What is the preoperative workup for thyroidectomy?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Neerav Goyal, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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For thyroid nodules, the patient should have a thyroid ultrasound, and a fine-needle aspiration should be performed for large or suspicious nodules. Those with lesions suspicious for papillary or medullary thyroid cancer should also have an ultrasound performed of the lateral neck compartments to be evaluated for metastatic disease.

CT imaging of the neck is helpful, especially in patients with significant goiters, to rule out substernal extension. Note that contrast-enhanced scans can limit the ability to provide radioactive iodine in patients with iodine-avid tumors. [14, 15]

Additionally, all patients undergoing thyroidectomy should have their vocal cord function evaluated and documented prior to surgery.

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