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Surgery coming up on 26th all advice and experience appreciated.

number1mommyof5
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2010

August 26th will be my surgery. I will have the total thyroidectomy a well as a modified neck dissection on the left side for I have some spread to lymph nodes.
I am scared to death. I have NEVER even had any kind of surgery none the less something like this.
Please can any/all who read this share their experience with me if you also got the neck dissection? Things like ways to cope with fear, pain afterwords, recovery, time in hospital, hints..etc.
I have 5 kids, one being only 4 months old and I am really worried about caring for them afterwards..I do have help but how long will I be unable to do anything. Also my oldest son starts kindergarten 12 days after surgery, I want to see him off, do you think that is possible..
Thanks to those who have already talked with me...Trying not to worry everyday but I would be lying if I said I wasn't...
Take care everyone, and thanks in advance...
Hugs and Prayers*****

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 255
Joined: Oct 2009

My TT was also my first surgery. I didn't have a neck dissection. it was scary but i had a really great surgeon and team who put me at ease. In my case, it was one night in the hospital. I had no ill effects from anesthesia or pain meds so it went pretty well. Took a while for my neck to heal and to get past the stage where there were numb sensations. Just give yourself the time you need. It will be OK and you will improve. Picking up kids might be tricky but I bet you guys can find ways to hug or connect that work! Best to you.

number1mommyof5
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks alapah for your words of encouragement!

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 255
Joined: Oct 2009

My TT was also my first surgery. I didn't have a neck dissection. it was scary but i had a really great surgeon and team who put me at ease. In my case, it was one night in the hospital. I had no ill effects from anesthesia or pain meds so it went pretty well. Took a while for my neck to heal and to get past the stage where there were numb sensations. Just give yourself the time you need. It will be OK and you will improve. Picking up kids might be tricky but I bet you guys can find ways to hug or connect that work! Best to you.

nasher
Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

well my thyroidectomy was done in two phases since they though the first side was just a non cancerious goiter (7.1 cm). they found cancer so 2 weeks later i was back under the knife and had the rest of my thyroid removed.

I was up and about within 4 hours of each surgery. had 1 day hospitlazation for the first one and 2 days for the 2nd one (they also removed 2 parathyroids and were worried about magniesim and calcium levels). the 2nd visit by night of the first day i was walkin 1-2 laps around the medical wing every 15 min (commercial breaks)cause I was so boored being there

took me about 3 days before i felt comfortable lifting more than 10 lbs and had to sleep with pillows or in a reclining chair for a few days after.

only problem i really had with anesthesia was a case of the hickups that lasted for about 10 days after each surgery.

i think you should be fine as long as you are carfull. the time you are going to have to prepair for is your RAI treatment (if they are doing one) cause that WILL effect you alot with haveing kids.

good luck and remember you are going to beat this thing

number1mommyof5
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks Nasher,
I so need to hear that last line...I have always been a very strong, Fix it, type person and all the sudden when the "fixing it" is not in my capability I have felt very weak...Your words made me feel empowered...
Thanks for everyones words and experience it is truly helpful.

Take care everyone and have a wonderful day....

veronica57
Posts: 98
Joined: May 2010

I had a total thyrodectomy and a neck dissection on the right side last year. This was not my first surgery. But I was scared too. I came through it fine except that my tumor was so large, it was growing against my vocal cord. Therefore my nerve was damaged and now my voice is a little hoarse. But otherwise, I came home and did most everything I normally did. Best of luck to you.

winniepoo
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2010

I got my total thyroidectomy on July 9 . I also had an ectopic parathyroid adenoma which also got removed too. You will be fine . The word surgery make you scare but it wasn't that bad. Make sure you tell them if you have neck or back problem so when they position you or put down the tube to put you to sleep they ll be very gentle . I woke up with sore teeth ( LOL ) than sore incision . They said my mouth is so small haha. Just think positive it will help your family also . I just stay one night at the short stay unit. My first meal was liquid diet but the second one \was turkey sandwich which I can just ate half. Hope your hospital have Italian Ice ( I hope I remember the name right)or popsicle ask them for it ..it help calm your sore throat down . My voice came back 90%next day but I still can't sing hight note yet. Get up and walk and do your deep breathing exercise as much as you can. You won't be able to turn your neck like normal for 3-4 days go easy on this one. And take your pain med if you need it ..it will help you to rest well. The incision will be sore and itch a few days but that 's normal.

Good luck to you and I hope this information would ease your fear. You will be fine. Will be thinking of you on that day.

neartotal
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010

I had a near total thyroidectomy in 2005. I experienced your worries too, they are normal. I was very surprised how little pain I had after the surgery. Worst part from me was nausea after the anesthetic. Developed a cough after surgery, however breathing techniques and staying hydrated helped ease the cough. Since surgery I have had RAI twice. Now facing a possible re-occurence. CT Scan and recent ultrasound have shown an enlarged lymph nodes. Surgeon told me that now when he does a TT he also removes a few nearby nodes . . . that with surgeries more than 5 years ago he is finding he often has to go back for nodes later. Endocrinologist has also reported that Thyroglobulin is now detectable, even after having RAI twice. Endo does not recommend more RAI for me at this time, she recommends that the surgeon look at a neck dissection . . . Overall though my health is good. I have to say the roller coast of emotions has been harder to conquer at times than the physical pain of the surgery. A strong family network and positive attitude will go a long way towards recovery. Stay active every day, even if it is just a short walk around the block or a simple task like sweeping the kitchen floor . . . post surgery make a point of doing something positive each and every day for yourself.

LizP
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2010

I had surgery on Tuesday July 27th for a large nodule in my right lobe. The surgeon removed the right lobe and isthmus along with the tumor. The tumor was large, about the size of an orange, so it took about 3 hours. I had surgery in the morning, spent the night in the hospital and was out by noon the next day. I was tired on and off Wed and Thursday,and napped a little. I felt pretty good by the 3rd day. The pain was not bad. I was more uncomfortable sleeping in the hospital bed than from the incision. My suggestion is to sleep upright, it is much more comfortable. I took a week off work as recommended by my doctor.

My tumor was cancerous (hurthle cell), so I went back to have the left lobe removed 2 weeks later, Aug 10th. I had surgery Tuesday at 4:30. It was much easier than the first surgery. I felt well enough to leave the hospital at noon the next day (yesterday). It's been a day and a half since surgery and I feel pretty good. The incision is a little uncomfortable, and I have a sore throat.

I had no nausea with either surgery. Anti nausea medicine is given with the IV and worked well.

With 5 little ones you certainly will need help. You'll need to rest. You won't be able to lift the babies at first. You won't want to drive for a few days until you can comfortably turn your neck completely. If your experience is like mine, you won't be incapacitated.
I'm sure you'll be ready with your camera for the first day of kindergarten.

imelda
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi - I just had my TT done this morning! I'm in the hospital on my phone right now. It went well for me, but my surgeon said it was difficult to remove and be "never wants to do another one like that again". :) But he was an excellent surgeon and it came out fine. I'm recovering well, they gave me some great medicine and I'm even able to lay on my side in bed. Hopefully I'll be going home tomorrow. I've had one other surgery, a gallbladder removal, and this one was much easier.

Some tips: ask for the anti nausea meds with anaesthesia. Just in case. Have someone spend the night with you if you can. Pack underwear. :). Tell them if you get frequent heartburn - they can give you meds. Have someone else take notes talking with the surgeon afterward. Move your hands and fingers a lot to prevent swelling from he fluids they give you. Remember your phone charger.
I think you will surprise yourself with how brave and resilient you can be - I know I did. Best of luck to you!!

number1mommyof5
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2010

Just an update for anyone who wishes to know
I have decided that my life is of the up most preciousness and that I need every chance to be here for my children and family.
Therefore, I have requested to be referred to Oregon Health and Science University for a consultation with a specialist team. I will have my appointment with the top notch surgeon on the 28th and then surgery will be scheduled from then. Although it is a travel, I know in my heart that it is what and where I need to be...
I will update when I know more...
Thanks,

imelda
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2010

OHSU is an excellent hospital - my mother has been treated there by some of the best doctors and surgeons in the country in their fields.

amorriso
Posts: 186
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi. I just had my thyroid surgery last week. Was wondering how you are doing? I'll be a few weeks behind you in treatment. Hoping all is well.

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