Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid lobes. Overactive thyroid hormone production, known as hyperthyroidism, is a common condition in older cats that causes an increase in metabolic function throughout the body. An overactive thyroid is often caused by an adenoma, which causes the thyroid gland to enlarge. If left untreated, this condition can lead to kidney problems or extreme stress on vital organs.
During a thyroidectomy, all of the abnormal tissue is removed and the overactive thyroid is completely cured. It is important to leave the parathyroid glands in the body, since they monitor calcium and phosphorous levels. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and is the only one-time treatment option for thyroid abnormalities.