first ever described surgeries in medicine, but early on it wasn’t very pretty or safe. Over the past 100 years, thyroid cancer surgery has evolved into its current state of the art by some of the most recognized names in surgical history. Today, in skilled hands, thyroid cancer surgery may be considered an art form in its own right.

Editor's Note: Thyroid cancer surgery is used to provide a diagnosis only in thyroid lymphoma. Thyroid surgery is not a treatment for thyroid lymphoma.

Thyroid cancer surgery must be considered in two different areas when you think about the neck.
  1. Surgery of the thyroid gland itself.
  2. Surgery for the lymph nodes of the neck.
The basic concept is, however, very simple, the thyroid cancer surgery must remove all of the thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Cancer Surgery can be approached by three basics types of thyroid gland surgery: What are they and what is right for me?
  • One is removal of about half of the thyroid gland called thyroid lobectomy.
  • The other is removal of all of the thyroid gland and is called total thyroidectomy.
  • The third type of thyroidectomy is called a subtotal or near total thyroidectomy where almost all of the thyroid gland is removed (Editors note: Subtotal thyroidectomy is largely a surgery for removal of thyroid goiters and is not a commonly indicated thyroid cancer surgery. Almost all thyroid cancers are treated primarily with removal of either the entire thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy) or half of the thyroid gland (thyroid lobectomy).

Thyroid Cancer Surgery in Sites Other Than The Neck

Thyroid cancer surgery is uncommonly proposed as a treatment approach when disease has spread to distant sites. Although surgery is not commonly proposed for distant spread of papillary thyroid cancer, consideration for surgery for distant disease is based upon the expert thyroid cancer team evaluation and considers the following issues:

  • Where is the thyroid cancer distant disease located?
  • What are the risks and benefits of surgery?
  • Are there other sites of distant spread?
  • What other thyroid cancer treatments have already been used?
  • What were the outcomes of other treatments for the thyroid cancer?
  • How fast is the thyroid cancer growing?
  • What are the patient’s treatment desires?
  • What are the other treatment options?
  • What is the thyroid cancer pathologic type (what do the cells look like under the microscope?
  • What are the thyroid cancer genetic mutations found?

Thyroid Cancer Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery for the thyroid was developed largely in South Korea and brought to the United States several years ago as a “tool” in thyroid surgery. Its proposed benefits were to be the following:

  • Absent or less noticeable neck incisions
  • Improved visualization
  • Less Surgeon Fatigue

Although we have been trained and performed robotic thyroid surgery, the following is the reality of robotic thyroid surgery:

  • Incisions are tremendously longer but just not located on the front of the neck
  • In thyroid cancer, it is a one sided surgery approach to a frequently required two-sided surgery!
  • The instruments used to perform the surgery are not as refined or delicate as the instruments used to perform the minimally invasive neck surgeries. (think of all the delicate structures that we have shown you here)
  • Multiple surgeons are required
  • The surgeon has no ability to “feel” in the neck. The fingers are the surgeon’s third eye. Subtle changes in feel, hardness or extension of cancer can be totally unappreciated.
  • It is not minimally invasive by any measure. It is maximally invasive but just at a distance from where the surgery is focusing.
  • It is a much longer surgical procedure by any measure (the set up of the robot is longer than the average thyroid lobectomy
  • It is an inferior surgical approach to manage any thyroid cancer
  • Unanticipated findings during surgery may not be able to be adequately addressed robotically.
  • It may be an acceptable surgical approach for clearly known benign thyroid surgery.

Most importantly, the ability to perform a surgery well is not an indication for a surgery!!! Robotic thyroid surgery is an inferior surgical approach in managing any type of thyroid cancer, or any thyroid lesion at risk of being a potential undiagnosed thyroid cancer.