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Thyroid SurgerY 


An Endocrine Surgeon is the specialist who performs a thyroidectomy. A total thyroidectomy is recommended for thyroid cancer, restriction caused by an enlarged thyroid gland pressing on the windpipe, oesophagus or nerves. Surgery is also performed when a patient has a suspicious nodule(s), which could be malignant or an uncontrollable overactive thyroid gland. This procedure is done as an inpatient in hospital and you are usually in hospital for two days. You will have a small scar in the lower part of the centre of your neck, just above the sternum or breastbone.

There are two types of thyroidectomy:

  • Total Thyroidectomy – The total removal of the thyroid gland
  • Hemi Thyroidectomy – The partial (one lobe) removal of the thyroid gland

The choice of surgery for you, will be made with your Endocrine Surgeon. However, a Total Thyroidectomy is now the recommended choice.

After surgery you will usually be prescribed Thyroid Replacement Hormone – Levothyroxine, which must be taken each day.

Click here to read for more information about Levothyroxine and brands/formulas available.

In some cases where only a single lobe is removed, you may not need to take Levothyroxine. However, the ATF recommend regular Thyroid Function Pathology monitoring by your General Practitioner or Endocrinologist.

Joining the ATF as a member, provides you with one-on-one support, information and guidance to help you through your journey.  

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Being aware is important, your thyroid health is essential to your wellbeing and general health, so speak to your doctor, if you have any symptoms or concerns.

If you have any questions or would like information, please email:


Following surgery, the back of your neck will probably be more uncomfortable than the front. This is due to the position your head is placed during surgery. The ATF recommend taking a boomerang shaped pillow with you to hospital. The support from this type of pillow will help to relieve neck discomfort. Some members report continuing to use this shaped pillow for several weeks to support their neck whilst sleeping and during recovery.


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Mailing Address:

PO Box 7161

Norwest NSW 2153



The mission of The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd (ATF) is to offer support, information and education to members and their families through the many services provided by The ATF and raise awareness about health consequences of iodine deficiency and the benefits of good thyroid health.

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