Dr. Bren Heaton at Idaho Surgical provides exceptional thyroid cancer treatment for patients in the Treasure Valley. He provides aggressive treatment to remove and eradicate the cancer while helping patients become fully informed about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for this disease.


The first symptom of thyroid cancer is often the growth of nodules, or lumps of tissue, in the thyroid. If there are nodules, the thyroid may become enlarged and eventually cause pain in the neck and changes in the voice, swallowing and/or breathing. Although nodules are common and are usually benign, they can also be a symptom of thyroid cancer and should be monitored. Idaho Surgical provides quick, relatively painless diagnostic exams to determine whether nodules are pre-cancerous.

Risk Factors:

While anyone can develop nodules in the thyroid, the growths are more common in people who had radiation therapy in childhood. Individuals with a family history of thyroid problems are also more likely to develop thyroid cancer.


An ultrasound examination may be performed to detect nodules, their size, and whether they are solid or filled with fluid. A fine-needle biopsy may be performed to collect cells from the nodule(s) as well to determine whether they are cancerous.

Treatment - Thyroid Removal:

It may be necessary to remove all or part of the thyroid if a patient is diagnosed with thyroid cancer Dr. Bren Heaton has been known to and has been providing top-notch care for patients needing a thyroidectomy. To begin the procedure, general anesthesia is administered, using a breathing tube to electronically monitor the vocal cords during surgery. Next, He makes a small incision in the neck (collar incision) along a crease in the skin so that the scar is less noticeable. He then removes part of the thyroid or the entire gland, depending on how much cancerous tissue there is. There is always a risk of temporarily and/or chronically damaging the vocal cords changing pitch and sound of voice, and damage to the parathyroid glands. When the surgery is complete, he sutures the incision closed, you wake up, the breathing tube is removed and you're admitted to the hospital overnight for observation.


After a thyroidectomy, the patient stays in hospital overnight to check labs the next morning and to assure that there will be minimal swelling. The incision usually heals in a week or so, and most patients are able to Return to their regular activities a few days/weeks after the procedure. Radiation therapy may be necessary to treat the surrounding tissue. Some patients may or may not also be prescribed thyroid hormone pills to maintain normal thyroid function. Our team works closely with patients in the days, weeks, and months after surgery to monitor their recovery and help if any complications arise with the close help of the endocrinologists.