A thyroidectomy is the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It produces hormones that regulate every aspect of your metabolism, from your heart rate to how quickly you burn calories.
Thyroidectomy is used to treat thyroid disorders, such as cancer, noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter) and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). How much of your thyroid gland is removed during a thyroidectomy depends on the reason for surgery.
The surgeon makes a small incision in the front of your neck, and all or part of the thyroid gland is removed, depending on the reason for surgery. If you're having thyroidectomy as a result of thyroid cancer, the surgeon may also examine and remove lymph nodes around your thyroid. Thyroidectomy usually takes several hours.