Thyroid Surgeon Brisbane
Dr Ben Lancashire is a highly qualified specialist endocrine surgeon. He has expert training and extensive experience in surgical management of a broad range of thyroid gland disorders.
Reasons for referral to a thyroid surgeon
There are several common reasons why you may be referred to a surgeon for an assessment and opinion regarding your thyroid:
What are the options for thyroid surgery?
When you consult with Dr Lancashire about your treatment options, he’ll provide guidance on which procedure (if any) is best suited for your circumstances and explain what you can expect after your surgery.
Thyroid surgery options include hemithyroidectomy and a total thyroidectomy.
Hemithyroidectomy involves removal of half of the thyroid gland. This is usually done when a thyroid nodule is producing too much thyroid hormone, or when a nodule(s) is causing problems because of its size. It may also be done if a biopsy result suggests that there is a risk of cancer in a nodule. In most instances, the remaining part of the thyroid gland can produce adequate thyroid hormone for your body.
Total thyroidectomy involves removal of the entire thyroid gland. This is commonly recommended for cases of thyroid cancer, large goitres, large nodules on both sides (multinodular goitre) and certain autoimmune conditions. Once your thyroid gland is completely removed, your body will no longer produce any thyroid hormone. This means you will require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement medication.
What are the risks of thyroid surgery?
Thyroid surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic. The thyroid gland sits in the front of the neck, so any surgery to the thyroid requires a small (3cm – 6cm) cut in the neck. The size of the cut will vary depending on how big the thyroid is. Dr Lancashire will generally be able to conceal incision lines in any skin folds that you may have.
No surgery is without potential risks or side effects. Surgeons who are specifically trained in endocrine surgery generally have lower complication rates associated with those procedures than surgeons who don’t perform them on a regular basis.
The main risks specific to thyroid surgery are:
Dr Lancashire routinely uses a nerve monitor (NIM®) to help confirm and monitor the function of the important nerves that are at risk of injury during thyroid surgery. He will explain what surgery he recommends for your condition and spend time discussing risks associated with the operation.
Your first appointment with Dr Lancashire
On the day of your first appointment with Dr Lancashire, please arrive at the clinic 10 minutes early. This allows time to complete a New Patient Registration form.
At the first appointment you will discuss your condition, including a full medical history and examination. Sometimes a second appointment is needed for matters that require reflection on treatment options or additional testing.
Dr Lancashire will discuss your diagnosis and let you know if further appointments, surgery, or medications are recommended. If so, any questions you may have will be answered, and Dr Lancashire will liaise with your referring doctor.
Frequently asked questions
Are there treatment alternatives to thyroid surgery?
Whether or not surgery is necessary depends on the thyroid condition you have been diagnosed with. In cases of known or suspected thyroid cancer, surgery is usually recommended. Depending on the condition, surgery may involve partial or complete removal of your thyroid gland. For some thyroid conditions, there may be non-surgical options such as medication or surveillance over time (via blood tests, biopsies and/or scans). Certain thyroid conditions require both surgery and medication. You can read more about thyroid conditions here.
How long will I need to remain in hospital after surgery?
The duration of your hospital stay will depend on the type of surgery you undergo. In some instances, patients may be able to go home in the evening, while others may need to stay overnight for observation. During your consultation, Dr Lancashire will discuss what you can expect following your surgery.
Will there be scarring?
The surgical incision required for thyroid surgery will generally leave a small scar. Dr Lancashire can typically hide the scar amongst naturally occurring neck folds to achieve a cosmetically acceptable result. You will be given instructions on how to manage your scar after the surgery.