Surgeons at Sir JJ Hospital in Byculla, encouraged by the success of a novel method of removing abnormal growths in the thyroid gland, have planned a series of such surgeries to establish its efficacy.
In the new method, the nodule is surgically removed through the armpit instead of accessing the gland directly by making a large incision on the neck, as was done in the conventional method. “This is a minimally invasive procedure that has multiple advantages, as against the conventional method, in which there is a wide cut made on the neck,” said Dr Saurabh Gandhi, assistant professor, general surgery at the hospital, who performed the surgery on 36-year-old Pradnya Ghadegaonkar, a Kalyan resident.
Investigations revealed a 3.5-cm nodule of benign nature in the right lobe of the patient’s thyroid gland, with no other abnormalities. The other investigations and the thyroid function tests were normal and Ghadgaonkar required surgery only for the removal of half the thyroid gland (hemithyroidectomy).
"Thyroid swellings are generally seen more often in females and in certain parts of Maharashtra, such as Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nandurbar, etc. It is more commonly seen in the hilly areas because of certain nutritional deficiencies,” said Dr Gandhi.
Although the surgery was performed in February, doctors waited to see the result in the longer term to see whether it led to any kind of complication. Four months later, having safely concluded that the new method of performing the thyroid gland surgery is safe and more advantageous, doctors are now looking to do it on more suitable cases. An 18-year-old girl who has the same problem is scheduled to undergo surgery next week.
Thyroid gland nodule refers to any abnormal growth that forms a lump in the thyroid gland located in the neck. According to experts, the growth is generally benign, but in rare cases and if left untreated, it can prove to be cancerous.
“The method of operating the abnormal growth in thyroid gland through the armpit has been used in the West as well, but it’s not very popular. In India, a couple of centres in the south have tried this new technique, but this is the first such case in Maharashtra,” said Dr A Bhandanwar, professor, general surgery, JJ Hospital.