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Hyperthyroidism (cont.)

Radioactive Iodine

  • Effect: damages the thyroid cells that make thyroid hormone. This is the most common permanent treatment of hyperthyroidism in the United States.
  • Indications:
  • Contraindications:
    • During pregnancy, radioactive iodine may destroy fetal thyroid tissue.
    • Breastfeeding women may pass radioactive iodine through breast milk.
    • A six month waiting period before pregnancy is suggested after therapy.
  • Risks:
    • Most patients treated become hypothyroid and require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy
    • Elderly patients and cardiac patients have increased risk of 131I-(radioactive iodine)-induced thyroiditis

Surgical Interventions for Hyperthyroidism

For the patient with an overactive nodule(s) of a toxic adenoma or toxic multinodular goiter:

  • Removal of part of thyroid gland containing overactive nodule. The entire thyroid may be removed if there are multiple, bilateral overactive nodules or if the goiter is enlarged.

For the patient with generalized overactive thyroid gland of Graves' disease:

  • Removal of entire thyroid gland.

Risks of thyroid surgery

  • Most patients will remain euthyroid (having normal thyroid function) after thyroid lobectomy.
  • Patients will become hypothyroid after total thyroidectomy and require thyroid hormone replacement therapy
  • There is a small risk of recurrent hyperthyroidism if a large amount of remaining thyroid gland is left after the surgery.
  • There is a small risk of damage to structures near the thyroid, including the nerve to the voice box, and the glands that regulate calcium levels in the blood.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hyperthyroidism »

Thyrotoxicosis is the hypermetabolic condition associated with elevated levels of free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), or both.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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