Dr. Tan Chuan Chien

Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid surgery is performed to treat conditions such as thyroid nodules, goitre, hyperthyroidism and cancer. There are two main types of thyroid surgery — partial and full removal of the thyroid.

What Happens After Thyroid Surgery?

The recovery period differs for every patient. Most patients can generally resume most of their normal daily activities a day after surgery. It may take about 2 – 3 weeks before more strenuous activities can resume.

During this period, a sore throat may develop. This can be treated via over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to provide relief. Additionally, patients who had undergone total thyroidectomy will need thyroid hormone replacement medications to ensure that hormone levels are balanced.

Patients who are diagnosed with thyroid cancer may also need radioactive iodine therapy after the surgery.

When Is Thyroid Surgery Needed?

Thyroid surgery is performed to treat thyroid diseases and is recommended under the following circumstances, when:

  • Thyroid nodules are diagnosed or highly suspected to be cancerous
  • Progressive growth of nodules are found
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland (goitre) results in difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism does not respond effectively to medical treatment

What Is Thyroid?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the front lower part of your neck. It plays a crucial role in your endocrine system — releasing and regulating hormones that control your body’s metabolism. These hormones are essential in many of your body’s processes, helping to regulate your body’s vital functions.

The two main types of thyroid diseases are:

  • Overproduction or underproduction of hormones (Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)
  • Swelling of the thyroid or formation of nodules (Goitres or thyroid nodules)
DR. TAN CHUAN CHIEN

Key Guiding Philosophies

Competency

Dr. Tan is a Fellowship-trained Breast & Endocrine Surgeon who is registered on the Specialist Register (General Surgery) in both Singapore and Australia. He completed his formal Breast Surgery training through the BreastSurgANZ Fellowship Programme. He was previously Head, Division of Breast & Endocrine Surgery, NTFGH where he was the pioneer breast surgeon there developing a comprehensive, evidence-based Breast Surgery service.

Care for the wider community

Dr. Tan is passionate about engaging the wider community with regards to breast cancer outcomes. He volunteers with the Singapore Cancer Society and served as the Chairman of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Committee from 2018 to 2021. He continues to currently serve as a member of this committee. During his time in the public hospital, Dr. Tan was involved in research on breast cancer screening and care, where he succeeded in obtaining competitive grants and managing a research team, with the overall aim to improve breast cancer outcomes in Singapore.

Patient-centered care

Dr. Tan believes in the importance of the patient experience and the partnership between doctor and patients in healing sickness. He also believes no two individuals are the same. He believes in the philosophy of personalised tailor-made care plans for each of his patients to meet their individual expectations and needs.

Comprehensive Breast, Thyroid and General Surgery service

Dr. Tan aims to provide comprehensive, evidence-based care to all his patients, in a modern equipped clinic along the entire spectrum of the patient journey from diagnosis, through treatment/surgery and aftercare.

Types of Thyroid Surgery

There are generally two types of thyroid surgery — partial and full removal of the thyroid.

Hemithyroidectomy

Hemithyroidectomy is the surgical removal of a portion (usually half) of the thyroid gland.  It is usually recommended for patients with benign nodules and smaller cancers.

Total Thyroidectomy

Total thyroidectomy is a thyroid surgery that removes the entire thyroid gland. It is usually the standard approach for most thyroid cancer and surgical treatment of hyperthyroidism.

As a supporter of personalised surgical care, I understand that no two patients are the same. I believe in tailoring management for each patient to meet each individual’s needs and expectations. A patient’s journey can be difficult and frustrating at times, so I strive to make this experience as pleasant and seamless as possible.

Dr. Tan Chuan Chien
For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners

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Dr. Tan Chuan Chien

Consultant General Surgeon Breast & Thyroid Surgery
  • Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)- The University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
  • Full Registration, Singapore Medical Council (SMC) and Specialist Accreditation Board, Singapore (General Surgery)
  • Full General & Specialist Registration (General Surgery), Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • Completed Breast Surgery training through the BreastSurgANZ Fellowship programme

Dr. Tan Chuan Chien is a Fellowship-trained Breast and Endocrine Surgeon practicing as a Consultant General Surgeon at Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore. He also sees patients at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre and Parkway East Medical Centre. Dr. Tan is a registered Specialist Surgeon (General Surgery) in both Singapore and Australia.

What Are the Risks Associated With Thyroid Surgery?

Similar to any type of surgery, there are also risks involved with thyroid surgery.

Although thyroid surgery is generally safe in the hands of an experienced surgeon, the possible complications may still include:

  • General anaesthesia risks such as allergic reactions
  • Post-operative bleeding or infection
  • Hoarseness of voice due to potential recurrent laryngeal nerve (nerves that are connected to the vocal cord) injury
  • Low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) in the body due to disturbance of the parathyroid glands (glands that control calcium levels)

 

In most cases, the chances of developing these complications are very small.

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    MAIN CLINIC

    SOG - CC Tan Breast, Thyroid & General Surgery

    • Gleneagles Medical Centre
      6 Napier Road #08-15/16
      Singapore 258499
    • Mon & Thu: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
      Tue & Fri: 9:00AM - 12:00PM
      Wed & Sat: 9:00AM - 12:30PM
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    OTHER PRACTICE LOCATIONS

    SOG - CC Tan Breast, Thyroid & General Surgery
    (Mount Elizabeth Novena)

    SOG - CC Tan Breast, Thyroid & General Surgery
    (Parkway East)