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Pros and Cons of Thyroid Removal and Long Term Effects

Looking for Pros and cons of thyroid removal? A healthy thyroid is a crucial part of your overall health. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism and the function of many organs and tissues in the body. Thyroid problems can cause tiredness, weight gain, hair loss, depression, and more. Whether you have symptoms or not, your doctor may recommend removing your thyroid gland if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Here is a comprehensive list of pros and cons of thyroid removal and precautions you should know before undergoing the procedure.

In This Article

What is a Thyroidectomy?

What is a Thyroidectomy

A thyroidectomy is a surgery that removes the thyroid gland. Thyroid removal surgery may be done as an emergency measure when symptoms of overactive thyroids (excessive sweating, difficulty breathing, palpitations) cannot be controlled with medication or other treatments.

A surgeon makes an incision in the neck and removes the entire thyroid gland. The patient typically recovers at home and can resume normal activities within a few days.

Pros and Cons of Thyroid Removal

Thyroid removal surgery may cause problems in several ways. One common problem is that the thyroid gland produces hormones that help control many aspects of the body (for example, metabolism and heart rate). Without these hormones, the body can become imbalanced and may experience many symptoms (such as weight gain or difficulty losing weight, increased sweating, dry skin, low energy levels).

Thyroid Removal Side Effects

What will be the side effects of no thyroid? This is a common question that most people have. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones and plays a vital role in regulating metabolism. You will feel lethargic, anxious, and even depressed without producing these hormones.

Here is the possible total thyroidectomy side effects

1. Difficulty breathing

2. Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)

3. Difficulty speaking or swallowing

4. Fainting or dizziness

5. Feeling faint, lightheaded, or unsteady when getting up from a seated or lying position

6. Nausea and vomiting

7. Sudden weight gain (or loss) of more than 10% of your body weight within two weeks after surgery

8. A fever of 103 degrees or higher

9. Sudden changes in mood, such as feelings of irritability or terror

Other possible side effects of thyroidectomy

1. Damage to adjacent tissues (such as the windpipe, esophagus, and major blood vessels)

2. Infection

3. Swelling of the thyroid gland or nearby tissue due to accumulation of fluid

4. Damage to the nerves that supply the thyroid gland

5. Pelvic floor dysfunction (in women), which may require surgical repair

6. Problems with vision, hearing, and fertility (in women)

7. Problems with muscle coordination, including weakness and slowed movement

8. Sleep apnea

9. Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders

Thyroid Removal Long Term Effects

  • You may experience some symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weight gain, and dry skin.
  • You may also experience some symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as anxiety and nervousness.
  • You may also experience mood swings, decreased sex drive, and a slowed metabolism.
  • If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult a doctor.

Thyroid Gland Removal Benefits

1. Improved symptoms of hyperthyroidism

2. Reduced risk of developing Graves’ disease and other thyroid disorders in the future 3. Reduced risk of developing cancer of the thyroid gland

4. Increased life expectancy due to less incidence of age-related diseases

Life after Thyroid Removal

Overall, most people find their quality of life improves after thyroid removal surgery. Most notice an increase in energy and reduced fatigue. Some may also experience a reduction in symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism, such as rapid heart rate and tremors.

There is usually minimal pain following thyroidectomy, though some patients do report slight discomfort at the surgery site. It’s important to remember that while post-operative adjustments may be required from time to time, the vast majority of people can lead relatively normal lives following surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers-

Q. Can you live a normal life without a thyroid?

Ans- Yes, you can live a normal life without a thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that control our metabolism and regulate the body’s internal temperature.

The hormones produced by the thyroid are essential in regulating the functions of your brain, heart, lungs, intestines, and other organs. Without these hormones, you may experience symptoms such as depression, weight gain or loss problems (losing/gaining weight due to low or high metabolism), trouble sleeping (insomnia), muscle weakness (asthenia), and constipation. You may also feel cold all the time because your body cannot produce enough heat when it needs it most.

These symptoms usually appear gradually over time, so they do not present themselves immediately after losing your thyroid function. In some cases, there will be no signs at all, which means that you have been experiencing some of these symptoms before having your thyroid removed but did not realize it at the time because they were very mild, or you ignored them, thinking they would go away on their own.

In addition to these physical effects from lack of thyroid hormone production, there are psychological effects like anxiety attacks, fear of strangers, and social withdrawal, just to name a few common ones.

If this has happened to you, then I suggest getting help from someone who knows about hypothyroidism so that he can find out what type of treatment options are available for you, if any at all!

Q. Is thyroid surgery high risk?

Ans- There are many misconceptions about thyroid surgery and it is important to clarify them. First, there is no real risk of death associated with the procedure as long as you have a healthy heart and lungs. However, some patients may develop short-term cardiac arrhythmias or high blood pressure during recovery which can be dangerous if not treated appropriately.

Q. Does thyroid removal shorten life expectancy?

Ans- Thyroid removal does not shorten life expectancy. Thyroid plays an important role in determining body weight, energy levels and mood. When this gland is removed, the functioning of these glands can be affected leading to life-threatening complications.

If you have thyroid problems then it is recommended to take medicine as prescribed by your doctor to prevent any complications. If there are no medical issues then you can also opt for hypothyroidism surgery which will help relieve symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and improve general health and well being.

Q. Do you gain weight after thyroid removal?

Ans- As the thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism, so it also plays a role in regulating your weight. So if you have any problem with your thyroid, then it can be said that you will gain weight after removal of your thyroid.

However, there are some things that will help to keep the weight under control and they are:

  1. Having an active lifestyle;
  2. Getting enough sleep at night;
  3. Proper dieting (not starving yourself);
  4. Avoiding alcohol
  5. Increasing physical activity level;
  6. Avoiding junk food and sugary foods (which cause fat accumulation).

Be sure to read: Where does Thyroid Cancer Spread to First


  1. Outpatient versus inpatient thyroidectomy: A systematic review and meta-analysisonlinelibrary.wiley
  2. Parathyroid hormone levels predict posttotal thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
  3. Defining the syndromes of parathyroid failure after total thyroidectomyhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
  4. Advantages and disadvantages of surgical therapyPubMed
  5. The Risks of Thyroidectomyhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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