14 days post total thyroidectomy update

Hi guys,

Just wanted to give you an update about my progress 14 days post total thyroidectomy. Like I said before, I am writing these updates in the hope that someone else will find it helpful if they have to undergo surgery.

First of all, my chest infection has totally cleared and I have no more mucous /phlegm. The antibiotics did the trick but it took a bit longer for the mucous to stop. The cough was so bad that I thought my suture would reopened, but no it didn't. The steri strips that the surgeon stuck to the wound is still strongly stuck to my neck despite several showers. I have been having a shower instead of a bath as I've read online that it's best not to soak the wound in water. So a shower is fine and I just dry the steri strips with a hair dryer afterwards.

I continued to use 3 pillows to sleep until day 10 but as it was uncomfortable I decided to go back to 1 pillow. Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning with my neck swollen around the wound and a mild pain around it. So, I went back to 3 pillows the following night. However, I tried 2 pillows last night and my neck was fine this morning.

I was taking 6 tablets of 25mg Wockhart Levothyroxine after surgery as I didn't want to try another brand straight after surgery. I had reacted badly to other brand of Levo prior to surgery, so I wanted to stick to what I know best. However, 4 days ago, I thought I would give Mercury Pharma tablets a try. This means 2 tablets a day (a 100mg and a 50 mg tablets). So far so good. Apart from acid reflux, I have had no other side effects so far. I was worried in case it would drive me to low mood which happened previously when I was on Actavis tablets. My mood has so far not changed (fingers crossed) and I'm full of energy. I continue to take calcium tablets 3 times a day and I'm hoping this would get back to normal. I won't know until I start reducing the calcium and have a blood test done. To be honest, I feel that there is no urgency to do this yet.

I'm still not driving as it is slightly uncomfortable when I move my neck from side to side. My neck movement has massively improved this week. I have been out to the cinema and to lunch with friends on 3 occasions this week. To be honest, I'm enjoying being chauffeured around. With a light scarf around my neck, noone notices the wound anyway.

In regards to the symptoms I was experiencing prior to surgery, most of it is gone. Most importantly the pain and the feeling of compression on my chest is gone. My skin is still dry and I haven't lost any weight but you can't expect everything to improve overnight. To be honest I have been eating like a pig. Not that I'm hungry, more because I have no willpower to eat healthy at the moment. My voice is no longer hoarse and I'm full of energy.

I have received a letter for a post op appointment with my surgeon for the second week of December (3 and a half weeks from today). Do I regret having a total thyroidectomy? So far, no! I am pain free and would have had to monitor my nodules with biopsies and my trachea would have continued to deviate. So, no regrets so far! I am worried about the results of my histology but I'm trying not to think about it. My surgeon is currently on holiday, so I just hope that someone will call me if there is anything serious (sorry don't like saying the word, too scared).

Hope my experience will help someone else. This forum has been absolutely fantastic, helpful and educational. I am ever so grateful for all your advice and support. So thank you!

Tamzin27

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  • What a very helpful account. Am quite sure people will appreciate it.

  • Glad to hear you are doing so well!

  • Oh my goodness! It does sometimes make me feel upset to hear these kinds of accounts, where people are doing so well. I'm three years out from my operation and still couldn't do this much :(

  • I'm so sorry SilverAvocado. I'm not saying I'm 100% fixed but compared to how I felt before the op, I'm so much better. I know it will be a long struggle to get the blood levels right and I haven't received the results of my histology yet. I wanted to share my experience as I read a lot of negative posts after surgery. A lot of people who have positive experience do not come back to the forum and continue their lives without sharing their experiences. I hope you find a way to overcome your struggles.

    Take care

    Tamzin27

  • It's okay, Tamzin, I'm glad to hear you are well, and hopefully all the next steps will go smoothly

    It can be hard psychologically to realise that many people do much better than I have, and that in a way it's just luck, or a random act of the universe that I'm in this state. It also really makes me imagine what it would have been like if I'd been able to step back into my old life. Which generally I don't think about as there's no point :p

  • I had a total thyroidectomy in 2005 at Yeia Private Hospital in Athens. The scar is about 4cm long and is almost invisible as it is in a natural fold of the neck. I flew back to Crete after 2 nights in the hospital and don't recall any discomfort from the Op. My surgeon put me on 100mg T4 which was put up and down over the years by different entroconolgists. After reading about T3 and realizing that when I had severe stomach issues, (one resulting in a 7 hr op and 40cm of the small intestine removed - alas a result of a botched job done in1998 in UK) these symptoms became difficult when my T3 was almost negligible.

    I approached yet another endroconologist who when I pointed this out to her stated that "we only give T3 to fat people!" I'm not fat but I am certainly not thin! So I decided to self medicate with help from a friend who is more knowledgeable than I and also on this forum. Have to report also that my cardiologist who I see every year for annual check ups has said for the last two years that I was under medicated in his view and my cholesterol was up and had been for a few years.

    Earlier this year I started taking T3 (luckily available over the counter here at a cost of about €2 a packet) I started with half a tablet (25mg tablets) and have now increased to one and a half, I lowered my T4 to 88mg from 100mg and have felt much better.

    The two main points about this information is that firstly my cholesterol has come down, (I refused to take statins and my diet hasn't changed - living in Crete we have a good medditeranean diet.) This is a great bonus and obviously the cardioligist knew more than the endroconologists.

    And guess what - my new GP said we do prescribe T3 for people who do not have a thyroid. Athough he is still not up to date on the TSH issue and wants to lower my medication as my last result was 0.02 but my T3 is still not optimal. So I will be slowly increasing my T3 not decreasing as he has suggested. My TSH has always been a sticking point with more than one endroconolgist and the last but one put my T4 down to 88mg and I felt really ill again. Do listen to your own body and get your T4 & T3 tested, they are far more important than the TSH. I would dare to suggest that if you don't have a thyroid anymore you will need T3.

  • Tamzin27,

    I've edited this and your other 'thyroidectomy' posts to Add Topic 'thyroidectomy' so that they appear in the Thyroidectomy pinned posts under Topics.

    You appear to be recovering well. I had low calcium after thyroidectomy but didn't feel well enough to make the round trip to pick up a prescription. Luckily it righted itself after a week.

    I hope the histopathology is benign. Worst case scenario means you might require radioactive iodine ablatement which is nothing compared to what you've already had done.

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