General Practice 2022

Thyroid surgery: as é made, main types and recoveryção

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Thyroid surgery: as é made, main types and recoveryção
Thyroid surgery: as é made, main types and recoveryção

Thyroid surgery is done to treat thyroid problems such as nodules, cysts, thyroid enlargement or cancer, and can be total or partial, depending on whether or not the gland is completely removed.

Generally, this surgery, known as thyroidectomy, is delicate because they are close to veins, arteries, nerves and muscles essential to life, however, it is common for there to be no complications, even in cases of cancer, and changes are infrequent in the voice or bruises.

thyroid location

Thyroid location

Recovery from surgery is simple, it is necessary to avoid making efforts to avoid swelling and bleeding at the cut site, leaving a scar on the neck.

Types of surgery to remove the thyroid

The thyroid surgery is performed under general anesthesia and during the operation, which takes about 2 hours, the doctor makes a cut in the neck allowing the thyroid to be observed and removed.

Generally, before thyroid surgery, you should fast for 8 hours and not take any medication in the previous 10 days, such as AAS, Bufferin or Melhoral, for example, because they increase the risk of bleeding during surgery and in the postoperative period that can impair healing. The main types of surgery are:

  • Total thyroidectomy: Consists of completely removing the thyroid, with the need for hormone replacement.
  • Lobectomy or Hemithyroidectomy: It consists of removing only one side and also the isthmus, which is the part that joins the two sides, leaving half of the thyroid functioning normally. It may be indicated in case of papillary or follicular thyroid cancer, and needs evaluation for the need for hormone replacement.
  • Cervical dissection: In some cases, in addition to removing the thyroid, it may be necessary to remove the lymph nodes close to the thyroid and in the neck, when they are affected or to prevent them from being, especially in case of medullary or anaplastic thyroid cancer. In the case of follicular or papillary cancer, the physician may not see the need for neck dissection if the biopsy indicates that they are not affected.

3 days after surgery

In most cases, you can return home the next day, staying in the hospital for 1 or 2 days, as complications are minimal. However, it is not possible to study or work in the first week after the surgery.

The doctor can also decide whether it is necessary to carry out treatment with radioactive iodine, which serves to completely eliminate any trace of malignant cells. Learn all about Radioactive Iodine.

Watch the following video and see what the most appropriate food to do during treatment with radioactive iodine:

What is recovery like after having your thyroid removed

The postoperative period of thyroid surgery lasts about 15 days and during this time, physical exertion such as running or intense domestic activities should be avoided to avoid the development of swelling and bleeding at the cut site. However, complete rest is not necessary,and in most cases, you can walk, work and move your neck in the week following the operation.

After leaving the operating room, you can have a drain in your neck, to remove excess fluid with blood and avoid bruising, and as it is normal to feel some pain, the doctor may indicate the use of analgesics and anti -inflammatories such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, and eating soft, liquid foods to lessen the discomfort of food in the throat.

In addition, you keep a bandage on your neck to avoid contact with bacteria and dirt and protect the place where the cut was made from the sun, which should not be wet. Usually, the patient goes home with the bandage, which must be removed about 3 days after the surgery in the hospital, and the stitches are also removed when they are visible.

10 days after surgery

What happens after removing your thyroid

Usually, thyroid surgery has no complications, but the most common consequences include:

  • Sore throat and cough, which may cause difficulty in eating and which usually subsides within 1 week, being related to sore throat;
  • Changes in voice, such as hoarseness and tiredness in speaking, which usually goes away spontaneously after a few months, and in some cases voice training is necessary;
  • Decreased levels of calcium in the blood, because close to the thyroid are the parathyroid glands that produce a hormone known as PTH responsible for regulating the level of calcium in the blood;
  • Hematoma on the neck which can cause pain and swelling in the neck.

As a cut is made on the neck, it is normal to have a thin scar that can vary between 3 to 15 cm.

How to live without thyroid

It is possible to live without thyroid because the hormones produced by this organ can be replaced by pills with calcium and vitamin D and Levothyroxine or Synthroid, for example, recommended by the endocrinologist that must be taken in the morning on an empty stomach. See which thyroid remedies the doctor can recommend.

After removing the thyroid completely, these medications have to be taken for life to keep the hormone level stable and avoid symptoms such as tingling and cramping. These medicines can be started after surgery.

Watch the following video and see some tips that can help people without thyroid to live better:

When only half of the thyroid is removed, it is not always necessary to do this hormone replacement because the half that was left can adjust and produce the amount of hormones that the body needs. Thus, the doctor should order blood tests and ultrasound to check the result of the surgery and how the levels of these hormones are in the bloodstream about 1 month after removing part of the thyroid. During this waiting time, the person should observe if they have symptoms of thyroid changes, such as menstrual changes, cramps, tiredness in the legs or a tingling sensation. Check out all the symptoms of thyroid problems.

Removing the thyroid makes you fat?

When completely removing the thyroid and not taking hormone replacement, there can be hypothyroidism, and one of the characteristics of this is increased weight and body swelling.Thus, it is necessary to take the drugs to replace the hormones that the thyroid produced to maintain the proper weight and keep the other functions of the body, such as temperature regulation properly controlled. That's why whenever a person removes the thyroid completely, they should take thyroid medication for life.

Removing only half of the thyroid can also lead to weight gain, when half of the thyroid is not able to produce the hormones the body needs. Therefore, in addition to doing thyroid exams periodically, it is necessary to observe if symptoms related to hypothyroidism arise. Discover the 5 tests that assess the thyroid.

If the doctor indicates treatment with Radioactive Iodine after removing the thyroid, it is not possible to start taking the thyroid hormones, and therefore, during these 30 days of interval between one procedure and another it is common for the person to feel swollen, with headache and lack of concentration, but this period without drugs is important to increase the effectiveness of radioactive iodine therapy, which can completely eliminate malignant cells.After this treatment, the doctor may recommend taking thyroid medication, and the unpleasant symptoms should disappear in a few days.

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