Seeking post Total Thyroidectomy advice - Thyroid UK

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Seeking post Total Thyroidectomy advice


Hello all,

I'm booked in to have a Totally Thyroidectomy on the 19th December. I have Graves' Disease and it's been a rollercoaster journey. I'm looking for advice on what to expect for the first week after surgery? We usually go to my Mum's for Christmas Eve/Day and then travel to the in-laws on Christmas Day evening. Will I feel well enough to do this? Any tips, etc would be greatly appreciated, thanks x

4 Replies

Are these long journeys and will you be far from home? I am still anxious after a thyroidectomy for Graves in 2006 and personally would prefer to be close but if you are not an anxious type and are not expected to do much and can bask in the joy of having everyone at your beck and call, you will be fine. I remember going off to do a big supermarket shop a week after the op and I was a bit washed out by the time I had got home and unpacked everything but I managed it without any mishap.

You may want some pretty scarves or high necklines to cover the wound, as it is not very attractive (but will quickly improve). My throat felt a bit scratchy and I used propolis drops in water from my health shop to ease that.

Make sure you are given calcichew tablets or similar in case your parathyroids are being difficult to begin with. I am sure this will be mentioned to you. Mine were tricky for a few days but the calcichew taken the moment I felt the tingle coming, stopped it immediately.

By the way, do keep records from now on of all your blood tests and ask for the reference range in each case. Ask to have free T4, free T3 and TSH, although the latter is fairly useless at indicating dose size but your GP will want to do it and will rely heavily on it. Post here for advice on these. It may be a while before you get the right dose of Levothyroxine and do not believe your GP when you are told it is fine. Get the result, keep on top of your own health and expect that you may need to chase things to get a dose that makes you feel well. You may want to bear in mind that there is a second thyroid hormone, Liothyronine, that is helpful if you cannot get adequately sorted on just Levothyroxine. It is now, unfortunately, very difficult to get prescribed. All advice can be found here. Hope this helps and that all goes well.

It took me about 3 weeks to recover. I didn’t do much in the first week, pottered around the house a bit but I felt like someone had pulled the plug out of me. I did go to the garden centre with my son and was glad to get back home as felt awful with no energy. I think everyone recovers at different rates, as I read some people were back to work after a week, which i couldn’t imagine. I think you will be ok if you are not going to be doing much and if it’s not too far but be prepared to feel very tired. It is quite difficult to sleep at night, I had three pillows to keep me propped up. I didn’t eat much, or feel that hungry either as my throat was quite sore for about a week on one side. You definitely need to listen to your body and rest when you feel you need to. I’m sure you will be fine and wish you all the best x

Good luck with your operation. This is a major operation and it depends on your health beforehand too. If you have plenty of help and can just relax it should be fine. The only thing I found difficult was swallowing meat and chunky food for a few weeks afterwards

Take plenty of Vitamin C A.S.A.P this helps. It's important to take calcium tablets with

you as your parathyroids could have been temporary disturbed and stopped working for a while and your levels could become dangerously low.

You will be worn out if travelling far even as a passenger.

Thank you for your responses, I'm just going to take it easy and make sure I get lots of rest :-)

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