Though popular in the past, surgical treatment for hyperthyroidism is rarely done today. The following are situations in which surgical treatment may be appropriate to consider:

  • You have Graves’ disease and cannot tolerate medication or are not a good candidate for treatment with radioactive iodine .
  • You have very large thyroid gland which interferes with breathing or swallowing.
  • You have a child with hyperthyroidism.
  • You are pregnant and have hyperthyroidism.

Although surgery is a permanent cure for hyperthyroidism in 90% of cases, the surgery results in hypo thyroidism , a condition that requires ongoing medical treatment and medication. Other uncommon complications include vocal cord paralysis causing hoarseness, bleeding, infected wound site, and low serum calcium.


Thyroidectomy is the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. Removal of only one lobe of the thyroid is called thyroid lobectomy, partial thyroidectomy, or subtotal thyroidectomy.