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Thyroidectomy for Graves' Disease

By Elaine Moore on 8/10/2011

Dr. Rebecca Sipple and her team at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine recently announced the results of a study using thyroidectomy in Graves' patients. The study evaluated the medical records of 58 patients who had either partial or total thyroidectomy between 1994 and 2008. The patients self-reported that they tried radioiodine or anti-thyroid meds, which failed to control their disease.

While the study found that hyperthyroidism was cured by thyroidectomy, and the patients became hypothyroid quickly, there wasn't a long-term follow-up. Dr. Sipple therefore concluded that surgery is the most rapid method for obtaining definite control of the hyperthyroidism.

The researchers concluded that patients with Graves' disease should be told about the pros and cons of all 3 treatment options: anti-thyroid drugs, surgery and radioiodine. If patients decide on surgery they should find an experienced surgeon and be prepared to take lifelong replacement hormone. Source: Excerpted from "Thyroid Removal is Safe and Effective for Graves' Disease," University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, February 15, 2011.

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