Goiter is the enlargement of the thyroid glands. These glands are located in the front of our neck. There are some conditions that cause goiter to occur. These; The thyroid gland enlarges in cases of iodine-free diet, over- or under-activity of the thyroid gland, formation of nodules in the gland, some medications, radiation, cancers and inflammatory conditions. These growths are mostly painless.

Are There Risks of Goiter Surgery?

Unfortunately, there is no surgery without risks. Goiter surgery also has its own risks. The most important of these are changes in voice quality, paralysis of the vocal cords, difficulty breathing, and calcium deficiency. The only way to minimize these risks is to entrust yourself to a highly experienced surgeon during these surgeries.

What is Toxic Goiter?

If the thyroid gland not only enlarges but also secretes excessive hormones, this is colloquially called toxic goiter. In medical terms, it is called hyperthyroidism. When you have toxic goiter, you have many additional complaints. Not every goiter is poisonous, and in the presence of these complaints, drug treatment is needed.

  • Weakness in your muscles (you cannot easily climb stairs or carry heavy things)
  • There is tremor in the hands
  • You feel heart palpitations
  • Fatigue happens
  • You have uncontrollable weight loss despite eating normally or excessively
  • You may have diarrhea (increased bowel movements)
  • Irritability and aggression occur
  • You experience eye problems (eye discomfort, difficulty seeing)
  • Menstrual irregularity, milk leakage from the nipple may occur
  • Inability to tolerate heat and increased sweating
  • You experience sleep problems
  • It may lead to infertility.

The fact that a growing organ in your neck causes complaints in many different parts of the body has led to this disease being called toxic goiter.

In Whom Is Goiter More Common?

Goiter occurs in women, in people over 50 years of age, in the Eastern Black Sea and Eastern Anatolia regions due to iodine deficiency, in those exposed to radiation, in those who use certain medications such as lithium, in smokers, in some infections, in those with immune system problems, during pregnancy and menopause, and in those with a family history of goiter. is more common.

Frequently Asked Questions About Goiter

How is goiter treated?
Once the cause of goiter is clearly understood, its treatment is planned. The cause of each goiter may be different. While sometimes it is enough to treat only with medications, in some cases how is goiter treated?
Once the cause of goiter is clearly understood, its treatment is planned. The cause of each goiter may be different. While sometimes just treating it with medications is enough, in some cases surgery may be needed.
What are goiter complaints?
Goiter usually does not cause pain. If the thyroid gland is overgrown, patients may have problems swallowing and breathing and may have chronic cough complaints. Patients sometimes feel as if something is stuck in their throat or as if there is tightness in their neck. However, goiter usually does not grow to this extent, is small and unnoticeable. It may occur during routine examinations.
How is goiter diagnosed?
First of all, you need to know that an examination by an experienced physician is sufficient to diagnose goiter. However, a series of examinations may be required to investigate the cause. Afterwards, it may be necessary to perform an ultrasound, hormone tests, antibody tests, and perhaps a needle biopsy.
What is a goiter nodule?
It is a focal enlargement of some areas within the thyroid gland, not the entire thyroid gland.
How is goiter nodule diagnosed?
Nodular goiter can be diagnosed by your doctor examining you. Afterwards, evaluation techniques such as hormone tests, ultrasound, thyroid needle biopsy and scintigraphy may be requested.
Is every nodular goiter important?
Nodules with risk factors are important; additional examination or close follow-up may be required.
Can goiter cause cancer?
Goiter is not actually a cancer, it is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. However, cancerous formations may be encountered in some enlarged thyroid glands. Therefore, it is necessary to consider all possibilities when diagnosing goiter. Considering all goiter patients, there is a 5-15% probability of cancer occurrence.
What are the functions of the thyroid gland?
The thyroid gland affects all functions of the body with the hormones it secretes and ensures the balanced functioning of our body’s metabolism.
What are thyroid hormone tests?
In these tests, hyperthyroidism (the gland is overactive) or hypothyroidism (the gland is underactive) is diagnosed by looking at the patient’s Free T3, Free T4 and TSH levels.
What is thyroid ultrasound?
It is used to determine the size of the nodules and to investigate whether the nodule diameter decreases with the given treatments. Evaluation of nodule blood flow with Doppler ultrasound helps determine whether the nodule is benign or malignant.
What is thyroid needle biopsy?
It is an easy, painless, complication-free examination method that should be applied first to all patients with nodular goiter due to its 5% risk of cancer. In this biopsy, a piece is taken from the nodule.
What is thyroid scintigraphy?
Scintigraphy is a film taken by intravenous administration of a radioactive substance, showing all the cells of the thyroid gland together. It is used in patients with low TSH levels and helps to understand whether the nodule is hot or cold.
Which thyroid nodule has the higher risk of cancer?
*If the nodule continues to grow rapidly despite treatment,
*If there is swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck,
*If there is a change or thickening in the voice or if it causes vocal paralysis
*If the nodule is cold and single, the risk of cancer is higher. Surgery may be needed.

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