Investigation and management of thyroid nodules
Thyroid nodules are small lumps that develop in the thyroid. The lumps can be either solid or filled with fluid. In most cases, thyroid nodules are harmless, and don't cause any symptoms. It is possible, however, for the nodules to grow large, making it difficult to swallow and breathe, which may make surgery necessary. A small percentage of nodules, however, may be cancerous and will also require surgical and other treatment. When assessing a nodule, Dr Roodt will perform a thorough physical examination, as well as tests to check the function of the thyroid. These tests may include blood tests, ultrasound, biopsy and a thyroid scan.
A thyroid lobectomy is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of parts of the thyroid. Dr Roodt may recommend the surgery in cases of thyroid cancer or where the nature of a thyroid nodule is worrisome. During the procedure, Dr Roodt will make an incision at the base of the neck, through which she is able to access the thyroid. The affected side of the thyroid are then carefully removed, while areas of healthy thyroid tissue are left intact.
A total thyroidectomy is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of the entire thyroid. This may be performed for large multi-nodular goitres with compressive symptoms or in the case of thyroid cancer. In some cases, the lymph nodes in the neck are also removed. After the surgery, Dr Roodt may recommend thyroid hormone therapy, which works to supply your body with missing hormones and to suppress the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone from your pituitary gland. Dr Roodt will work closely with you to find the correct dosage of these medications, depending on your specific needs. In the case of thyroid cancer, Dr Roodt will work closely with an oncologist and nuclear medicine specialist to plan additional treatment you may require.