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What Are The Side Effects Of Removing Your Thyroid

What You Need To Know

  • Thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and other conditions may require thyroidectomy.
  • Once the thyroid gland is removed, the person takes replacement thyroid hormone to keep the bodys functions in balance.
  • Thyroidectomy can be performed through an incision at the front of the neck, or through the mouth .

Drop In Calcium Level

There may also be a negative effect to the parathyroid glands after the thyroid removal surgery. These glands are located right next to the thyroid glands and they help in controlling the calcium level in your blood. There may be a severe fall of the calcium levels in the body in case the parathyroid glands are not working properly. There may be jerking muscles, twitching or muscle spasms in the body in case you have low calcium level. You may be prescribed with calcium tablets after the thyroid removal procedure. Though low calcium levels after the operation is temporary, in some people it may be a permanent side effect.

Why Choose Chop For Pediatric Thyroid Surgery

There are clear differences in how a child or adolescent is treated when care is provided in a pediatric setting compared to an adult setting. Childrens Hospital of Philadelphias Pediatric Thyroid Center is one of the few centers in the nation dedicated to the unique medical needs of children and adolescents with thyroid disease. Our center provides the ideal combination of experience and resources, so we can provide individualized care for your child.

Our Thyroid Center houses a multidisciplinary team that specializes in caring for children with thyroid problems. Our pediatric endocrinologists are internationally recognized leaders in pediatric thyroid disease. For children who require surgery, finding a pediatric-trained surgeon is critical to achieving the best possible outcomes while reducing the potential risks of surgical complications, specifically, damage to the parathyroid glands and the recurrent laryngeal nerves.

Why Choose CHOP for Thyroid Surgery

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Suppression Of Tsh In Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid hormone replacement therapy after thyroidectomy in thyroid cancer is not only required to replace endogenous TH, but it is generally thought to inhibit tumor growth indirectly by its negative feedback effects on pituitary TSH secretion. Differentiated thyroid cancer expresses the TSH receptor on the cell membrane and responds to TSH stimulation by increasing the expression of several thyroid-specific proteins and by increasing the rates of cell growth., Suppression of TSH, using supraphysiological doses of L-T4, is used commonly to treat patients with thyroid cancer in an effort to decrease the risk of recurrence.

The rationale for administering L-T4 therapy to patients with papillary or follicular thyroid carcinomas is based on evidence collected in numerous studies. Pujol et al. showed that thyroid cancer patients with TSH levels that were consistently below 0.1 mU/L had an improved rate of relapse-free survival compared with those whose TSH levels were always above 1.0 mU/L, and this effect was independent of age, gender, histology, and tumor stage. However, these studies did not differentiate between the beneficial effects of TSH suppression according to the aggressiveness of differentiated thyroid cancer.

How Many Thyroid Surgeries Do You Do A Year

The long

Duke research shows that surgeons who perform 25 or more thyroid surgeries a year have the lowest complication rates. Yet about half of all surgeons who do thyroid surgeries do just one a year. If a doctor does fewer than 25 procedures a year on average, their patients have about a 50 percent increase in the likelihood of having a complication, said Sosa.

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What Should I Expect During My Recovery

  • Many people experience a sore throat in the first few days after surgery. You can modify your diet to whatever is easiest to swallow.
  • The muscles in the back of your neck may be stiff and/or sore. Use of a mild prescription muscle relaxer and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can be helpful to combat this problem.
  • Your energy level may be lower than normal. Your body is focusing your energy on healing first and foremost. Be prepared to take naps.
  • The first few days after surgery you may feel a little hyperthyroid if some excess hormone was released during surgery. This will pass as your body uses up the extra hormone.

What Are The Risks Of Thyroidectomy

  • Transient injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve or the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve resulting in voice hoarseness, loss of voice pitch, range or projection, or trouble swallowing. Risk of permanent injury is very low in experienced thyroid surgeons hands.
  • Transient difficulties with low blood calcium levels . The risk of permanent hypocalcemia due to irreparable damage to the parathyroid glands is exceedingly low in experienced thyroid surgeons hands.
  • The risk of bleeding in the postoperative period at the surgical site is low. However due to the increased blood flow to the thyroid gland in GD, this risk is higher for Graves patients than patients undergoing thyroid surgery for other reasons.
  • The risk of infection is exceedingly low.
  • Swelling or fluid build-up may occur at the surgical site after surgery.
  • Patients will require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement.
  • During surgery, the handling of the thyroid gland can cause release of additional thyroid hormone. If you are well controlled prior surgery, your body should be protected from the effects of this extra hormone however, if your hormones are not well controlled, this could lead to a dangerous condition of thyroid storm.

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The Morning Of Your Surgery

Instructions for drinking before your surgery

You can drink a total of 12 ounces of water between midnight and 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. Do not drink anything else.Do not drink anything starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. This includes water.

Take your medications as instructed

If your healthcare provider told you to take certain medications the morning of your surgery, take only those medications with a sip of water. Depending on what medications you take, this may be all, some, or none of your usual morning medications.

Things to remember

  • Wear something comfortable and loose-fitting.
  • Dont wear any lotion, cream, deodorant, makeup, powder, perfume, or cologne.
  • Remove nail polish and nail wraps.
  • If you wear contact lenses, wear your glasses instead. Wearing contact lenses during surgery can damage your eyes.
  • Dont wear any metal objects. Remove all jewelry, including body piercings. The tools used during your surgery can cause burns if they touch metal.
  • Leave valuable items at home.
  • If youre menstruating , use a sanitary pad, not a tampon. Youll get disposable underwear, as well as a pad if needed.

What to bring

  • Your Health Care Proxy form and other advance directives, if you completed them.
  • Your cell phone and charger.
  • A case for your personal items , dentures, prosthetic device, wig, and religious articles), if you have one.
  • This guide. Your healthcare team will use it to teach you how to care for yourself after surgery.

Treating Thyroid Gland Problems

Woman Describes the Effects of Thyroid Removal

If tests reveal a problem with your thyroid gland, you may receive treatment for:

  • an overactive thyroid gland , which may include taking a type of medicine known as thionamides or a type of radiotherapy called radioiodine treatment
  • an underactive thyroid gland , which usually involves taking a synthetic hormone called levothyroxine to replicate your normal thyroid function

Read more about treating hypothyroidism and treating hyperthyroidism.

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How Is A Thyroidectomy Performed

Your thyroidectomy will be performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery setting. Your surgeon will perform a thyroidectomy using one of the following approaches:

  • Minimally invasive surgery involves inserting special instruments and an endoscope through a small incision in your neck. An endoscope is a thin, lighted instrument with a small camera. The camera transmits pictures of the inside of your body to a video screen viewed by your surgeon while performing surgery. Minimally invasive surgery generally involves a faster recovery and less pain than open surgery. This is because it causes less damage to tissues and organs. Your surgeon will make small incisions instead of a larger one used in open surgery. Surgical tools are threaded around muscles and tissues instead of cutting through or displacing them as in open surgery.

  • Open surgery involves making a three to four inch incision in your neck. Open surgery allows your surgeon to directly view and access the surgical area. Open surgery generally involves a longer recovery and more than minimally invasive surgery. Open surgery requires a larger incision and more cutting and displacement of muscle and other tissues than minimally invasive surgery. Despite this, open surgery may be a safer or more effective method for certain patients.

Your surgeon will perform a thyroidectomy using general anesthesia. In some cases, a thyroidectomy may only require local anesthesia.

What to expect the day of your thyroidectomy

Why Might I Need A Thyroidectomy

A thyroidectomy may be appropriate for people who have a thyroid tumor, thyroid nodules or hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.

Hyperthyroidism can be the result of an autoimmune problem, too much iodine in the diet, a benign tumor in the pituitary gland, too much thyroid medication, a swelling in the thyroid gland or an inflammatory process.

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What Causes You To Have A Low Thyroid Count

Things like autoimmune diseases, surgery, and radiation treatment can all keep your thyroid gland from making the right amount of thyroid hormone. This is the most common reason that Americans have low thyroid levels. Its an autoimmune disease. If you have one, your immune system attacks your bodys healthy cells.

What Are The Side Effects From A Parathyroid Removal Surgery

Thyroid Surgery Basics: What to Expect After Thyroidectomy ...

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HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

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S To Take If You Had Your Thyroid Removed Or Ablated

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Are there steps you can take to feel better if you had your thyroid removed or if you had it ablated? While youll definitely need to be on medications, there are still so many things you can do to support the other parts of your endocrine system, support detoxification, reduce symptoms and feel better!

What happens when you dont have a thyroid or your thyroid doesnt produce hormones :

While there are many various kinds of thyroid hormones, the two main thyroid hormones to be aware of that your body now cant make are fT4 and fT3. fT4 is produced by the thyroid and then most of it is sent to the liver to be converted into fT3.

When the thyroid has been ablated or removed, its imperative that you talk to your doctor about the correct dose of t4 and t3 medications so that your body has these two essential hormones.

There are some thyroid hormones and other thyroid levels that you can influence with your diet and lifestyle.

Here are some examples:

TSH TSH is a pituitary hormone, and while it does rely on feedback from fT4, you can also help keep it in balance by taking steps to balance your adrenals . Nine times out of ten, when TSH is elevated its from an imbalance in the adrenals. And, if its elevated, its either from an imbalance in the adrenals and/or toxicity somewhere in the body.

TPOab TPO antibodies are an immune system issue, not a thyroid issue. Thankfully, there are dozens of things you can do to improve antibodies!

Getting Ready For Your Surgery

You and your care team will work together to get ready for your surgery.

Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you, even if you arent sure.

  • I take a blood thinner, such as:
  • Aspirin
  • I smoke or use an electronic smoking device .
  • I use recreational drugs.
  • About drinking alcohol

    The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. Its important to talk with your healthcare providers about how much alcohol you drink. This will help us plan your care.

    • If you stop drinking alcohol suddenly, it can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know youre at risk for these complications, we can prescribe medications to help keep them from happening.
    • If you drink alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other complications during and after your surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, and a longer hospital stay.

    Here are things you can do before your surgery to keep from having problems:

    About smoking

    If you smoke, you can have breathing problems when you have surgery. Stopping even for a few days before surgery can help. Your healthcare provider will refer you to our Tobacco Treatment Program if you smoke. You can also reach the program by calling .

    About sleep apnea

    Please tell us if you have sleep apnea or if you think you might have it. If you use a breathing device for sleep apnea, bring it with you the day of your surgery.

    Using MyMSK

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    Thyroid Gland Removal Side Effects

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

    What Are The Different Kinds Of Thyroid Medication

    Thyroid Cancer – Thyroidectomy effects

    To combat hypothyroidism, you must take a daily thyroid hormone replacement medication. Thyroid medication typically works by increasing circulating thyroxine levels. T4 is responsible for regulating your weight, heart rate, temperature, muscle strength, and overall energy and mood. Levothyroxine provides synthetic T4 to replenish low thyroid hormone levels.

    There are also thyroid medications that increase triiodothyronine , the other primary hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Examples of T3 drugs include Cytomel and Triostat.

    There are also combination T4/T3 formulations that come in a single pill. In the United States, these come as natural desiccated thyroid . While every person is unique in what will work best for them, synthetic T4 is usually the standard treatment method for hypothyroidism.

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    Thr In Pediatric Patients With Thyroid Cancer

    Thyroid hormone replacement in children presents its own unique set of challenges. While children are not likely to complain of decreased energy, concerned parents may tend to transfer their perception of what thyroid hormone should do to the childs activity level. The discussion of TSH suppression following thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer in adults also applies to children. Nevertheless, the ability to achieve consistent TSH suppression in children is difficult mainly due to higher non-compliance rates with the medication. When the home environment is not conducive to compliance, other measures may need to be taken. Anecdotally for one particularly non-compliant child, we have had the medication administered to the patient by the school nurse . It was given as a single weekly dose, and serum TSH levels were consistently kept below 0.5 mU/L. In general, weight-based requirements for thyroid hormone are increased in children and adolescents compared to adults, and for this reason TSH should be checked more frequently.

    What Occurs During Thyroidectomy

    • You will be given general anesthesia to relax your muscles, prevent pain and make you fall asleep.
    • An incision is made along a crease in the base of your neck.
    • Your surgeon might remove part of the thyroid , most of the gland , or all of the gland .

    After the surgery

    • You are usually watched in the hospital overnight.
    • You will have a small scar on the front of your neck.
    • You might be required to take thyroid hormone medication.
    • There is swelling at the incision site.
    • There is bleeding at the incision site.
    • You have a fever of 101 degrees or higher.
    • There is a redness or warmth at the incision site.
    • You experience tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
    • You notice numbness or tingling in your face, hands, or lips.

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    Within 30 Days Of Your Surgery

    Presurgical Testing

    Before your surgery, youll have an appointment for presurgical testing . The date, time, and location will be printed on the appointment reminder from your surgeons office. Its helpful to bring the following things to your PST appointment:

    • A list of all the medications youre taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, patches, and creams.
    • Results of any tests done outside of MSK, such as a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram, or carotid doppler study.
    • The name and telephone number of your healthcare provider.

    You can eat and take your usual medications the day of your appointment.

    During your PST appointment, youll meet with a nurse practitioner . They work closely with anesthesiology staff . Your NP will review your medical and surgical history with you. You may have tests, such as an electrocardiogram to check your heart rhythm, a chest x-ray, blood tests, and any other tests needed to plan your care. Your NP may also recommend that you see other healthcare providers.

    Your NP will talk with you about which medications you should take the morning of your surgery.

    Identify your caregiver

    Your caregiver plays an important role in your care. Before your surgery, you and your caregiver will learn about your surgery from your healthcare providers. After your surgery, your caregiver will take you home when youre discharged from the hospital. Theyll also help you care for yourself at home.

    For caregivers

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor Before Thyroid Surgery


    Duke doctors perform thyroid surgery on a patient at Duke Raleigh Hospital.

    Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove part or all of your thyroid gland if its overactive, has grown very large, or has nodules, cysts or other growths that areor could becancerous. Here are essential questions to ask before you schedule thyroid surgery.

    Learn more about thyroid cancer treatment at Duke.

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