As always, surgery is widely considered a last resort in treating a thyroid condition. However, there are many cases of hyperthyroidism where there is no choice but to go through surgery. For example, many pregnant women cannot be prescribed anti-thyroid drugs because of the impact they could have on the pregnancy.
A thyroidectomy involves the removal of much of the thyroid gland. This is a risky procedure that could result in the vocal cords becoming damaged. Even if this is not the case, anyone who has part of their thyroid removed will need to take medications to regulate their hormones for the remainder of their lives. For this reason, your doctor will be very hesitant to go the surgery route; if they’re not, you may want to seek a second opinion.
5. Orbital decompression surgery
This type of surgery is only necessary if the patient’s hyperthyroidism is the result of Graves’ disease, an autoimmune problem. Graves’ disease often affects the eyes; in mind cases, it can make the eyes dry and uncomfortable. However, in more serious cases it can cause pain and even vision problems that may require orbital decompression surgery.
In this surgery, the surgeon must take out the bone dividing the eye socket and sinuses. If successful, the procedure can significantly improve vision and lessen general discomfort. Potential side effects include double vision which can last for some time following the surgery.