“The extirpation of the thyroid gland…typifies, perhaps better than any operation, the supreme triumph of the surgeon’s art.”
Dr. William S. Halsted, 1920

The thyroid gland sits low in the neck, just in front of the trachea or windpipe. In most people, if it is a normal size, it cannot be felt.

Thyroidectomy refers to the surgical removal of the thyroid gland.

Half of the gland (hemi-thyroidectomy) may be removed in the setting of benign tumors or in cases where a diagnostic biopsy is required. The entire gland is usually removed (total thyroidectomy) in the setting of cancer.