Voice problems following total thyroidectomy - Thyroid UK

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Voice problems following total thyroidectomy


Hi everyone

First of all, I'll introduce myself and give you a little background. I'm 34 years old and recently had my thyroid gland completely removed due to a massive goiter. The left side of my thyroid was 3.5 inches in diameter and the right was 2 inches in diameter.

Before this, my thyroid function was normal according to the doctors, though I believe I was probably at the low end of normal. I've never asked for my numbers, though I plan to when I have my first blood tests in a few months.

Anyway, I'm now six weeks post op and healing well. I can talk normally, but have lost the ability to project my voice to be heard in a loud room, and also to be able to sing anything above the middle of my previous range. I'm not a professional singer, but I do enjoy it, and I'm feeling a little frustrated. I know I have to give it 6 months before I know what's permanently affected, but would doing voice exercises help? Or is it a case of if it's screwed, then it's screwed no matter what?

Thanks in advance!

3 Replies

We had a friend who had a TT. He lost his voice for a while afterwards and only seemed to whisper - have to say he was softly spoken before his op. He ended up having speech therapy to get him sorted out. Don’t know if he sings though but it would be well worth giving that a try.

Yes, sadly my carol singing days are over, as I can only squeak the high notes. I am not a singer so have put up with it but I am sure you can improve it with the right exercises. Ask your surgeon to recommend someone.

I've never asked for my numbers, though I plan to when I have my first blood tests in a few months.

So what treatment are you on, and what dose are you taking? I'm guessing you take Levothyroxine - most people do.

You shouldn't have to wait months for blood testing after being put on thyroid meds.

Blood testing should be done every 6 weeks or so, and your dose adjusted up or down as appropriate. Then more tests in another 6 weeks, then adjust dose and keep repeating this cycle of testing and dose adjustment until your levels remain stable and you feel well.

Another issue is whether you are converting your Levo (which is T4) into the active thyroid hormone, which is T3. People who still have their thyroids often struggle with this, and those with no thyroid at all struggle even more. So you should ask for T4 and T3 to be tested. Otherwise they will just do TSH if they can get away with it.

Another thing to ask to be tested is calcium levels and vitamin D. Sometimes the parathyroid glands are lost or damaged during thyroidectomy (there are four of them). Although I don't understand the full function of the parathyroid glands, one of their jobs is to control calcium levels. There is a relationship between vitamin D and calcium too.

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