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A 20-year-old male asked:

Why iodine is used before thyroid surgery?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tracy Berg
General Surgery 33 years experience
Radioactive iodine: For some thyroid disorders, such as autoimmune hyperthyroid or graves disease, iodine tagged with radiation is used to selectively decrease the thyroid function. Which can cure the problem, or improve the surgery safety and results.
Dr. Michael Wolfe
Head & Neck Surgery 24 years experience
Decrease blood flow: If the patient has graves' disease or other hyperthyroidism and is scheduled for surgery, doses of iodine can be given to temporarily decrease the blood to the thyroid and aid in surgery--typically sski is given. Radioactive iodine is given to ablate the thyroid in hyperthyroidism. Some feel it should not be given in grave's if there are eye problems from the graves or it may make the eyes worse.

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Last updated Jul 2, 2017

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