What and where is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine organ in the midline of the neck, just below the Adam's apple.
The thyroid makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body.
It consists of a right and left lobe joined across the front of the windpipe by a strip of thyroid tissue, the isthmus.
Many thyroid problems can be treated with medication, and Endocrinologists manage most medical thyroid disease.
Sometimes surgical removal of the thyroid is required.
Common reasons to operate are::
- Thyroid tumour. Benign and malignant ( cancerous and non cancerous )
- Symptomatic goitre- pressure symptoms such as hoarse voice, swallowing difficulties, and breathing difficulties
- A thyrotoxic gland (hyperthyroidism) that cannot be controlled with medication or radioactive treatment.
Thyroid surgery can involve the removal of half (Hemithyroidectomy) or all (Total Thyroidectomy) of the thyroid gland.
The workup for surgical thyroid disease usually involves a Thyroid Ultrasound, (USS) and sometimes a needle test (Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)).
Ros is skilled at bedside thyroid USS and FNA. She can perform these tests in her clinic room, allowing her to give you immediate diagnostic information.
On occasions, a formal ultrasound by a radiologist will be required to clarify the risk of an individual nodule (lump) in the thyroid. This will be arranged by Ros with Pacific Radiology.