Top of the page
Your doctor made a cut (incision) in your neck and removed part of your thyroid gland to find what is causing a lump or to remove a growth in the gland. The piece removed may have been large or small. Your doctor may have removed all of your thyroid if there was cancer or another problem.
The doctor did a test on a small sample of the tissue from your thyroid and closed the incision in your neck with stitches.
Keep the incision covered with the bandage and dry for 48 hours. You will likely have a tube, called a drain, in your neck. It lets fluid out of the cut. The drain is most often taken out before you go home. Ask your doctor how much drainage to expect.
You may go home on the same day or stay one or more nights in the hospital after surgery. You may be able to return to work or your normal routine in 1 to 2 weeks. This depends on whether you need more treatment, how you feel, and the kind of work you do.
Your doctor will check your incision about a week after surgery. You may need to take thyroid medicine. If you have thyroid cancer, you may need to have radioactive iodine therapy. Your doctor will talk to you about what happens next.
You will feel some pain for several days. You may have some nausea and general muscle aches and may feel tired for 1 to 2 days. You also may have a sore throat and sound hoarse.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter V203 in the search box to learn more about "Thyroid Surgery: What to Expect at Home".
Current as of: May 4, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
©2006-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.