Call us directly: 512-491-0017

12319 North Mopac Expressway, Building C, Suite 260, Austin, TX 78758 View Location

How big is the scar left by thyroid surgery? How do you minimize scarring?

Scarring Post Thyroid Surgery

The length of any scar after thyroid surgery is going to vary depending on a patient’s body habitus (physique) and the size of a patient’s thyroid gland. The key to thyroid surgery is to do safe surgery and do an oncologic surgery for thyroid cancer.

When Dr. Kroeker operates, she makes the incision as small as possible to make a pretty scar, but her top priority is to do a safe surgery and avoid any type of unnecessary complications.

The size of the scar left by thyroid surgery can range from an inch to three inches. There are some people who have metastatic disease in their lateral neck from thyroid cancer and that requires a larger incision.

What is safe surgery?

The risks of thyroid surgery are:

  • Injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve
  • Injury to the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve
  • Temporary and permanent injury to the parathyroid glands
  • Bleeding

Dr. Kroeker’s top priority is to avoid these and any other complications during surgery by practicing safe surgery. A surgeon never wants to make an incision so small that they are creating unnecessary risk. These risks are minimized by practicing safe surgery.

When a surgeon must remove the entire thyroid, they don’t want to have such a small incision that they can’t see well enough to do a full thyroidectomy, meaning leaving no thyroid tissue behind. There’s also the possibility that a patient may need a neck dissection done centrally, and the surgeon must have adequate exposure to remove the cancer first and foremost.

Minimizing risk and adequately performing the procedure are the top priorities in safe surgery. Cosmesis (the preservation, restoration, or bestowing of bodily beauty) is very important to Dr. Kroeker, but that comes after a safe surgery is performed. Not only does Dr. Kroeker handle the skin delicately in the operating room for a beautiful closure of the incision, but she also has a strict regimen of no sun exposure and skin care to give the incision the best chance of healing beautifully after surgery.