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Published by: aasin on Sep 07, 2010
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Thyroid Gland Predisposing factors: • Age • Sex ↓ ↑ Thyroid Hormone (T3, T4) due to Immune Reactivity to TSH Receptor (Graves Disease) ↓ Specific Immune Response/ Autoimmune ↓ Infiltration of Lymphocytic, Mucopolysaccharides, Fluid, Glycosaminoglycans ↓ Fluid retention in Retrobulbar Soft Tissue, Extra-ocular Muscle ↙ Pressure to Optic Nerve ↓ Blindness ↓ Bulging of Eyes ↓ Proptosis/ Exophtalmus → Lid Retraction ↓ Lid Lag ↓ Corneal Exposure ↓ Dryness of Corneal Irritation of Eyes ↘ Diplopia Precipitating factors: • Stress • Smoking


The client should not take sedatives unless absolutely necessary. If a sedative or opioid must be given, administer no more than one third to one half of the usual dose. Assess the client for respiratory depression or s decreased level of consciousness. Warm, comfortable environment Prevent skin breakdown Avoid sedatives Prevent constipation Assess energy level and mental alertness Monitor VS-Wt-I&O-visible edema Cardiac assessment

• • • • • •

• •

MEDICAL MANAGEMENT • • • Lyvothyroxine sodium is the principal form of replacement therapy. Clients who respond to TH therapy receive a maintenance dose of T4 daily for life. Lyvothyroxine sodium- drug of choice for thyroid replacement therapy, which is converted to both t4 and t3.

HYPERTHYROIDISM NURSING MANAGEMENT • • • Obtain a complete history and asking questions concerning weight, appetite, activity, heat tolerance, and bowel activity Provide the client with a well-balanced diet high in calories, protein, carbohydrates, and minerals. Discourage the ingestion of foods that increase peristalsis and thus result in diarrhea, such as highly seasoned, bulky and fibrous foods.

For exophthalmus:

• • • •

Instruct the client to wear dark eye glasses. Warn the client to avoid getting dust or dirt in the eyes. If the eyelids cannot be closed easily or at all, have the client wear a sleeping mask or lightly tape the eyes shut with non-allergic tape. Elevate the head of the bed at night, and have the client restrict salt intake to relieve edema.

MEDICAL MANAGEMENT • • • • • Curtail the excessive secretion of TH and prevent and treat complications. Choice of intervention is based on age, goiter size, and whether the client has other health problems. The three major forms of therapy are antithyroid medication, radio-iodine therapy, and surgery. Iodide, propylthiouracil, and methimazole- major medications used to control hyperthyroidism. Adrenergic blocking agents may be administered as adjunctive therapy.

For exophthalmus: • • Diuretics- may alleviate some periorbital edema. Methyl-cellulose eye drops help reduce eye irritation.

Surgical Management: Thyroidectomy Thyroidectomy is an operation that involves the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland.

Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. The thyroid gland is located in the forward (anterior) part of the neck


just under the skin and in front of the Adam's apple. The thyroid is one of the body's endocrine glands, which means that it secretes its products inside the body, into the blood or lymph. The thyroid produces several hormones that have two primary functions: they increase the synthesis of proteins in most of the body's tissues, and they raise the level of the body's oxygen consumption.

To remove the thyroid gland, an incision is made at the front of the neck (A). Muscles and connecting tissue, or fascia, are divided (B). The veins and arteries above and below the thyroid are severed (C), and the gland is removed in two parts (D). The tissues and muscles are repaired before the skin incision is closed (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) Purpose All or part of the thyroid gland may be removed to correct a variety of abnormalities. If a person has a goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that causes swelling in the front of the neck, the swollen gland may cause difficulties with swallowing or breathing. Hyperthyroidism (overactivity of the thyroid gland) produces hypermetabolism, a condition in which the body uses abnormal amounts of oxygen, nutrients, and other materials. A thyroidectomy may be performed if the hypermetabolism cannot be adequately controlled by medication, or if the condition occurs in a child or pregnant woman. Both cancerous and noncancerous tumors (frequently called nodules) may develop in the thyroid gland. These growths must be removed, in addition to some or the entire gland itself. Demographics Screening tests indicate that about 6% of the United States population has some disturbance of thyroid function, but many people with mildly abnormal levels of thyroid hormone do not have any disease symptoms. It is estimated that between 12 and 15 million people in the United States and Canada are receiving treatment for thyroid disorders as of 2002. In 2001, there were approximately 34,500 thyroidectomies performed in the United States. Females are somewhat more likely than males to require a thyroidectomy. Description A thyroidectomy begins with general anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist injects drugs into the patient's veins and then places an airway tube in the windpipe to ventilate (provide air for) the person during the operation. After the patient has been anesthetized, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the neck at the level where a tight-

fitting necklace would rest. The surgeon locates and takes care not to injure the parathyroid glands and the recurrent laryngeal nerves, while freeing the thyroid gland from these surrounding structures. The next step is clamping off the blood supply to the portion of the thyroid gland that is to be removed. Next, the surgeon removes all or part of the gland. If cancer has been diagnosed, all or most of the gland is removed. If other diseases or nodules are present, the surgeon may remove only part of the gland. The total amount of glandular tissue removed depends on the condition being treated. The surgeon may place a drain, which is a soft plastic tube that allows tissue fluids to flow out of an area, before closing the incision. The incision is closed with either sutures (stitches) or metal clips. A dressing is placed over the incision and the drain, if one has been placed. People generally stay in the hospital one to four days after a thyroidectomy. Diagnosis/Preparation Thyroid disorders do not always develop rapidly; in some cases, the patient's symptoms may be subtle or difficult to distinguish from the symptoms of other disorders. Patients suffering from hypothyroidism are sometimes misdiagnosed as having a psychiatric depression. Before a thyroidectomy is performed, a variety of tests and studies are usually required to determine the nature of the thyroid disease. Laboratory analysis of blood determines the levels of active thyroid hormones circulating in the body. The most common test is a blood test that measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the bloodstream. Sonograms and computed tomography scans ( CT scans ) help to determine the size of the thyroid gland and location of abnormalities. A nuclear medicine scan may be used to assess thyroid function or to evaluate the condition of a thyroid nodule, but it is not considered a routine test. A needle biopsy of an abnormality or aspiration (removal by suction) of fluid from the thyroid gland may also be performed to help determine the diagnosis. If the diagnosis is hyperthyroidism, a person may be asked to take antithyroid medication or iodides before the operation. Continued treatment with antithyroid drugs may be the treatment of choice. Otherwise, no other special procedure must be followed prior to the operation. Aftercare A thyroidectomy incision requires little to no care after the dressing is removed. The area may be bathed gently with a mild soap. The sutures or the metal clips are removed three to seven days after the operation. Risks There are definite risks associated with the procedure. The thyroid gland should be removed only if there is a pressing reason or medical condition that requires it.

As with all operations, people who are obese, smoke, or have poor nutrition are at greater risk for developing complications related to the general anesthetic itself. Hoarseness or voice loss may develop if the recurrent laryngeal nerve is injured or destroyed during the operation. Nerve damage is more apt to occur in people who have large goiters or cancerous tumors. Hypoparathyroidism (underfunctioning of the parathyroid glands) can occur if the parathyroid glands are injured or removed at the time of the thyroidectomy. Hypoparathyroidism is characterized by a drop in blood calcium levels resulting in muscle cramps and twitching. Hypothyroidism (underfunctioning of the thyroid gland) can occur if all or nearly all of the thyroid gland is removed. Complete removal, however, may be intentional when the patient is diagnosed with cancer. If a person's thyroid levels remain low, thyroid replacement medications may be required for the rest of his or her life. A hematoma is a collection of blood in an organ or tissue, caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel. The neck and the area surrounding the thyroid gland have a rich supply of blood vessels. Bleeding in the area of the operation may occur and be difficult to control or stop. If a hematoma occurs in this part of the body, it may be life-threatening. As the hematoma enlarges, it may obstruct the airway and cause a person to stop breathing. If a hematoma does develop in the neck, the surgeon may need to perform drainage to clear the airway. Wound infections can occur. If they do, the incision is drained, and there are usually no serious consequences. PROCEDURE: A thyroid surgery begins with the administration of general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia takes effect, the procedure begins with an incision 2 inches to 4 inches long that stretches horizontally over the thyroid. Based on the tests performed before the procedure and the appearance of the thyroid, the final determination of how much of the thyroid should be removed is made. At this point, the portion or portions of the thyroid are removed using a scalpel. Special care is taken not to harm or disturb the parathyroid glands and the vocal cords, both of which rest in the neck near the thyroid. A biopsy may also be done to examine the tissues of the thyroid, the parathyroid and, in rare cases, nearby lymph nodes. This is done to make sure that the portion of the thyroid that is left, if any, is not diseased. In some cases, the tissue is examined by a pathologist immediately, so that a second surgery to remove a diseased portion of the thyroid is not necessary.




Once the thyroid has been removed and any necessary samples have been taken, the area is examined for bleeding. Once the surgeon is confident that there is no bleeding present, the incision is closed. It may be closed with staples or sutures, and in some cases, a surgical drain may be placed to remove fluid from the area in the days after surgery. Once a sterile bandage is applied to the incision, the surgery is completed. Anesthesia is discontinued and medication is given to wake the patient. The patient is then taken to the recovery room to be closely monitored while the remaining anesthetic wears off.



(Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism)

Submitted by:
Olano, Gazelle O. Oliveros, Anna May P.

Omaña, Ophelia Ross D. Ong- Juco, Kresta Janine A.

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