Call us directly: 512-491-0017

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

When do you recommend thyroid surgery?

Reasons a Patient Might Be Recommended for Thyroid Surgery

From the American Thyroid Association:

Thyroid surgery and operations are advised for patients who have a variety of thyroid conditions, including both cancerous and benign (non-cancerous) thyroid nodules, large thyroid glands (goiters), and overactive thyroid glands.

1. Endocrinologist Recommends Thyroid Surgery

There are some times when a patient will see an endocrinologist first because their family doctor found a thyroid nodule. When this happens, typically thyroid surgery is not immediately recommended, but rather their family doctor sends them to an endocrinologist and then the endocrinologist does the full workup—meaning an ultrasound and a possible biopsy if needed.

If there is an indication that thyroid surgery is needed from the endocrinologist’s standpoint, then the endocrinologist will refer that patient to Dr. Kroeker for a consultation about possible thyroid surgery.

2. Primary Care Physician Recommends Appointment to Assess Thyroid Nodules

The second potential reason a patient might find themselves visiting with Dr. Kroeker is when a family practice doctor, internal medicine doctor, or an OBGYN who’s seeing a female for her yearly exam, feels a neck mass or a thyroid nodule. This patient can be sent directly to Dr. Kroeker for a thorough workup, as she does her own head and neck ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirations.

A patient does not typically have to see an endocrinologist, unless they have some kind of thyroid functional problem rather than a structural problem. This is what Dr. Kroeker is primarily focusing on when she meets with patients—thyroid nodules and neck masses, although she will be sure to check a set of thyroid hormones if not done already. But if the patient has a functional or hormonal problem, that’s when Dr. Kroeker will refer them on to an endocrinologist.

A patient would also be referred to an endocrinologist if after thyroid surgery, the patient is found to have thyroid cancer, which would indicate that a patient absolutely needs to see an endocrinologist afterwards to discuss follow up of thyroid cancer, including surveillance and possible further treatment.