Risks

Thyroidectomy is generally a safe procedure. But as with any surgery, thyroidectomy carries a risk of complications.

Potential complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Airway obstruction caused by bleeding
  • Permanent hoarse or weak voice due to nerve damage
  • Damage to the four small glands located behind your thyroid (parathyroid glands), which can lead to hypoparathyroidism, resulting in abnormally low calcium levels and an increased amount of phosphorus in your blood
Aug. 30, 2017
References
  1. Townsend CM Jr, et al. Endocrine. In: Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  2. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Surgery of the thyroid. In: Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  3. Thyroid surgery. American Thyroid Association. https://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-surgery/. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  4. Haugen BR, et al. 2015 American Thyroid Association management guidelines for adult patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2016;26:1.
  5. Wang TS, et al. Initial thyroidectomy. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 6, 2017.
  6. Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 11, 2017.