Thyroidectomy Care

Learn what care is required for the Thyroidectomy procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Thyroidectomy Details


Alternate Names for Thyroidectomy:
Surgical removal, thyroid

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory and/or imaging tests to assess thyroid function and anatomy, such as:
    • Ultrasound -uses sound waves to evaluate organs in the body
    • MRI -uses magnetic waves to produce images of the inside of the body
    • Thyroid medicine to suppress thyroid activity in patients with hyperthyroidism
    • Thyroid scan-uses a radioactive substance and scanning tool to evaluate the thyroid gland

Leading up to your procedure:

  • Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
    • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening prior to the procedure.
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the hospital.

Anesthesia

General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.

Description of Procedure

An incision will be made in the front of the neck. Bleeding vessels will be clamped and tied off. All or part of the thyroid gland will be cut away from other tissues in the neck. Care will be taken to avoid injury to other nearby glands and nerves. Bleeding is controlled with special tools that compress and seal the ends of the vessels. The incision will be closed. The edges of skin will be stitched together. A drain will often be left in overnight. It will help drain any extra fluids.

The thyroid may be removed to treat thyroid cancer. In this case, lymph nodes in the area may also be removed. This will test if the cancer has spread.

How Long Will It Take?

About 2-4 hours

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Pain after the procedure is common. You will be given medicine to help manage this.

Average Hospital Stay

The usual length of stay is one day. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.

Post-procedure Care At the Hospital
  • There will be discomfort in your neck for several days. The pain can be treated with medicine.
  • In some cases, you may have a hoarse voice for a few days.
  • Depending on how much of the thyroid is removed, you may need to take replacement thyroid hormone.
  • In some cases of thyroid cancer, you may need radioactive iodine treatments. This is called remnant ablation.
At Home

When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Keep the incision clean and dry.
  • Do not get the incision wet until your doctor allows. If it does get wet, dry it immediately.
  • Do not apply make-up, lotion, or cream to the incision area.
  • Perform neck exercises as instructed by your doctor.
  • Take all medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .


Learn

Learn what Thyroidectomy is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Thyroidectomy
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Thyroidectomy Complications
Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Thyroidectomy Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Thyroidectomy Results
Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Thyroidectomy
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO