The thyroid is a gland located in the neck. It is a part of the endocrine (hormone) system, and plays a major role in regulating the body's metabolism. If surgery or an open excisional biopsy is needed, an incision is made in front of the neck to gain access to the thyroid gland.
Review Date 2/27/2016
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.