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Surgery is the primary form of treatment for most thyroid cancers. The thyroid, which regulates several bodily functions by producing a steady stream of hormones, is composed of two lobes and the isthmus—a small piece of gland that bridges the lobes together. A lobectomy is a type of surgery that is performed to remove a cancerous lobe, often along with the isthmus, while leaving a healthy lobe in place.

When is a thyroid lobectomy appropriate?

A thyroid lobectomy may be recommended when:

  • The thyroid cancer is only present in one lobe.
  • The thyroid cancer is smaller than 4 centimeters.
  • There is enough healthy thyroid tissue to maintain normal hormone levels.

In addition to excising the cancerous lobe and isthmus, a thyroid lobectomy may also involve removing surrounding lymph nodes that display signs of cancer spread.

In general, thyroid lobectomy is viewed as an effective surgical treatment for early-stage thyroid cancers. It requires only a small incision at the base of the neck and can often be performed on an outpatient basis. Many patients are able to return to normal activities in about 24 hours, although heavy lifting and high-impact exercises are discouraged for several weeks following the procedure.

Thyroid lobectomy surgery at Moffitt

Moffitt Cancer Center’s Endocrine Oncology Program is home to renowned surgeons and oncologists who focus exclusively on head and neck cancers. Moffitt’s high patient volume means our surgeons possess a unique level of experience treating even the most complex and uncommon thyroid cancers, including tumors that were once thought to be inoperable. Thyroid lobectomies are routinely performed by Moffitt surgeons, who utilize the latest surgical techniques to achieve optimal outcomes and improved quality of life for our patients.

If you’d like to consult with a Moffitt physician about thyroid cancer treatment, your surgical options and whether you’re a candidate for lobectomy, call us at 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online.