The thyroid gland is a gland situated in the neck below the Adam’s apple. It secretes thyroid hormones directly into the blood. Thyroid hormones are responsible for body metabolism.

The whole thyroid gland may be underactive or overactive in which case medication is required to create a balance. Sometimes when medication cannot treat an overactive thyroid gland, surgery may be required to remove the overactive gland. Radioactive iodine treatment may be another option in this circumstance. These treatment options will be discussed with you if you have an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) that medication cannot control.

An enlarged thyroid gland is a goitre. The whole thyroid gland may sometimes become big enough to become unsightly or cause pressure symptoms on the wind pipe (trachea) or upper gullet (oesophagus) in which case surgical removal (thyroidectomy)  may be advised. Surgery is also required if there is a thyroid lump which has been proven to be or suspected to be cancer by a needle test. Thyroid cancer is an uncommon disease. Unfortunately needle tests cannot always be definite about the cause of a thyroid swelling and in such situations an operation to remove the swelling is usually advised. Several other factors like age, gender, family history, general health or previous radiation treatment may sway the decision to advice surgery one way or the other.

Thyroid gland swellings may also be caused by inflammation as in – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition), De Quervain’s thyroiditis (viral thyroiditis) or Reidel’s thyroiditis (thyroiditis associated with fibrosis). There are also lymphomas of the thyroid gland but these are fortunately rare.

Mr. Olarinde works with a team of specialist radiologists, pathologists and endocrinologists who are all members of the regional thyroid multidisciplinary team where all the treatment for all patients with thyroid cancer and suspected thyroid cancer are discussed. This enables patients to have a consensus specialist opinion regarding their thyroid lump. Mr. Olarinde is a member of the British association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons and the outcomes of his results from thyroid and parathyroid surgery are published in the national database.


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