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Thyroid Conditions

With A Higher Incidence in Women, Thyroid Conditions May Need Specialist and Subspecialist Care

Conditions of the thyroid gland are common and can occur in men and women of all ages.  However, women are particularly affected by these conditions for several reasons:

• Due to causes not fully known, a number of thyroid conditions are many times more prevalent among women.  This includes thyroid nodules (the most common reason for thyroid surgery) and hypothyroidism.  The latter is the most common thyroid condition – and, among examples of its effects, doctors now known that even a small resulting decrease in thyroid hormones can cause a significant rise in cholesterol levels. 

• Many thyroid disorders in women are inter-related with the complex hormonal functions of development, reproduction, and stage of life in females.

• Some thyroid conditions are specific to women, such as hypothyroidism during pregnancy and postpartum thyroiditis.

Care for thyroid conditions, especially surgical procedures, has improved significantly.  The staff of the women's center
knows when to consult Aria's exceptional endocrine surgeons, who also now offer robotic-assisted surgery.

Because thyroid problems are widely underdiagnosed, millions of women in the U.S. are unaware that they have these conditions.  The staff at Aria's Center for Gynecology & Women's Health can screen patients for thyroid conditions.  This evaluation includes a physical examination and a history of symptoms and other medical conditions.  Patients with a thyroid abnormality or suspected thyroid abnormality will undergo thyroid function tests, including blood tests and, normally, an ultrasound study.  A needle biopsy to remove cells in the thyroid, for evaluation in the pathology lab, can also add to the diagnostic information.

Full evaluation for the sometimes-complex conditions and actions of the thyroid and its hormones, can take special expertise.  The staff of Aria's women's center knows when to refer patients to Aria's experienced Division of Endocrinology for a more exhaustive diagnosis, for a second opinion, and for definitive recommendations on care.  Working with these specialists, the center's staff can also refer patients who may need surgical intervention to experts in Aria's Division of General Surgery for subspecialty knowledge and capabilities in thyroid surgery –– including when thyroid tumor or hypoparathyroidism may be the diagnosis.

NEW: Learn about minimally invasive thyroid surgery