partial thyroidectomy: Hi all, Can anyone who's... - Thyroid UK

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partial thyroidectomy


Hi all,

Can anyone who's had this operation tell me little more about recovery times and pain after the op. My surgeon was all very reassuring - one night stay in hospital, very little after pain, etc. I'm sure he also said I'd be up and about pretty much immediately after i got home, but I have two very little kids and I need specifics! should I send them away to grandma's for a week or two?

thanks in advance

10 Replies

Hi I had a total thyroidectomy 18 months ago the recovery for me was not too bad I had no pain only discomfort moving my head I also had 2 drainage tubes stitched into my chest and they were uncomfortable when they were pulled out, I think you will need some help for a week or so with the children, the biggest problem now for me is getting the right medication. But good luck and don't worry about the op.

rubymurry in reply to Tatty10

Great. Thanks so much for your reply, much appreciated

Hi ruby

Yes I had this op last November and yes the doctor is right there isn't much pain but it is still a major op and you will need time to recover. If you have the option of sending the kids to grandmas I would definitely accept that, you will most likely be very tired if just from the general anaesthetic alone.

It sounds a little as if your doctor is downplaying the recovery period a bit and whilst it was better than I thought trying to care for 2 small kids would definitely been beyond me.

Make sure you get your pre-op Thryoid test results so you can compare them to the post op so see if you will need thryoid replacement afterwards, including FT3.

Best of luck

Thanks very much Churchie. I haven't had any bloods done for about a month now. Do you think its worth asking for them to be done again before the op? As far as i know I have always been regularly tested for FT3 levels

Rubymurry, I had a little discomfort rather than pain after hemilobectomy. The hospital was generous with pain relief and discharged me with plenty but I didn't need much after the first few days. If you can get help with the children for the first week or two it's a good idea as you will feel tired and need to rest.


I found it a very straightforward op with some minor discomfort, not pain. The worst thing for me was having a drainage tube in my neck for a couple of days - it made going to the loo awkward as I had to hold the drainage bottle with one hand!

I was tired after the general but could easily have gone back to work after a week - though I took 2 weeks off.

As the others have said, if you can ship the children off to grandma for at least a couple of day then do so - be kind to yourself.

All the best,


When I had a partial thyroidectomy I was only in hospital for a few hours, no overnight stay. Very little pain after and a tidy scar.

I was very tired for a few days though because of the anaesthetic and took two weeks off work because I was told to. I think looking after kids would have been difficult for a few days but no more.

Good luck

Thanks everyone. Feeling much more reassured now

Ruby, I had this a couple of years ago. Was actually amazed how little pain there was! Definitely discomfort, and I continued taking maximum paracetamol for ages, maybe months (altho I went on to have the second half out, so continued thru that as well).

Like Kathmax says, probably the main danger is that you won't be able to manage with just half a thyroid, and will have a struggle getting on the right medication afterwards. That could could mean you're struggling for a while. So if its purely the operation you're recovering from, should be fine in two, or even one week. If you end up with hypothyroid problems, you could be tied for ages.

Another tiny thing I don't think others have mentioned, I felt very protective and squeamish over my wound for ages. You don't say how old your kids are, but thinking of holding a baby, with hands going everywhere with the fresh scar would make me nervous, I think!

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