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What Not To Eat After Thyroid Surgery

How Much Does Thyroid Surgery Cost

Weight Gain After Thyroid Surgery- Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight

For most patients and facilities around, the cost of thyroid surgery ranges based on exactly what was removed and what treatments were associated with the surgery. Each practice and facility will have its own costs associated with the surgery. Depending on your health insurance and your deductible for your plan, the cost could be more or less than other patients. Usually costs out of pocket are less when these procedures are performed at surgical centers than hospitals.

Ensure that you reach out to your doctors office regarding the cost of this surgery and any payment options available for you, if necessary. They can give you a quote on your surgery and give you a real estimate of what you will owe after the surgery is complete.

If The Cancer Comes Back

If your cancer does come back at some point, your treatment options will depend on the where the cancer is, what treatments youve had before, and your current health and preferences. Treatment options might include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or some combination of these. For more on how recurrent cancer is treated, see Treatment of Thyroid Cancer, by Type and Stage.

For more general information on recurrence, see Understanding Recurrence.

How Common Is Thyroid Surgery

For the most experienced surgeons at C/V ENT Surgical Group, having a minimum of 25 or more thyroid surgeries annually means they are experienced in the field. For many surgeons, this is one of the more common surgeries on their operating tables throughout the year than others. Usually, general surgeons and head and neck surgeons/ENTs commonly perform these surgeries.

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Minimally Invasive Thyroid Surgery

The typical incision made for thyroid surgery is known as a “collar incision” in which a large incision is made stretching from one side of the neck to the other just above the collar bone. Minimally invasive thyroid surgery refers to certain types of surgery in which the thyroid is removed through very small incisions using special techniques. Columbia Thyroid Center surgeons perform minimally invasive thyroid surgery in over 95% of patients, typically using an incision measuring just an inch to an inch and a half in length. In addition to using very small incisions, our surgeons “hide” the incision in a natural skin crease which acts like camouflage. Most people will not be able to notice the incision once the redness fades away. See our Scar Gallery section for examples of minimally invasive thyroid surgery.

At the Columbia Thyroid Center, 95% of our patients are able to go home after a 4 hour observation period in the recovery room. In certain cases, a patient may be asked to spend the night in the hospital. Patients who are asked to stay overnight generally have very large goiters, advanced cancer, bleeding disorders, a history of taking anticoagulation, or have a personal preference to spend the night. Patients who spend the night in the hospital are typically discharged by 10AM the next morning.

Care Of Your Incision

Pin on Thyroid Board

Your incision is covered with a waterproof protective dressing. You can shower as usual, but do not soak or scrub the dressing. After showering, pat dry. Often there will be a blood blister visible under the clear dressing. This is normal and no cause for alarm. Beginning five days after the operation, massage the scar for five minutes when you wake up, five minutes in the middle of the day, and another five minutes when you go to bed. There is good evidence that wound massage reduces pain and improves healing. Turn your head back and forth and roll your shoulders to reduce stiffness. Your dressing will be removed at your first post-operative visit. Most patients have sutures under the skin that dissolve by themselves. Replace the dressing with micropore tape and continue massage. Change the tape once a week. If you experience itching once the dressing is off, massage lotion into the scar. You might notice bruising around your incision. Your scar may become pink and hard, and your throat may feel tight. This hardening will peak at about 3-4 weeks, and will disappear over the next 3 to 4 months. You will also notice some numbness around the incision. This will gradually improve over time. You scar will continue to fade for 12 months. For best cosmetic results, keep it out of the sun.

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Thyroid Surgery Recovery Side Effects And Complications

If you are having thyroid surgery, known as a thyroidectomy, it’s important to know what to expect as you recover. Side effects of surgery are common and include neck pain, a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and temporary hypoparathyroidism. Complications are much less common and can include bleeding , permanent hypoparathyroidism , and damage to nerves that can lead to long-term hoarseness and vocal changes.

Taking time to learn about post-thyroidectomy recovery can prepare you to cope with any symptoms and to be alert to any problems.

Easy Ways To Add Calories To Your Diet

If you are having difficulty getting enough calories in your diet after surgery, your recovery could be adversely affected. These tips can help you add calories to your diet without having to eat noticeably more however, these changes are not necessarily heart-healthy and are not going to aid weight loss.

This way of eating is reserved for people who are unable to consume enough calories, as this is not an ideal nutritional plan for the long term. Some individuals truly struggle to consume enough food in the early part of the recovery phase, and these tips are intended for those people.

When you are able to return to a healthier diet, eliminating saturated fats and sugar while emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, it is important to do so.

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What To Eat After Thyroid Surgery

When you first come out of your thyroid surgery, swelling and attempting to swallow may be difficult. Your diet should be restricted simply due to texture and the ease of being able to eat. For the first day to two, you will want to eat soft foods that are easy to swallow. Softly cooked vegetables and nutrient-rich soups are great options because you can still maintain the nutrients and vitamins you need to stay healthy.

Most patients find chilled smoothies to be a great option for the days immediately after the surgery. The cooling temperature soothes the irritated area and vocal nerves. Also, adding lots of fruits and vegetables to these smoothies keeps your body healthy and getting the nutrients that it needs.

As the swelling goes down and swallowing becomes easier, you can start to transition your diet to more regular food options. You want to make sure that your diet is balanced and regularly maintains a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables.

Diet Tips After Thyroid Surgery

Recovery: the day after my total thyroidectomy

July 7, 2016 by Michael Koeplin, MD

Like most surgeries involving an organ in the endocrine system, youll need to modify your diet in the wake of a thyroid operation. A thyroidectomy is an operation to remove part or all of a malfunctioning thyroid that may be cancerous or over/under-producing necessary hormones. You dont need to make severe changes to your diet in the wake of a thyroidectomy, but some modifications will make life a little easier. Here are four diet tips to keep in mind after a thyroidectomy. Obviously you should always follow the instructions of your endocrine surgeon, but here are some general tips to keep in mind.

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What If I Have A Complaint

The General Medical Council provides guidance on what to expect from your doctor and a guide for patients on who to complain to. The Royal College of Surgeons provide Good Surgical Practice guidelines and their own advice on making a complaint.

Always talk to the doctor concerned first in case the matter can be resolved informally. Most complaints about doctors can be settled locally, and quickly, by the doctors employers. The NHS hospital, GP practice, private hospital or clinic where you received care have their own complaints procedures. The NHS complaints precedure is explained here

Most hospitals have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service . They offer confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters to patients, their families and their carers. Find your local PALS office.

Trouble Eating Enough After Surgery

Sometimes it is difficult to eat after surgery because of a lack of appetite. This typically passes a few days after surgery, but it is important to continue eating nutritious foods during this part of your recovery. Constipation can cause a lack of appetite. If this is the case, speak to your surgeon about ways to relieve constipation before taking over-the-counter remedies.

While most people in America could stand to lose a few pounds, skipping meals after surgery is not the way to do it. Failing to eat enough after surgery can slow healing and delay the closure of your incision. Your body needs protein and other nutrients to build healthy new tissue and heal tissue injured by surgery.

If you are not constipated and are still having difficulty with your appetite, consider calorie-dense foods, such as a smoothie, which can contain dairy, fruit and even protein powder as necessary.

If you are unable to consume enough calories after your surgery, try to eat calorie-dense foods whenever possible. That means eating foods that contain more calories per bite than others. For example, a cup of green salad would be a food low in calories per cup, while avocado would be very high in calories per cup.

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What Should I Expect After A Partial Thyroidectomy

Tell your healthcare providers if you have difficulty breathing or swallowing. Tell them if your bandage feels like it is getting tighter. You will have blood tests to check your calcium and thyroid hormone blood levels.

  • Medicine may be given to bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal. A partial thyroidectomy means your thyroid gland can produce some thyroid hormone. You may need to take medicine daily to keep your thyroid hormone level steady. You may be given pain medicine after surgery. Radioactive iodine may be given if your thyroid gland was removed because of cancer. This medicine may kill cancer cells that were not taken out during surgery.
  • Deep breathing helps open air passages and prevent a lung infection. Slowly take a deep breath and hold the breath as long as you can. Then let your breath out. Take 10 deep breaths in a row every hour while awake. You may be asked to use an incentive spirometer to help you with this. Put the plastic piece into your mouth and slowly take a breath as deep and as long as you can. Hold it as long as you can. Then let your breath out.

Goulash Meat Loaf Or Sloppy Joe Meat

Can You Lose Weight After Total Thyroidectomy

Beef is a boon for those in the midst of the healing process, Koskinen says. While you can’t chow down on a charbroiled ribeye, you can scoop up a more tender ground meat mix.

“Beef offers high-quality protein, which is important for healing. It’s also a good source of immunity-boosting bioavailable zinc,” she adds.

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Foods To Avoid After Total Thyroidectomy

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Thyroidectomy: Recovery And Next Steps

In some cases, patients return home the same day as the surgery, but somepeople spend the night in the hospital. There, the team can observe thepatient and monitor calcium levels in the blood.

When the thyroid gland is surgically removed, the body still requiresthyroid hormone to keep vital functions in balance.Thyroid hormone replacement therapyinvolves taking synthetic or naturally derived thyroid hormones in pillform.

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How Does Hypothyroidism Affect Your Metabolism

The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest.

People with hypothyroidism make less thyroid hormone. This means they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest.

Having a slow metabolism comes with several health risks. It may leave you tired, increase your blood cholesterol levels, and make it harder for you to lose weight .

If you find it difficult to maintain your weight with hypothyroidism, try doing moderate or high intensity cardio. This includes exercises like fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing.

Research shows that moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise may help boost your thyroid hormone levels. In turn, this may help speed up your metabolism (


People with hypothyroidism usually have a slower metabolism. Research shows that aerobic exercise can help boost your thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, eating more protein may help boost your metabolism.

Several nutrients are important for optimal thyroid health.

What To Expect After The Operation



You will have one scar, 3-4 inches across, along your collar line. This will run horizontally along the natural lines of the skin in your neck. After a few weeks it should be healing well, and after 12 months or so it will hardly be visible.


With thyroid surgery, many treatment centres now use skin clips on the outside of the neck instead of stitches. You may have your clips removed 2-3 days after your operation, before you leave hospital, or you may have them removed at around 5-6 days. In this case, they will be removed be your GP or practice nurse. A small drain will be attached to your wound to prevent fluid building up. This will be removed after 2-3 days.


You do not need to keep the wound covered with a dressing. Exposure to the air will help the wound to heal more quickly. You can wash as normal after the clips have been removed, but take care to pat the wound dry gently.


Tiredness and feeling emotional


Painkillers may well cause constipation, so its important to get plenty of fibre in your diet while you are recovering. Fresh fruit and vegetables will help to keep your bowels moving regularly.

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How Is Thyroid Surgery Performed

Thyroid surgery takes place in a hospital. Its important not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery.

When you arrive at the hospital, youll check in and then go to a preparation area where youll remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. A nurse will insert an IV in your wrist or your arm to administer fluids and medication.

Before surgery, youll meet with your surgeon. Theyll do a quick examination and answer any questions you may have about the procedure. Youll also meet with the anesthesiologist who will be administering the medicine that makes you sleep throughout the procedure.

When its time for surgery, youll enter the operating room on a gurney. The anesthesiologist will inject medicine into your IV. The medicine may feel cold or sting as it enters your body, but it will quickly put you into a deep sleep.

The surgeon will make an incision over the thyroid gland and carefully remove all or part of the gland. Because the thyroid is small and surrounded by nerves and glands, the procedure may take 2 hours or more.

Youll wake up in the recovery room, where the staff will make sure youre comfortable. Theyll check your vital signs and administer pain medication as needed. When youre in stable condition, theyll transfer you to a room where youll remain under observation for 24 to 48 hours.

Is Thyroid Surgery Outpatient

With our surgeons it almost always is as we perform minimally invasive thyroid surgery with minimal recovery. However, if a patient has significant medical issues or needs extensive surgery, your surgeon may elect to have the procedure done at a hospital setting and may ask the patient to stay overnight.

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I Am Having Symptoms After My Surgery What Should I Do

If you feel unwell contact your hospital contact immediately to get a calcium blood test calcium levels can fluctuate and you may need to have your medication adjusted. Failing that, go to A& E or contact your GP. Here is the list of symptoms you might be experiencing.

If you have just found this page after your operation please do get in touch. We have a telephone helpline and a brilliant facebook support group where you can get immediate advice and find others who know how you feel. Sign up to join Join us here

Order our Emergency Medical Card to keep in your wallet and keep a diary of your symptoms and test results. Try to stay calm. Things will improve and over time we can help you learn to manage your calcium levels and get back to a normal life.

How To Recover From Thyroid Surgery

Diet &  Nutrition After Thyroidectomy

Most patients are amazed at the ease of recovery with minimally invasive thyroid surgery with one of our expert surgeons. Patients usually go home 4-6 hours after surgery and are able to talk, walk and eat the same day. They will experience a sore neck, sore throat and some voice changes for the first few weeks after surgery. Most patients are fully recovered in 1-2 weeks after surgery and return to work or school. Shorter recovery periods depend on how well you are maintaining your body once you are at home. Patients can shower the next day at home but are encouraged not to get the incision wet for 48 hours.

Going Home

Once you start home from the surgical center, you are responsible for your recovery moving forward. You will need to monitor and maintain the following based upon your doctors recommendations:

Incision Dressing

Gradual Exercise

Reduce Unhealthy Practices

Your scar from the incision will start to heal and is often covered with steri-strips over the incision. It is there to prevent bacteria and infection and will start to fall off as the incision heals. Keep the area clean until you see your surgeon one week later and he removes the steri-strips. You can then begin to add topical scar treatment to the area to help with healing as instructed by your surgeon.

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