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Thyroidectomy lead to Trachostomy

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2007

Has anyone ended up with a Trach due to something that went wrong with their thyroid? I'm new with the Trach and am looking for any body else in the same situation. I've tried searching the net & asking my speech therapist, but the Trach is always tied in with many other problems. So since mine started with a Throidectomy and Lymphoma Cancer, I thought I'd ask here. I want to become somewhat independant of the humidity. How do folks go all day long without it? I really need to get back to work and that is my hold up - the chronic humidity. The Dr. wants to switch me to a different type of Trach tube. A Jackson #5, will that make that big of a difference? He mentioned something about squirting Saline down the trach if I get dried out to moisten my windpipe up. If doesn't quite feel moistened when I do this. Does anyone else do this with the saline solution? Any input at all from a fellow "neck breather" would be greatly appreciated.

Rustifox's picture
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2005

I'm sorry you are going through this, Lvas, and maybe can make some recommendations that may have some advice for you, just in case you don't find another member here with a similar situation.

This is a very, very uncommon situation with thyroid cancer issues, and you are more likely to find others in the same boat in 'head and neck', or 'larynx' cancer groups, but maybe a few of these links can help, too.

This site does have some information on humidifying issues:
Humidifying page is here:

The John Hopkins site has some links to trach support groups that you may want to join:

If there were/are any thyroid cancer members with trach's, then they would likely be found at this advanced thyroid cancer group on yahoo; the group is free to join, and posting a question there might find others who can make recommendations, too, but again, this is an unusual procedure with thyroid cancer, unless dealing with the most aggressive variants - but it doesn't hurt to ask!:
Advanced thyroid cancer support group

Hopefully one or more of the above links can help a little bit. All the very best to you.

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2006

I had a total thyroidectomy with a bilateral neck dissection due to papillary thyroid cancer 12/05. When I awoke from the surgery I was having significant trouble breathing and had an emergency tracheostomy. It was so frightening because the surgeon had never had that complication before and HE looked scared. He told me the trach might be temporary or permanent depending on the damage. I had numerous other complications unfortunately. Eventually, the other complications resolved (after having to undergo gallbladder surgery 3 months later). The surgeon said that one of my vocal cords appeared permananently damaged and the other cord was damaged but might recover. Four months after the tracheostomy I had it removed. I still have some limitations but am able to breath with the one "damaged but fuctional" vocal cord. I lived in Florida at the time so the humidity was an issue. Frankly, however,the other complications had me bedbound for a couple of months so I wasn't going out of the house much.

Do you know if there is any functioning of either of your vocal cords? Is there any chance of the trach eventually being removed? If not, do you enjoy the weather in less humid places? We now live in West coast and there is alot less humidity. I wish I could help you more. Having these issues on top of the cancer concerns is alot to deal with. I just wanted to write to you and let you know that you are not alone.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2007

I just now read your message from JUly and you've probobly resolved your problem by now.I have a larger diameter trache Shiley#8. I go all day most times without any added humidity. I have had the trache since 8/06. I use a nebulizer for a few hours at night and everything is fine most times. You might try taking a hot shower and stand in the warm moist air for as long as you need to. The one constant thing with a tracheis - everything seems to resolve itself in time. Hang in there.

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2005

I hope you got some information regarding your trach. I also had a trach. because of complications after surgery. I had to have emergency surgery immediately after total thyroid removal because one vocal cord was paralysed. My doctor said that eventually the working vocal cord would overcompensate, and I only had to have the trach. for two weeks. I still feel that all is not perfectly functioning correctly, but I just go witht he flow.

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