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Focus on the thyroid gland - diseases and treatments

Dr. med. Stephan Müller

Dr. med. Stephan Müller

September 1, 2023

reading time

4 min

Dr Stephan Müller, MHA can look back on over 1000 thyroid operations. In this interview, he explains the most important facts about surgical treatments for thyroid diseases.

Dr Müller, you have performed over 1000 thyroid operations. What fascinates you about it?

Ultrasound examination of a patient's abdominal region.

Operations on the thyroid gland fascinate me because they are anatomically interesting and technically demanding. It requires a very good and gentle surgical technique. Experience is very important. Technical aids increase the safety and quality of the operations. For good surgical planning, interdisciplinary collaboration with a very experienced ultrasound examiner of the thyroid gland is a must.

For which clinical pictures is thyroid surgery indicated?

Person holds hand to neck, close-up, health care concept

Large visible goitres - enlarged thyroid glands with or without nodules - are a common reason for thyroid surgery. It is not always necessary to remove the entire thyroid gland. Nodules on the thyroid gland can be malignant, in which case they are referred to as thyroid cancer. With timely and correct treatment, thyroid cancer can almost always be cured.

Surgery may also be indicated in cases of severe hyperthyroidism. If the hyperthyroidism cannot be controlled with medication or radioactive iodine treatment, it may be necessary to remove the thyroid gland.

What questions do patients have before a thyroid operation?

During the information session before every thyroid operation, all topics relating to the operation and follow-up treatment are discussed. There are almost always questions about vocal cord nerve paralysis, although this rarely occurs. Sometimes there is temporary hoarseness after thyroid surgery, which usually disappears within a few days.

  • Portrait photo of Dr Stephan Müller

    Dr Stephan Müller, MHA, Senior Head of Visceral Surgery

    Many people don't dare to ask what kind of scar will remain on their neck. I can reassure you: The incision is made as short as possible and only as long as necessary. The resulting scar usually heals beautifully.


A dysfunction of the parathyroid glands after thyroid surgery is rarely mentioned by patients. The hormone parathyroid hormone produced in the parathyroid glands is important for calcium-phosphate metabolism in interaction with the bones and kidneys.

Can you live without a thyroid gland?

You can live without a thyroid gland, but not without thyroid hormones. They are indispensable for controlling the metabolism. As a substitute, thyroid hormones can be taken as tablets without any relevant side effects or other disadvantages.

Portrait photo of Dr Stephan Müller

Dr. med. Stephan Müller

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