Thyroid UK
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Partial vocal cord palsy

Hi its me again, I had a TT about 6 weeks ago and surgeon has confirmed left side of vocal cords are paralysed I can cope with the breathy voice and occasional choking on a drink but I wake up in the night virtually unable to breath in, it freaks me out and I really panic, the first time it happened my husband called paramedics and I was taken into hospital, this was 3 weeks after the op. I did not know about the vocal cords then and surgeon said it was probably a virus, it happened again the next night but not so bad. I thought it had gone away but has happened again today, I can only think that it is a plug of mucus that gets lodged there, but it takes a long while to get the airway working properly again, nearly all day, and now I am scared to go to sleep. If anyone has had a similar experience I would love to hear from you please.

5 Replies

sorry I can only comment on my experience after a partialT. My voice was very weak, ENT doc did warn me that associated nerves could be damaged (temporarily) after surgery.

I hope it is temporary for you too, although, to be honest, I still can't sing after 2 years (in tune anyway) or shout - not that I can remember shouting really, but I don't try anyway, and avoid the need!

I tended to choke a bit before the op, on water or even on an apple, but since, it is better. You may want to ask about sleep apnea perhaps - another thing Thyroid sufferers have. I may be guessing a bit, but worth ruling out. Personally I don't believe the virus fob-off, or any co-incidences after an op. Jane :D


Thank you Jane - not too sure about the sleep apnea as what it is the closure, or what seems to be closure of the windpipe wakes me up with an inability of taking air into the lungs as if something has plugged it up and all I can do is try to cough the airway open again, it really is a terrifying experience, I agree about the virus fob off, he did admit that it was probably the operation as one of the nodules was pressing on the windpipe. Hope it does not happen again tonight, thanks for being there.


If this becomes a problem they can tie back the offending paralized bit but you need to give it sometime to recover first. Next time you speak to your Surgeon ask him and ask him how long you need to go on suffering before something needs to be done. (I only know this because of the research I was doing for my cat!!!)


Thanks Phoebs - I should see my surgeon in a couple of weeks so I will ask him, I think he thought it was just a panic attack but I will try to explain things a bit better this time. Hope your cat improves, my cancer nurse suggested steam breathing, and I think this has helped, maybe you could try that with your cat, when my cat had flu i put her in a wire cat basket with a bowl of hot water with a spoonful of Vick - outside the basket covered it all with a large towel for about 5 minutes and was amazed at the results she was eating again almost immediately and all the mucus came out from her nose. Is this site good for pets too ;-)?


There's a couple of threads about cats I think..! :-)

Try doing a search for Cat. :-)




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