My Hemithyroidectomy is on the 10th March!

Hi there,

Just to say that my hemi is booked for the 10th March. Apparently they will cut all the way across my neck as they feel that a symmetrical line doesn't attract the eye and look aesthetically better than a one sided scar. Is this what others have found ?

Any top tips that I may not think about given this is my first ever operation?



18 Replies

  • Hi wyes woman

    Please don t worry too much about scar after operation. I had a total thyroidectomy and my incision was only 3inches faded fairly quickly I used bio oil on the scar.

    I know the thought of surgery is quite daunting but you will only be in hospital for 2 - 3 does take a while for you to feel well but each day sees an improvement.

    Make sure you ask the surgeon if you are worried about anything.Don t forget this site is excellent for supporting you if you need it.

    Good luck I hope all goes well.


  • Thanks for the response.

    I saw another lady whilst I was at the Endo's today - her scar looked more like 4-5 inches - like a big red 'smile' across her neck. I do understand that it will fade so I'm not too freaked out by it. ;)

    Apparently I also have to have a neck drain in for the night which sounds a bit horrid. I guess though with having had a general, sleep will hopefully not be too much of a problem right?

    I also drive a lot in my job so how long do people find the neck stiffness typically lasts ?


  • Hi Wysewoman

    I suppose incisions depend on the surgeon.Mine was a woman!

    Your neck will be sore for a few weeks because of the muscle that has been will also will be tender for quite a while but this shouldn't interfere with driving.As regards to the drains I had two one each side They are only in for 24 hours .You will feel bit woozy from anaesthetic but it soon wears off.

    Good luck


  • My hemi scar was tiny. It was reopened and extended a little for completion thyroidectomy 3 months later and still was tiny,under 2inches and can barely be seen.

    The drain looks awful but prevents swelling and bruising.

    I had no stiffness or neck pain after surgery and would have had no difficulty driving after a few days.

    Drinking fluids helps to clear the anaesthetic and cold drinks are soothing if you've had tubes down your throat. Soft foods are recommended for a few days but I was eating toast and weetabix next morning without discomfort.

    Plenty of pain meds were available in hospital and to take home, but I really didn't need much after a couple of days.

    I hope all goes well for you.

  • Truthfully?

    My scar was 4 inches (stitch with beads out 10 days) - surgeon said they wanted to see to make sure all was OK - so fine by me. (I'm sure things have since improved) I was only in overnight - didn't sleep as her opposite was snoring worse than hubby - she'd had an op to prevent it - surgeon at 3am said - "guess that didn't work then" (ward giggles).

    Take food, water and pain meds with you in case (ops are often later due to emergencies, & prescribing docs rare when needed). The drain is... just a drain. Co-codamol given on discharge - I only took 2 as pain wasn't bad (had to get myself some lactulose after 'tho)

    Scar - Vasoline to start - bio-oil when healed a bit - no-one notices mine now, but it never tans :(

    No neck stiffness either after - but had to prop myself up with pillows to sleep for a while.

    Recommend to freeze down some soups, to save the hassle of cooking.

    Best wishes Jane (better out that in!) :D

  • Hi there,

    It's interesting to hear about the differing sizes for scars. i wonder what the thinking is behind doing a larger one as opposed to a smaller one. I assume a larger one makes for easier removal as opposed to a smaller one which probably has a better cosmetic impact? I guess its just down to whatever the surgeon is comfortable with and also maybe where the nodule (which is why I'm having it done) is that they need to take out?

    Thanks for the tips to take own meds in. My surgeon has also recommended bio-oil so I'll be off to Boots this weekend...

    I will keep you posted :)


  • Hi there,

    I had a partial thyroidectomy to remove a calcified nodule suspected with cancer, it was cancer! Why is yours being removed?

    My scar is about 2 to 3 inches long and I had a night stay and no drains. I wouldn't advise driving home and to take it easy once home. I had quite a bit of bother with a lot of pain and discomfort for a few weeks, and I still having some discomfort from time to time and I had my operation exactly one year ago. I'm sure you will be fine, just rest and take it easy, don't be rushing round and let your family take over the daily chores.

    Good luck xx

  • Had parathyroids (3) taken out December 2009. Scar was a good five inches, with beads on a wire closure. Looked like Frankenstein...(had to laugh!!) Taken out Christmas eve. Used taxis to get about locally. I used plenty of bio oil on scar...and its now barely visible. I too had to drive...and did so on Christmas day, in bad see my late Mum...(nothing was going to stop me going). Not the best of ideas..but I did so...sense and my name not in same sentence. Minimal pain level. Would advise plenty of sun cream on its a tender area afterwards. You will be fine...if I could add a photo to show you what it looked like....(how, please??)

  • You'd have to start your own new post to upload a pic - meanwhile here's mine (warning - bit scary to start)

  • Thanks for the link spareribs. If I'm with it enough i shall post my scar post op. Maybe there should be a gallery / photo album for this forum? Not sure if that is doable though?

    There are quite a lot of pics if you do a Google image search and they do seem to vary quite a lot in style and size. I sort of get the impression that the smaller, higher scar is often used in the States and some surgeons seem to do one sided scars for hemi's. I don't have a scar fetish honest! i do have an inquiring mind though ;)


  • Hi Wysewoman

    My hemi is booked for 13th March so the answers you have received are helping me too. Thanks, everyone! I've developed a stinking cold since Sunday so I'm hoping it clears up really quickly as I guess they won't do the op if I'm sneezing everywhere and I just want to get it over with now. Hope all goes well for you.


  • Hi everyone ,

    I have a multi nodule goiter ( not that noticeable at all though) with dominant nodule around 2.5cm ( noticeable if your looking for it) - had three FNAs , two were inconclusive Thy1s and one was a Thy 3a which means some atypical cells but low risk of cancer. Been told around 15%. I think my endo is taking the conservative approach.

    The radiologists never seemed especially concerned with my nodule but one did point out that he has had cases where he thought a nodule looked benign and then they find out it was actually cancer.

    I also seem to recall reading somewhere that a few years ago the UK had poor Thyroid cancer survival figures compared to Europe so I guess they have now adopted an ultra conservative route on indeterminate cases like me ?

    I wavered for a while over this decision but the cycles of anxiety associated with the FNAs and results got to me in the end. I was also told I couldn't really have any more FNAs as more than 3 increases the likelihood of skewed results.

    I've been very frustrated with the imprecise nature of the tests I have had done and the fact that more accurate tests are available in other countries!

    At the end of the day, I am now happy to go through this to find out once and for all whats going on by getting it done and hoping for the best ....

    Discovery - good luck with your hemi. I will try and keep you all posted on here as to how it goes.

    Apricot- I'm not sure how to do pics but you could upload it to tinypic and post a link perhaps ?



  • I have a 5in. fine skin coloured scar, which sits on the necklace line as the Surgeon called it, so my husband bought me a necklace to cover it. I had a sub-total thyroidectomy and it was in 1979, so would be bigger than a hemithyroidectomy. I think I was quite pampered as Ihad 3 days bed-rest before the op (was 14 weeks pregnant) as they wanted to get my TSH and blood pressure down before the op. All went well and I came out on the 5th day after, having had the drain taken out the next day and clips on the 3rd day. Unfortunately came out to find my 14 months special needs and very small son in the paediatric hospital because he refused to feed for my husband and mother-in-law. As soon as he saw me he started eating. Wish you well for the op, Janet.

  • Hi Wysewoman,

    I am having a total thyroidectomy on 11th March. As regards driving my surgeon has old me I cannot drive for a fortnight and that you have to inform the DVLA and your insurance company know. If you drive before the 2 weeks you may invalidate your insurance. I was a little shocked by this but my car insurance company were fine and I will not need any increase in premiums.

    Goodluck on the 10th


  • Hi Cjrsquared,

    Thanks for that - my endo hadn't mentioned anything like that but I will ask at my pre-op next week!

    Best of luck with your op!!


  • I had a great surgeon who closed the wound of my hemi and then later total with a single long stitch with beads and polystyrene on the ends it did really look like Frankenstein the drain was held in with a stitch as well. I scar quite easily and it goes keloid very easily. So my drain site scared and so did the wound. Both went keloid despite being neatly done originally. I was given a silicon strip to wear over the wound for about 6 months when that had no effect we used steroid injections into the scar tissue which had a fantastic effect and now the scar is barely visible.

  • Hi there,

    Thanks - that's really interesting to know that If i get trouble with keloid scars there are things that can help :)

    My hemi went well - results tomorrow ...

    I blogged about it here

  • Glad its gone well, good luck with the results tomorrow xxx

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