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Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery in Abu Dhabi


A thyroid goiter, characterised by the enlargement of the thyroid gland, can become a retrosternal goiter when it grows significantly and extends below the sternum into the chest

Dr Taj Chowdhry, who is an accomplished thoracic surgeon, offers Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery in Abu Dhabi as an effective solution to relieve patients from the pain and discomfort of retrosternal goiter. 

This article explores the definition of retrosternal goiter, its symptoms, diagnosis and the surgical procedure available in Abu Dhabi for managing this condition.

Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery In Abu Dhabi

Understanding Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery

A retro sternal goiter, also called a substernal goiter, is a thyroid gland that has grown to an extensive size, protruding below the breastbone (sternum) and into the chest cavity. It is often composed of multiple thyroid nodules that can be cystic, solid, or a combination of both.

Symptoms of substernal thyroid goiters include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stridor (a high-pitched sound during breathing)
  • Hoarseness
  • Cough, and wheezing
  • Cervical mass presence
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Pemberton’s sign ( a range of symptoms presence such as trouble breathing, stridor, facial flushing in certain positions)

Diagnosis of retrosternal goiters

The diagnosis may remain asymptomatic for prolonged periods and is often detected incidentally during chest X-rays or CT scans. 

However, when symptoms do manifest, they typically include pressure on nearby structures, such as the trachea and oesophagus, leading to breathing difficulties and swallowing issues. 

The following tests may be indicated then.

  •  Complete Medical History and Physical Examination
  • Ultrasound
  • High-resolution CAT scan from skull base to trachea ( in chest)
  • Thyroid blood tests including TSH, T3, T4
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody
  • Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin
  • Laryngoscopy (looking at the voice box)
  • Ultrasound with possible Fine Needle Aspiration guided (FNA) may be indicated 

Indications for Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery In Abu Dhabi

Even in the absence of noticeable symptoms, surgeons might recommend Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery in Abu Dhabi for the following reasons.

  • The thyroid goiter is large, causing a visible mass in the neck.
  • The thyroid goiter is exerting pressure on the breathing tube or swallowing tube, leading to symptoms.
  • The thyroid goiter is causing excessive production of thyroid hormone.
  • Thyroid nodules with indeterminate or suspicious findings in fine-needle aspiration (FNAs) indicate possible cancer.
  • Multinodular goiters causing symptoms.
  • A thyroid goiter that has progressed or remains symptomatic after radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment.
The Importance of Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery In Abu Dhabi

The primary reasons for surgery include relieving compressive symptoms, reducing the risk of thyroid cancer, and enhancing overall quality of life.

Preparing for retrosternal goiter surgery in Abu Dhabi

 Before undergoing Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery In Abu Dhabi patients will need to undergo a thorough evaluation, including medical history review, physical examination, and imaging tests to assess the extent and location of the goiter.

The retrosternal thyroid surgery procedure

The surgical procedure is performed under anaesthesia to ensure pain-free during the operation. The patient is positioned on their back with their neck slightly extended for optimal access.

In cases where the goiter is accessible without entering the chest cavity, the surgeon will make an incision in the front of the lower neck, just above the collarbones. This less invasive approach is preferred whenever possible.

If the goiter is deeply situated within the chest, the surgeon will make an incision along the middle of the chest bone to gain access to the thyroid gland. This allows for the complete removal of the goiter.

Post-surgery care

After Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery In Abu Dhabi, a drainage tube may be left in place temporarily to facilitate the removal of fluids and blood. Typically, this tube is removed within 1 to 2 days. The incisions are meticulously closed using sutures.


  • Alleviates compressive symptoms 

Retro sternal thyroid surgery effectively relieves the pressure exerted on surrounding structures, such as the trachea and esophagus, which can significantly improve breathing and swallowing.

  • Mitigates cancer risk

By removing the entire goiter, the procedure eliminates the potential for thyroid cancer and allows for appropriate evaluation and management of any suspicious nodules.

Dr Taj Chowdhry-
for Thyroid Retro Sternal Goiter Surgery in Abu Dhabi.

Retro sternal thyroid surgery is a vital procedure for managing substernal goiters. By safely removing these enlarged thyroid glands, the surgery not only alleviates potential compressive symptoms but also mitigates the risk of harboring thyroid cancer. 

Dr Taj Mohammed Fiyaz Chowdhry is a renowned thoracic surgeon with several subspecialties in the discipline.

Patients seeking retrosternal thyroid surgery in Abu Dhabi can consult Dr Taj to receive expert care and improve their overall quality of life. Book An Appointment for consultation.