Thyroidectomy is the removal of the thyroid gland, which is shaped
like a butterfly and lies across the windpipe (trachea). The gland makes
hormones that control how your body makes and uses energy (metabolism). A
doctor removes the gland when a tumour is present. The doctor may also remove the gland if you have an enlarged thyroid
that is causing symptoms that bother you. Most tumours that grow in the
thyroid gland are benign, meaning they are not cancer.
leave the hospital with stitches in the cut (incision) the doctor made. Your
doctor will tell you if you need to come back to have these removed. You may
still have a tube called a drain in your neck. Your doctor will take
this out a few days after your surgery.
You may have some trouble
chewing and swallowing after you go home. Your voice probably will be hoarse,
and you may have trouble talking. For most people, these problems get better
within 3 to 4 months, but it can take as long as a year. In some cases, this
surgery causes permanent problems with chewing, speaking, or swallowing.
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 get 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 call line 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
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek
immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed
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Current as of:
July 28, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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