A thyroid surgery begins with the insertion of an endotracheal tube and the administration of anesthesia. An incision is then made into the thyroid, and the final determination of how much should be removed is established, says surgery expert Jennifer Whitlock for About.com.
The 2- to 4-inch incision is not made until the anesthesia is in full effect. When the proper removal amount is determined, the surgeon takes it out with a scalpel. He takes special care to ensure the parathyroid glands and the vocal cords are not harmed or disturbed, explains Whitlock.
Sometimes a biopsy is also done to further examine the thyroid, parathyroid and, in uncommon cases, nearby lymph nodes. This ensures any portion left of the thyroid is not diseased, says Whitlock. Occasionally, the biopsy is examined immediately so a second surgery is avoided.
After the proper portions of thyroid are removed and tissue samples are taken, the surgery site is analyzed for any bleeding. When it is confirmed no bleeding has occurred, the incision is closed with staples or sutures. A sterile bandage is applied, and then the procedure is done. The patient is woken with medication and taken to a recovery room, according to Whitlock.