Most patients with well controlled thyrotoxicosis require no special preparation for thyroid surgery or radio active iodine. However, people with uncontrolled thyrotoxicosis or who are intolerant of anti thyroid medications will require specific medical preparation to ensure surgery is safe and to ensure radioactive iodine is safe and effective.
Thorough general examination is required to assess the patient's thyroid status prior to considering definitive treatment.
Pyrexia is a cardinal feature of thyroid storm which requires emergency treatment before definitive treatments can be considered.
Full cardiovascular examination is mandatory looking for signs of sepsis and for control of thyrotoxicosis.
Tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and heart failure are cardinal features of thyroid storm which requires emergency treatment before definitive treatments can be considered.
Radio active iodine therapy carries with it the theoretical risk of transient thyroid swelling. Patients with large goitres should therefore be assessed for potential tracheal narrowing prior to radio active iodine therapy.
Abdominal pain and abnormalities of liver funciton may be features of thyroid storm which requires emergency treatment before definitive treatments can be considered.
Any neurological dysfunction should raise the possibility of thyroid storm which must be treated prior to considering definitive treatment.