Graves' disease is an immune system disorder that results in hyperthyroidism. Although a number of disorders may result in hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease is a common cause.


Once Graves' disease has been correctly diagnosed, it is quite easy to treat. In some cases, it goes into remission or disappears completely after several months or years. Left untreated, however, it can lead to serious complications. Although the symptoms can cause discomfort, Graves' disease generally has no long-term adverse health consequences if the patient receives prompt and proper medical care.

Treatment at BIDMC

Graves' Disease is treatable with medication or radioactive iodine therapy to damage the cells that make thyroid hormones. When those don’t work, surgery is an option.

Surgery for Graves’ Disease

Non-surgical treatments are often successful for Graves’ disease, however, surgery is still an option if other treatments do not work.

The biggest advantage of surgery is that it is the fastest, most consistent, and most permanent way to restore normal thyroid hormone levels.

If you choose to have traditional surgery where the surgeon makes an incision on the neck, you will have a scar after surgery. The size of it will depend on how much of the thyroid is removed. However, BIDMC is one of a few centers in the United States that offers transoral surgery, where surgeons access the thyroid by making three small incisions in the inner lip. No visible scar is left after surgery and, like any surgery, the incisions on the inner lip will heal over time.

Endocrine Surgery

Our team of endocrine surgeons is highly experienced and skilled in treating conditions of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands.

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Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism provides expertise in diagnosing, treating and managing a range of endocrine disorders.

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