Thyroid UK
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Thyroidectomy Hemithyroidectomy! TERRIFIED!

Hi everyone,

I'm having the left side of my thyroid removed next week due to a 5cm goitre. I am absolutely terrified, I have a 6 year old I'm so frightened I'm going to die and leave her! I know I am being completely irrational but I spent 6 months as a student nurse in surgical theatres and know the ins and outs.

Has anyone had the same?! how was it?

11 Replies

Welcome to our forum and some would think your fear irrational but it isn't. When we don't quite know what the procedure will be or how we will fare we do think of our children in particular.

I haven't had thyroidectomy etc but those who have will be along soon to reassure you. I know the surgeons are used to this type of op. I wish you a speedy recovery.

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Welcome to the forum, Persithyroid.

I had a hemilobectomy almost 5 years ago followed by thyroidectomy 3 months later. My tumour was 2.8cm but was compressing my trachea. Breathing and swallowing were much easier after hemilobectomy.

I had very little pain after each operation, no loss or damage of parathyroid glands and no damage to vocal chords and I healed well. Copious amounts of pain relief were available in hospital and to take home if needed. I was able to eat and drink normally after the operations but it is sensible to have soups and soft foods available in case you have a sore throat from intubation. If your hemilobectomy is scheduled in the afternoon you may not be conscious for the evening meal so make sure you have a sandwich, yoghurt etc. available in case you are hungry.

Please don't be anxious. I've not heard of any fatalities during hemi or thyroidectomy.

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Hi there ,I had my left side removed 18 months ago and like you I was terrified .I can assure you it's not that bad at all I was drinking and eating within an hour of the op.Was talking with my family .Didnt have stitches my cut was glued and healed within no time.Mine was a very large goiter growing down into my chest

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Thank you all for your replies,

I feel better now, I feel like with me a bit of blissful ignorance would have been ideal.

I'm really pleased you're all on the road to recovery, I am really looking forward to the swallowing and breathing relief, the goitre is making me snore tremendously and some foods are a real struggle to eat.

I keep telling myself it'll be completely fine, and counting how many surgeries I have watched and every single patient woke up again! I have had surgery when I was 16, but I think having a daughter has made my anxiety ten fold.

thank you everybody!

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persithyroid I had a sub-total thyroidectomy while 14 weeks pregnant because of Graves. I had nine tenths taken away and am still here 40 years later with a beautiful daughter who has two boys of her own. Please read my profile to get a further insight. Wish you good luck and a speedy recovery.


Yes like persithyroid I had a partial thyroidectomy 50 years ago when surgery and aftercare was minimal to what it is today. I went on to have two more children after the operation, I did feel under par for a while but as said it was a long time ago, you will be fine, your anxiety may be increased due to the goitre and will subside once you have the op. Best of luck x


I had a hemithyroidectomy 4 years ago and recovery was very rapid. I was only in hospital overnight. I lost my voice for a few hours and had some sharp throat pain, sorted with, initially, morphine and then paracetamol. Once home, I didn't even need paracetamol. Looking back, I think maybe my parathyroids were briefly affected, as I did feel weird for a couple of days. There is some info here about what to expect with the parathyroids, a small percentage of people do get some temporary effects, although usually only after a total thyroidectomy, according to this website. I did have the unpleasant skin crawling sensations and some numbness in my face for a couple of days.

"Hypocalcaemia after total thyroidectomy – tingling and numbness of fingers and toes

In about 10% of patients who have a total thyroidectomy, the parathyroid glands do not function properly immediately. This is usually temporary and causes the blood calcium level to drop below normal (hypocalcaemia). Symptoms of hypocalcaemia include numbness and tingling in your hands, soles of your feet and around your lips, and can become quite unpleasant. Some patients experience a "crawling" sensation in the skin, muscle cramps or headaches. These symptoms appear between 24 and 48 hours after surgery. It is rare for them to appear after 72 hours. Low blood calcium does not occur if only half the thyroid is removed." Here is the website I found by Googling.


I've had a total thyroidectomy and my sister had a hemi, we both had it done 3weeks apart Nov/Dec14 Our mum bless her was very worried but we were both fine. It's natural to be scared of an operation.

If you hve a little un I'd suggest you get prepared before op by batch cooking and freezing meals, get all cleaning, clothes washing etc done and maybe arrange for someone to help you with housework for couple weeks after. If you keep busy now it'll leave less head space for worry.

I was so worried gp gve me diazepam however it had no effect on me whatsoever except for making my legs wobbly so I stopped taking it!

Take care x


Thank you for your words of comfort! I find I really am a worrier, I'm concerned if I should make a will, but I'm not seriously ill, and it is an elective, my mind is racing ahead!

I have sorted school uniforms for a week and I'm going to do a shop today, get lots of quick and easy meals for her, beans for a week is OK right?! ;-)


I took some water, ginger biccies and my phone with me to hosp, the phone was useful esp for posting any questions on here and taking piccies of myself lol.

I was comforted by the staff at the hospital the morning of my op, they were very thorough and listened to my fears. However when i was wheeled into theatre i didn't want to let go of the (quite attractive!) anaesthetists hand ;-)

Afterwards it was my back that hurt (i do suffer with back pain) not my neck which i thought was amusing. I was up for eating dinner although had missed it by the time i got back to ward, hence the ginger biccies were handy!

Let us know how you get on x

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Hi everyone, thank you all for your replies! I have had the op on Tuesday, all done and home yesterday! I feel OK, my neck is quite tender, but overall feel OK!! back to clinic in 2 weeks to get my bloods checked. just wanted to say thank you for your words of support! x


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