In front of our throat, we have a butterfly-shaped gland known as the thyroid.  The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and is responsible for the control and regulation of several hormones that affect the body.  Every tissue in the body is affected in some way by the hormones secreted by the thyroid gland.  Body temperature, metabolism, heart rate and digestion are just some areas affected by the thyroid gland. 

When abnormal growths, such as nodules or cancer, occur on the thyroid, surgery is usually an option for treatment.  Most nodules are benign but may interfere with hormone production and put pressure on surrounding structure in the neck if they are large.

Some thyroid nodules are cancerous or precancerous.  When a nodule is felt on the thyroid or found in an imaging study done of the neck, a biopsy is first taken through a procedure called a fine needle aspiration.  If the cells from the biopsy are found to be suspicious or cancerous, then surgery is often the next step.  Even if the nodule is determined to be non-cancerous, surgical removal may be recommended if it is large and interferes with the function of the thyroid or surrounding structures.

Although the thyroid is a very important gland of the body, its functions can be mimicked by medication. Those who have their thyroid removed will likely have to be on medication for the rest of their life unless only a portion of their thyroid was taken.  Even the majority of those who’ve had partial thyroidectomies, however, will need thyroid medication. 

Partial thyroid removal is often recommended for overactive one-sided nodules or large one-sided nodules that are causing compression on surrounding structures.  Some symptoms of compression include hoarseness, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing (or the sensation of something consistently in one’s throat when swallowing).  Those with thyroid cancer, Graves’ disease or enlarged multinodular goiters often have their entire thyroid removed along with surrounding lymph nodes if necessary.

Sound Better

Dr. Meyer & the staff at ENT Specialists in Appleton are wonderful! They eased my daughter's anxiety while having tests done. Very friendly and knowledgeable.

— Kelly F.

Very good experience with a very professional, detailed and caring practice. They took the time to diagnose the issue, and took no time at all to start treatment. I would recommend this practice to everyone!

— Heather S.

Dr. Keller was thorough and listened to my concerns, he did a complete exam and offered options to procced with types of treatment. I was pleased with the appointment. Again he listened to what I was saying, some doctors don't have that skill.

— Warren D.

Great service! The audiologists in Neenah and Oshkosh truly care about a client with hearing loss. They take the time to provide individualized hearing loss education and also provide excellent follow up support after selling hearing aids. Highly recommended!

— Matt B.

Great staff. The location is easy to find. Very accommodating and well organized. Would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Mjaanes and his staff.

— Douglas K.


Our Locations

Accessibility Menu