Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Font Size

    Hyperthyroidism - Surgery

    Surgery for hyperthyroidism (thyroidectomy) removes part or all of the thyroid gland. Doctors rarely use this surgery to treat hyperthyroidism. You may need surgery if:

    • Your thyroid gland is so big that it is hard for you to swallow or breathe.
    • You have thyroid cancer or your doctor suspects you have thyroid cancer. For more information, see the topic Thyroid Cancer.
    • You had serious side effects from taking antithyroid medicines. And radioactive iodine is not an option for you.
    • You have a large goiter that radioactive iodine treatment did not shrink.
    • You have a single, large thyroid nodule that is making too much thyroid hormone, and radioactive iodine did not effectively treat the nodule.

    What to think about

    If you are having surgery, your doctor will have you take antithyroid medicines before surgery to bring your thyroid hormone levels as close to normal as possible.

    After surgery, your doctor will check your thyroid hormone levels regularly, because you may develop hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone medicine. For more information, see the topic Hypothyroidism.

    Surgery is the fastest way to treat your hyperthyroidism. But it is not used very often and is more risky than other treatments.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    Is it menopause or something else?
    woman in bathtub
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    estrogen gene

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror