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Thyroid And Parathyroid

West Shore ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology & Allergy Specialists located in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Fremont, & Ludington, MI

Did you know that ear, nose, and throat specialists treat diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands? The team at West Shore ENT & Allergy carefully evaluate and treat common concerns like under- and overactive glands, and they’re the experts you need when surgical intervention is required to treat a thyroid or parathyroid problem. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, and Muskegon, Michigan, or use the online booking feature.

Thyroid and Parathyroid Q & A

What should I know about the thyroid and parathyroid glands?

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism and many vital functions in your body, including your heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. 

You have four tiny parathyroid glands behind the thyroid gland. They produce parathyroid hormone, which regulates the amount of calcium in your bloodstream and bones.

When might I need surgery to remove my thyroid gland?

You might need a thyroidectomy, a surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland, if you have diseases like thyroid cancer or a nodule suspected of being cancerous.

Surgery is also done to treat an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) and nodules or goiters that release excessive hormones. Nodules and goiters that grow large enough to cause difficulty swallowing are also surgically removed.

Thyroid nodules are small growths that usually don’t cause symptoms, but in rare cases, they can become cancerous. A goiter is a thyroid gland that’s enlarged due to inflammation or infection.

Nodules and goiters become toxic when they produce extra thyroid hormones. Excess thyroid hormones cause the symptoms of hyperthyroidism — weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sensitivity to heat, and tremors in your hands and fingers.

If a goiter or nodule becomes too large, it can cause hoarseness and difficulty swallowing. You could also develop swollen lymph nodes or pain in your throat or neck.

How is the thyroid gland removed?

Depending on the reason for removing your thyroid gland, your doctor at West Shore ENT & Allergy does one of the following:

Total thyroidectomy

This procedure removes the entire thyroid gland. When used to treat thyroid cancer, lymph nodes are also removed.

Thyroid lobectomy

Your doctor at West Shore ENT & Allergy removes one lobe of the thyroid. If it’s cancerous, the piece of tissue connecting the two lobes is also removed.

Near-total thyroidectomy

This surgery is most often done to treat an overactive thyroid gland. Most of the gland is removed, leaving one small piece of tissue to continue producing hormones.

When might I need surgery to remove a parathyroid gland?

When something goes wrong with your parathyroid glands, it’s almost always overproduction of hormones — hyperparathyroidism. This problem is caused by a benign tumor in one of the glands and the only treatment is surgery to remove the affected parathyroid gland.

How is surgery performed on the parathyroid glands?

When a single abnormal parathyroid gland is identified, your doctor at West Shore ENT & Allergy does a focused parathyroidectomy to remove that gland. 

In some cases, you’ll need a bilateral neck exploration using a larger incision that allows all the glands to be examined and more than one gland removed.

To receive expert help for your thyroid and parathyroid glands, call West Shore ENT & Allergy or schedule an appointment online.