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Endocrine Surgery

Thyroid Surgery

Graves' Disease

  • What is Graves’ disease?
    Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition and the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. The body’s immune system overstimulates the thyroid gland to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

  • What are the different options for treating Graves’ disease?
    • There are three options to treat hyperthyroidism in Graves’ disease: anti-thyroid medication, radioactive iodine, and surgery.
    • Your physician will discuss with you the risks and benefits of all three options and help you decide which is most appropriate.

  • What are the indications for surgery?
    • A fairly absolute indication for surgery in Graves’ disease is moderate or severe eye.  
    • Surgery is also recommended for pregnant patients and young females who want to become pregnant in the next 1-2 years.

  • What are the risks if I have surgery for Graves’ disease?
    Risks are the same as having a total thyroidectomy for any other cause. (see section on thyroid surgery)


Please refer to the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons patient education website for more detailed information:

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University of Southern California
Upper G.I. and General Surgery

1450 San Pablo Street
Healthcare Consultation Center 4
Suite 6200
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Phone: (323) 865-3918
Fax: (323) 865-3539

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