Thyroid UK
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5 days post full thyroidectomy op

5 days post full thyroidectomy op

Hi guys! Just wanted to give you an update which might come in handy for some of you in the future.

Well, I woke up Saturday morning (2 days after surgery) with a very bad chesty cough and thick green phlegm. I immediately thought of chest infection following general anaesthetic, which is apparently common. So, I called 111 and a doctor prescribed me some antibiotics. Saturday night was the night I felt the worst ever. I could hear my chest crackling and the cough was so bad, I was scared my wound would reopen. Thank God the antibiotics started kicking in, so feeling much better today.

In regards to my wound, it looks dry but the skin feels a bit tighter. It's still swollen around the area. I'm assuming that the feeling of tightness is a good thing as maybe it's the healing process. I continue to sleep on 3 pillows as lying down flat is a bit uncomfortable at present.

I have been feeling a bit sleepy and groggy but no surprise there with the amount of medication I am taking. I will be keeping an eye on this as it could be due to Thyroxine.

Washing my hair has been a pain as I've been told to keep the wound dry for a few days. Although my husband has been helping me, it's been quite tricky. We'll have a second go at washing my hair tonight.

Oh I also saw my GP this morning who prescribed 150 mcg Levo and I have decided to give Mercury Pharma a go. He also gave me a sick certificate for 4 weeks and said he'll give me more if required.

The throat pain has subsided immensely and it's been 13 hours since I last took Paracetamol and Tramadol. The throat pain was due to intubation I think. I was keen to reduce the pain relief as it was giving me a bit of constipation. However, a glass of concentrated prune juice did the trick today. Sorry to be so opened about these things but I do think that this may help someone some day. I have been feeling a bit bloated but I won't lie, I have been eating loads of chocolates and biscuits. I thought I'd treat myself for a few days while convalescing. Why not? I'll start my diet again next week 😉

5 Replies

Thanks for your honest "review" of your thyroidectomy. You hang on in there girl! :)

Is that wound being held together with only Steristrips or are there stitches underneath?


Thanks Spongecat. I've been told it's dissolvable stitches inside and steri strips outside. Once they start curling up, my poor husband will have the lovely job of pulling them off one by one. We are both nurses, imagine the scene!


I've seen Steristrips used on small cuts but not so much on a "proper" surgical site. I suppose the idea is to leave a near-invisible scar, no "needle dots" :)

Things have changed so much since I was a vet nurse in the 70's and 80's (or working for the Dark Side as I mentioned to my GP's Practice Nurse :D ), vets nowadays commonly close up cat spays using super-glue. An invention that was in use during the Vietnam War back in my day. SteriStrips would probably last a nanosecond!

Hope your throat/chest feels better.

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Steri strips did a good job last time, so I don't mind it. I was going to post a picture of my previous scar but the Ipad won't let me. Really faint and neat line. Most of my colleagues trained in the 70s and 80s, good old days when nursing was proper. You made me laugh when you said the Vietnam war. Some of us don't even know where Vitnam is I spoke to the 111 Doctor on Saturday, he said it scares him when he hears patients being discharged within a day of having surgery. I told him "did you not know it was a conveyor belt these days?". He started laughing. Incision, open, take out or replace, steristrips. 😀


Hi! I have a cough too after my surgery. And my sleeping position is still a challenge for me. What is the best sleeping position can you suggest?


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