Rebecca S. Sippel Logo Graves’ disease, one of the most common autoimmune diseases probably affects over 13 million people in the United States. Also termed as hyperthyroidism, the ailment allegedly occurs when the thyroid gland at the base of the neck produces excessive hormones and accelerates the metabolism. A groundbreaking study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison claims that surgically removing the thyroid is a safe and effective option for treating Graves’ disease.

During the study, a total of 58 patients who had either a total or partial thyroidectomy between 1994 and 2008 were evaluated. Majority of the patients had previously undergone medical or radioactive iodine therapy, but those approaches possibly failed to control the disease. It was noted that the total thyroidectomy seemingly had a very low complication rate and completely treated the Graves’ disease.

Generally patients diagnosed with Graves’ disease may not be subjected to a surgery due to its complications. However, the rate of permanent complications in surgery appears very low. Dr. Rebecca Sippel, the lead author and assistant professor of surgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and colleagues believe that patients can be provided with three options medications, radioactive iodine, and surgery. Those opting for surgery will be possibly made to take thyroid hormone replacement medication for the rest of their lives.

The study was published online in the Journal of Surgical Research.