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Thyroid Surgery

Thank you for the opportunity to care for you or your loved one.

Patients may resume a regular diet without restrictions. Many patients note a scratchy throat for the first day or two and may prefer soft foods initially.

Light to moderate activity as tolerated is permitted. Patients may carefully turn the head from side to side and look up and down without undue worry about stitches. Heavy lifting, straining, and strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least one week following surgery.

Neck pain and neck stiffness are to be expected. Your physician may prescribe a narcotic pain reliever. You may use this as prescribed for severe pain. Do not drive while taking narcotic pain medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may also be used for mild-to-moderate pain.

Narcotics may cause constipation; stool softeners such as docusate sodium (Colace) can be helpful for this.

Wound care
Please contact our office if any redness, increased swelling, or increased pain develops at the surgery site. Patients may shower or bathe normally. It is okay to get water on the incision. If you have stitches, they may get wet. If you have a plastic bandage over your incision, you may get this wet also.

Some patients may experience nausea and/or vomiting after surgery. Your physician may prescribe medication for nausea. Please call to speak with our nurse if you need help managing nausea or vomiting.

Patient should resume all regular medications after surgery.
Thyroid replacement medication: After a total thyroidectomy, a thyroid hormone replacement pill is necessary. Your physician will prescribe a starting dose for this medication. The dosage may need to be adjusted and is usually monitored by your primary care physician or endocrinologist.

Calcium: After a total thyroidectomy, your physician may recommend taking calcium pills such as Tums for a few weeks. Call to speak with our nurse to report symptoms of tingling or numbness of the fingertips or around the mouth. These are signs of hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood) and require treatment.

Please call the office if your temperature is greater than 101°F.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the office and ask to speak with the nurse.