The thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck, plays a vital role in regulating your body’s metabolism through the production of thyroid hormones. When this crucial gland malfunctions, it can lead to a variety of health problems. In some cases, surgery becomes necessary to address these issues. Accordingly, this webpage explores thyroidectomy, surgery to remove of all or part of the thyroid gland, delving into the conditions it treats, the procedures involved, and potential risks. Finally, if a thyroidectomy has caused injury to you, then you may have a medical malpractice claim based on surgical error. You should contact the Baltimore thyroidectomy lawyer at the Kopec Law Firm.

Conditions Requiring Thyroidectomy

Several thyroid disorders can necessitate a thyroidectomy. Here are the most common ones:

Thyroid Cancer

This is the primary reason for thyroidectomy.

  • Symptoms: The most prevalent type, papillary thyroid carcinoma, often presents with no symptoms. However, a lump in the neck, voice changes, or difficulty swallowing might indicate its presence.
  • Doctor & Tests: Endocrinologists diagnose thyroid cancer through a combination of physical examination and blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels. Another test is the fine-needle aspiration biopsy, where a thin needle extracts cells from the lump for examination under a microscope.
  • Treatment Options: Treatment options include thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine ablation (destroying remaining thyroid tissue with radioactive iodine). Thyroid hormone therapy also can be applicable.

Thyroid cancer treatments are the most frequent cause on inquires to the Baltimore thyroidectomy lawyer at the Kopec Law Firm.


An overactive thyroid gland produces excessive hormones.

  • Symptoms: Rapid heartbeat, anxiety, weight loss, tremors, and bulging eyes
  • Doctor & Tests: Endocrinologists diagnose hyperthyroidism through blood tests, thyroid scans, and sometimes a radioactive iodine uptake test.
  • Treatment Options: Treatment options include medication to control hormone production, radioactive iodine ablation, or thyroidectomy.


An enlarged thyroid gland is called a goiter. It can be noncancerous (simple goiter) or cancerous.

  • Symptoms: While a simple goiter often has no symptoms, a large one might cause difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Doctor & Tests: Endocrinologists diagnose goiter through physical examination, blood tests, and ultrasound.
  • Treatment Options: Treatment depends on the size and cause. Small goiters might not require treatment, while medication or thyroidectomy can be options for larger ones.


Baltimore Thyroidectomy Lawyer
Baltimore Thyroidectomy Lawyer

Thyroidectomy is performed by an endocrine surgeon, a specialist trained in thyroid disorders and surgery. There are two main types of thyroidectomy:

  • Total Thyroidectomy: The entire thyroid gland is removed. This is typically done for thyroid cancer.
  • Partial Thyroidectomy: Only part of the thyroid gland is removed. This especially may be an option for hyperthyroidism, a large noncancerous goiter, or a suspicious thyroid nodule.

The surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small incision, typically in a crease of the lower neck, to minimize scarring. After carefully separating the muscles and tissues, the surgeon specifically identifies and protects crucial structures like the parathyroid glands (responsible for calcium regulation) and the recurrent laryngeal nerves (controlling the vocal cords). The surgeon then removes the specific portion of the thyroid and closes the incision with sutures or surgical glue. The procedure typically takes 1-3 hours.

Complications – Need for the Baltimore Thyroidectomy Lawyer

Thyroidectomy is generally safe, but there can be potential bad outcomes. These include:

  • Bleeding: Although not common, bleeding can occur during or after surgery.
  • Infection: Proper wound care is crucial to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Hypocalcemia: Parathyroid gland damage during surgery can lead to low blood calcium levels, causing symptoms like numbness and tingling. This is usually temporary, and doctors can treat it can with medication.
  • Vocal Cord Injury: Damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerves can cause hoarseness or difficulty speaking. This risk is relatively low, but its impact can be significant.
  • Thyroid Crisis (Storm): Rapidly worsening hyperthyroidism is a rare but life-threatening bad outcome.

Post Surgical Care and Follow-Up

Following a thyroidectomy, you’ll be followed in the hospital for a day or two. Pain medication will then be provided to manage discomfort. The incision site requires proper cleaning and care as your doctor instructs you.

Since the thyroid plays a vital role in metabolism, most patients who undergo a total thyroidectomy will need lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy to maintain normal body functions. You will especially need regular appointments with your endocrinologist to monitor hormone levels and adjust medication as needed.

Case Report from the Baltimore Thyroidectomy Lawyer

Allan v. United States, 401 F. Supp. 3d 681 (E.D. Va. 2019). Plaintiff had total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma. The doctor cut her left recurrent laryngeal nerve, leaving her with a permanent tracheostomy and vocal chord paralysis.. Consequently, the judge awarded a $2.2 million verdict to the plaintiff.

Next Step – Call the Baltimore Thyroidectomy Lawyer

If a thyroidectomy has caused you injury, then visit the free consultation page or video. Then contact the Kopec Law Firm at 800-604-0704 to speak directly with Attorney Mark Kopec. He is a top-rated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. The Kopec Law Firm is in Baltimore and pursues cases throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.

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