The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck and sits below the voice box. The small, two-inch gland consists of two lobes, one on each side of the windpipe, connected by a small bridge of thyroid tissue called the isthmus.
The thyroid tissue is made up of two types of cells: follicular cells and parafollicular cells. Most of the thyroid tissue consists of the follicular cells which secrete the iodine-containing thyroid hormones; they consist of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The parafollicular cells secrete the hormone calcitonin; in humans, calcitonin has only a minor role in calcium regulation.
The thyroid plays an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism. Nearly every tissue in the body is affected or regulated by the thyroid hormone including the brain and nerve development and function, skin, hair, eyes, heart, and intestine function. The thyroid hormones enter into tissues and regulate how those tissues produce or do not produce certain problems. The thyroid function is controlled by the pituitary which sits at the base of the brain and is controlled by a region in the brain called the hypothalamus.
Thyroid surgery may be done to treat an enlarged thyroid, or it may be done to remove a lump. It may also be done to treat an overactive gland, or it may be done to treat a gland that may have cancer cells.
This risks and possible complications of this procedure include: