Video: Total vs. Partial Thyroidectomy

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Factors such as a patient’s age, tumor size, and lymph node involvement help determine the best surgical approach to treat thyroid cancer, says surgeon Ashok Shaha of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Lobectomy (removal of only one lobe of the thyroid gland) is usually best for patients with small tumors on one side of the thyroid. If the cancer has spread to both lobes, or if a patient is concerned that it could recur in the future, a complete thyroidectomy (removal of the entire gland), followed by radioactive iodine therapy, may be more appropriate.