Thyroid Surgery

The thyroid controls metabolism and has a major influence on every bodily function.

Dr Girardi is a specialist surgeon focused on the treatment of patients with thyroid and parathyroid problems. He has performed over 1000 endocrine procedures and has been practicing this for 12 years.


The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland which lies low in the front of your neck. It has two side lobes connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle. When your thyroid is normal you cannot feel it. The thyroid secretes several hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4. These hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.


Australian Epidemiology

In 2010, there were 2,081 new cases of thyroid cancer in Australia (523 new cases in men and 1,558 new cases in women), accounting for 1.8 per cent of all new cancers.

In 2020, an estimated over 3,500 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Thyroid Cancer is more common in women.

Relative survival rates for thyroid cancer have increased in recent years in Australia; five-year relative survival increased from around 80 per cent to over 95 per cent.

Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are growths within the thyroid caused by abnormal thyroid tissue. These nodules are generally benign however a small percentage will be cancer. Blood tests, fine needle biopsies and ultrasound are usually performed to evaluate thyroid nodules.

Thyroid nodules requiring surgery include;

  • Cancer nodules
  • Overactive nodules
  • Large nodules > 4cm (risk of malignancy)
  • Compression of the throat causing difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Compression of the throat affecting the vocal cords (voice)


Thyroid Cancer

There are 4 main types of thyroid cancer:

Papillary Cancer

Differentiated thyroid cancer - Micro and macro

Follicular Cancer

Differentiated thyroid cancer

Medullary Cancer

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome MEN 1 & MEN 2

Anaplastic Cancer


The whole thyroid gland, or part of the gland (hemi or subtotal) can be removed to treat nodules and tumours during surgery. Our clinic offers surgery to treat a range of thyroid problems includes; total thyroidectomy, hemithyroidectomy and minimally invasive approaches. Risks associated with these procedures are low with a complication rate of less than 1%.

What to Expect after Surgery
  • 2 – 3cm scar
  • Day surgery for hemithyroidectomy and minimally invasive thyroidectomy
  • 1 nights in hospital for total thyroidectomy
  • 3-4 day recovery period
  • Thyroxine medication after operation for total thyroidectomy patients