Thyroid Nodules Treatment & Surgery in Rockwall, Forney & Wylie
How does Lakeside Allergy ENT treat thyroid nodules?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you may have thyroid nodules. Our board-certified otolaryngologists will first diagnose your condition and then suggest treatment options, which include suppression therapy and surgery. Visit us at our three convenient locations in Rockwall, Forney, and Wylie TX for thyroid nodule treatment.
Request an appointment using the form on this page, or learn more about thyroid nodules and the treatments we offer below.
What are thyroid nodules?
The thyroid is a large gland, called an endocrine gland, that’s located in your neck area just above the breastbone. The thyroid manufactures thyroid hormone, which regulates the rate at which your body carries on its necessary functions. The gland produces elements important to the body including calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within the thyroid.
What causes thyroid nodules?
The two most common thyroid disorders include overproduction of hormones, a condition called hyperthyroidism, and underproduction of thyroid hormones, a condition called hypothyroidism. These two conditions can play a role in the production of thyroid nodules, and thyroid nodule treatment may include treatment similar to hypo- or hyperthyroidism treatment.
Several conditions can cause nodules to develop in your thyroid gland:
- Overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue – This growth, called a thyroid adenoma, is not cancerous and not serious unless it causes symptoms from its size. Some thyroid adenomas cause an increase in thyroid hormones, leading to hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroid cyst – Fluid-filled cavities (cysts) in the thyroid most commonly result from degenerating thyroid adenomas. Cysts are usually benign, but they occasionally contain malignant solid components.
- Chronic inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis) – Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid disorder, can cause thyroid inflammation resulting in enlargement of nodules. This often is associated with hypothyroidism.
- Multi-nodular goiter – “Goiter” is used to describe any enlargement of the thyroid gland. A multi-nodular goiter contains many distinct nodules within the goiter, but its cause is less clear.
- Iodine deficiency – This is uncommon in the United States, where iodine is routinely added to table salt and processed foods.
- Thyroid cancer – Although the chances that a nodule is cancerous are small, you’re at higher risk if you have a family history of thyroid or endocrine cancers, are younger than 30 or older than 60, are male, or have a history of radiation exposure, especially to the head and neck.
What are the symptoms of thyroid nodules?
Most thyroid nodules don’t cause signs or symptoms. Occasionally, however, some nodules become enlarged to the point of noticeable or problematic symptoms. If a nodule can be felt or seen or if it presses on your throat or breathing tube and causes shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing, thyroid nodule treatment may be necessary.
In some cases, thyroid nodules produce additional thyroxine, a hormone secreted by your thyroid gland. The extra thyroxine can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including feeling very uncomfortable in the heat, shakiness, irritability, weight loss, rapid heartbeat, difficulty sleeping, and muscle weakness.
When nodules cause symptoms of hypothyroidism, you may have fatigue, sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, hoarseness, muscle weakness and aches, pain and stiffness in joints, slow heart rate, thinning hair, depression, and impaired memory.
What does thyroid nodules treatment involve?
Treatments for thyroid nodules depend upon the severity of the condition and whether it’s non-cancerous or cancerous.
In most cases, when a thyroid nodule is non-cancerous, treatment involves the following:
- Watchful waiting – This thyroid treatment approach involves monitoring your condition through regular physical examinations and thyroid function tests.
- Treatment of hyperthyroid symptoms – If the nodules cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodule treatment involves suppression therapy (anti-thyroid). A medication of synthetic thyroxine taken in pill form, such as propylthiouracil or methimazole (Tapazole®), will be prescribed.
- Treatment of hypothyroid symptoms – If the nodules are causing symptoms of hypothyroidism, thyroid nodule treatments may include:
- Radioactive iodine – Doctors often use radioactive iodine to treat over-functioning adenomas or multi-nodular goiters. Taken as a capsule or in liquid form, radioactive iodine is absorbed by your thyroid gland, causing the nodules to shrink.
- Replacement of thyroid hormone – This usually involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (e.g. Levoxyl® or Synthroid®).
- Thyroid nodule surgery – A thyroid nodule that is non-cancerous may need surgical removal, especially if it’s so large that it makes it hard to breathe or swallow. In some cases, treatment may involve removing the entire thyroid gland.
- When a thyroid nodule is cancerous, surgery is typically the best treatment option, in order to remove malignant nodules. Only a small percentage of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancerous.
Lakeside Allergy ENT is home to three board-certified otolaryngologists who specialize in diagnosis and treatment of all ear, nose and throat related disorders, including thyroid nodules and thyroid disorders. Thyroid nodule treatment requires expert care. If you have any of the symptoms of a thyroid nodule, call our office at 972-771-5443 or get started by requesting an appointment using the form on this page.