Thyroidectomy Recovery Time

Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure in which the thyroid glands are removed from the body; this procedure is performed in certain thyroid conditions, such as malignant tumor growth, thyroid cancer, goiter or hyperthyroidism. Some of the other causes which may require thyroidectomy for treatment include thyrotoxicosis, nodular or cyst growth over thyroid, benign tumors, swelling in thyroid. After the surgery, many people care about the thyroidectomy recovery time. Here are perfect timeline details for you.

What Is Thyroidectomy?

Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped structure which is situated at the lower base of neck. Major functions of thyroid gland are production of hormone to regulate metabolism and maintenance of growth.The surgical removal of a portion or whole thyroid gland is referred to as thyroidectomy. The procedure can be performed in two ways:

1.   Partial Thyroidectomy

In this procedure, only partial portion of the gland is removed, the remaining thyroid is active and produces normal quantities of the hormone.

2.   Complete Thyroidectomy

Complete thyroid gland is removed, which then leaves the body unable to produce thyroid hormones. In this condition, thyroid hormone replacement therapy is needed on daily basis to overcome the hormone deficiency.

Thyroidectomy Recovery Time

1. Hospital Time

The average duration required to perform this surgery ranges from one hour to six hours. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. So the question arises, how much hospitalization time is required in this procedure? Well, it depends on your surgery type—a partial or complete removal of the thyroid. One night stay is required for complete thyroid removalwhile in partial thyroid lobectomy, some hours of stay is enough.

2. Recovery Time

Thyroid recovery time varies significantly depending on several factors. Normal routine life activities can be resumed after a day of surgery; however, a person must wait at least 10 days to continue any strenuous work out such as high impact exercises.

Most of the time, the patient feel some soreness on the throat till several days of surgery, for relief, the physician may prescribe OTC painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Narcotics may also be prescribed in rare conditions if the pain does not go away from use of OTC painkillers.

What to Expect After the Procedure

Just after the surgery, the person regains normal body functioning and can continue daily life non-strenuous activities. You will have an incision at the frontal aspect of the neck, but it causes no trouble with talking and eating normally. In order to remove any blood and fluids draining out the incision, a drain with bulb will be attached to the incision.

In the initial week, the voice may become a little hoarse, and pain in the throat with soreness may be reported. The scar may remain on the neck (which is usually of 3-4 inches along the neck). The scar generally starts to fade away after one week or two. In addition, it is common to experience some fatigue after surgery due to anesthesia.

People's Experiences of Recover Time for Thyroidectomy

  1. Quick Recovery from Thyroidectomy!

"My thyroid glands were removed in July due to cancer in thyroid follicles. I heard that the thyroidectomy recovery time vary from person to person, but mine was very quick. I had two surgeries in the procedure, where I remember my throat was sore and painful in the first week but after that I recovered very fast."

  1. Throat Infection After Partial Thyroidectomy—Longer Recovery Time

"My surgery was performed on August 5th during which doctors removed partial thyroid gland. My experience of thyroidectomy recovery after surgery was quite different from others. My surgery was great, but when I came home, there was some swelling around the incision area, which was then confirmed as throat infection. The medicine I was taking as a painkiller caused allergic reactions, so my recovery span was delayed to 22 days, which is quite longer than what I was expecting"

How to Help With Thyroidectomy Recovery

1.   Care the Scar

A coating is applied after the surgery to protect the incision from any damage. This coating must not be scrapped off while taking shower or cleaning the body. It will peel off on its own after a week or some days.

Once the coating of the scar peels off, one can apply a scar gel or cocoa butter for preventing the incision of getting dried. However, in some cases, swelling with or without bruises may appear if the coating is damaged during the first week of recovery. Special care must be taken then as this swelling can indicate presence of some infection.

2.   Maintain a Healthy Diet

Consuming a healthy diet during the whole healing course plays a vital role in reducing the thyroidectomy recovery time. The body requires essential nutrients for healing purpose which can only be obtained through diet.

3.   Quit Smoking

Smoking delays the healing of incision, a person must quit smoking in order to improve the circulation of blood towards the healing site.

4.   Daily Routine Schedule

Following a healthy daily routine also helps with speeding up the recovery after the thyroidectomy. Get up in the morning, do light exercises then take meals on proper time. Such simple schedule can impact a positive change. Just have a try and keep it as a routine.

5.   Support from Closed Ones

Social support from the friends and family provides a great help in keeping the spirit high. Their company will let you share thoughts and discuss problem with them. Some actual help is also essential, like driving or lifting some heavy stuff for you in your recovery.

6.   Build Activities Gradually

As the thyroidectomy recovery time of every individual varies, it is recommended to not put a direct strain over the body by performing strenuous activities. You can start physical activities step by step. If you experience more fatigue than usual, just stop the activity and have a rest till you feel you can continue. For any pain felt, stop and seek for medical help rightly.

7.   Tips to Remember During Thyroidectomy Recovery

Below are some considerations which must be followed for quick healing and recovery:

  • Visit the clinic as soon as the coating or the tape is removed.
  • A surgical check is done after 3 months of surgery.
  • Calcium supplements are prescribed after surgery, which must be then progressively reduced after consulting with the physician.
  • Thyroid function tests are done to check the level of thyroxine; this should be advised by an endocrinologist.

Yet, you will need to discuss with the physician if following condition appears after surgery:

  • Fever lasting for more than 24 hours
  • Redness and swelling
  • Tenderness at incision site
  • Breathing problems
 
 
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