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What is life like after a thyroidectomy?

August899
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2016

I am 17 years old and am getting a thyroidectomy next month and I am very nervous. I've read and heard a lot of horror stories about life after a thyroidectomy and am wondering how it made anyone else feel? Also, I asked my surgeon about my voice and if it will be affected at all and he told me it will be raspy for a while and he also said that singing won't be easy anymore. Is anybody having difficulty with their voice even a while since getting the surgery?

stub1969's picture
stub1969
Posts: 917
Joined: Jul 2016

Hi, August.

I had my thyroid removed the end of September because of papillary cancer.  My surgery was on a Wednesday and I came home on Thursday.  I was a little nauseous on the drive home.  When removing my thyroid they saved my parathyroid glands, but knocked them for a loop, so I needed to take Vitamin B and calcium suppliments.  Friday was my worst day.  I was definiately suffering from low calcium and needed to take additional suppliments that day.  From that point on, I recovered without issue.  I returned to work on Monday--still a little week but doable.  Now that I'm over a month out of surgery, the only noticable issue I have is a weaker voice.  I coach my daughter's basketball team and really struggle to last the 1.5 hour practice with my voice. 

I've had no issues with the thyroid meds.  In fact, I think I feel better than I have for some time.  No headaches of dosage issues. 

I hope your surgery goes well and you have very few side effects like me.

Stub

katherinejackso...
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2016

Life without a thyroid is not so bad. It will probably take some time to get your levothyroxin at the correct level so you might go through an adjustment period. If you have a good endocronologist, take your levo with a big glass of water EVERY morning and ALWAYS wait one hour before you eat or drink you'll be just fine. Most people gain about ten pounds so be prepared for that. The biggest pain is going off your meds for RI and for having your markers checked from time to time. For the majority of us thyroid cancer will never kill us but it does screw with our heads.  For me its a constant nagging in the back of my mind. "Will it come back?" or "Is this lymph node swollen because I have a cold or has my cancer come back?" Another thing you may be doing is a lot of waiting but I hope not. I just had my three year US and got a call from my doctor saying they had seen a few places in my thyroid bed that looked like they should not be there but she wants to wait six months before taking another look. Most of the time they know it has come back a year before they think it's time to start treating it. I'm very lucky that I live in Birmingham, Alabama and have access to UAB and some of the best doctors in the world. Make sure you feel confident with your surgeon. Does he perform at lest 100 thyroidectomys a year. If not find another surgeon. And make sure your endocronologist listens to you and realizes you know your body better than she does. When something doesn't seem or feel right let your doctors know. You have to be your own advocate. Try to relax and know that chances are you will have a handle on this thing this time next year. For the time being your probably being spoiled rotten and waited on hand and foot by family and friends so enjoy it while you can. Good luck and for heavens sake be good and kind to yourself. Also I had a raspy voice after surgery but it was from the tube they placed down my throat my vocal chords were as good as they ever were. Make sure your surgeon is an expert at this.

sammy.ny
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2017

I had/have thyroid cancer and had total thyroidectomy on Oct 21, 2016 and going for RAI in Jan 19, 2017.

They found 1.1cms of papillary cancer in thyroid gland and right side had scar tissue which was benign. No nodules. After surgery I had bit pain swallowing for 2days but no pain after, Voice was bit low pitched for atleast 1.5 month. As of now I am taking levothyroxin (125mg) and feel normal just as I used to before surgery.

My doctor said the same "its a good cancer to have" which made me more furious and often makes me thinking "but yet it's cancer ". All I can say it has not affected anything in me yet apart from thinking about it. I try not to think much about it and enjoy my work and fishing. And yet it occurs for a while daily somewhere in my mind"**** i got cancer"

But I want to lookout for red flags. Is there any specific time period to consider and monitor effects mentioned in other posts like depression or lack of energy in doing things? Does it take 6 months or more on pills to notice any difference?

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