The thyroid cancers that may be treated with a partial thyroidectomy are smaller than 1 cm and are called microscopic papillary thyroid cancer. A partial thyroidectomy may be enough to remove the cancer for patients with small papillary tumors located in only one lobe of the thyroid gland and whose cancer has not spread outside the thyroid. During this procedure, only the cancerous thyroid lobe is removed, which typically takes 1.5 to 2 hours to perform.
This procedure will not result in hypothyroidism, unlike a total thyroidectomy, as the remaining lobe can still produce healthy amounts of thyroid hormone. However, depending on the pathology and thyroid function tests that you will undergo, you might still be required to take thyroid hormone medication to suppress the remaining thyroid lobe. Most patients report very little discomfort after surgery. Immediately after surgery, you will be able to function normally.