Thyroid cancer surgery is often the cornerstone of a treatment plan to address tumors that form within the thyroid gland. The most appropriate treatment approach should be determined based on a thorough review of a patient’s case, including the type, size, location and stage of the tumor, as well as the patient’s overall health condition. While surgery is the most commonly recommended form of treatment, other potentially effective methods include advanced tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy (chemotherapy with a specific class of genetically engineered medications) and radioactive iodine treatment, which combines aspects of both chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Common types of thyroid cancer surgery include:
- Lobectomy – Removes the affected part (lobe) of the thyroid
- Near-total thyroidectomy – Removes all but a very small part of the thyroid gland
- Total thyroidectomy – Removes the entire thyroid gland (the most common type of thyroid cancer surgery)
- Lymphadenectomy – Removes enlarged lymph nodes in the neck that are confirmed or suspected to contain cancer (usually performed concurrently with a procedure to address the primary tumor)
- Lateral neck dissection – Removes fibrous, fatty tissue in the neck to treat lymphatic metastases
Thyroidectomy is a complex type of thyroid cancer surgery that requires a highly refined skill. Accessing the thyroid through a small incision in the front of the neck, a surgeon must carefully work around the vocal nerves and other vital structures. To ensure the best possible outcome, a patient is advised to work with an experienced specialist who performs a large number of thyroid cancer procedures.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our patients have access to some of the most talented and well-respected surgeons in the world. As a high-volume cancer center, we offer a level of surgical expertise that far exceeds that of most other cancer centers. Moffitt has earned an outstanding reputation as a leader in performing complex thyroid cancer surgery, as well as conducting groundbreaking research that translates to new and better treatment options for both current and future patients. We are now removing tumors that were once considered to be inoperable, and every day we continue to gain ground in finding a cure for cancer.