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What To Eat After Thyroid Surgery

Dietary Recommendations After Thyroid Removal Surgery

What To Expect After Thyroid Surgery

In order to ensure the patient’s comfort, treatment after thyroid surgery should be strengthened with a proper diet. What should it look like?

For the nutrients in foods to be absorbed properly, it is helpful to spread the foods over at least five meals. Liquid diet meals can be prepared by pureeing fruits and vegetables or by mixing in a juicer or blender. The subsequent diet should be light, therefore it is recommended to prepare the food by boiling, steaming or baking. The first days after thyroid removal surgery are especially difficult for the patient. He feels sore and the food hurts him. However, this discomfort can be reduced through a proper diet. After a difficult few days, when even drinking through a straw can be a nuisance, solid products are gradually introduced. The most important thing is to choose dishes that allow you to satiate yourself and don’t cause much pain.

Living As A Thyroid Cancer Survivor

For many people with thyroid cancer, treatment may remove or destroy the cancer. Completing treatment can be both stressful and exciting. You may be relieved to finish treatment, but find it hard not to worry about cancer growing or coming back. This is very common concern if you;have had cancer.

For other people, thyroid cancer may never go away completely, or it might come back in another part of the body. These people may get regular treatments with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other therapies to help keep the cancer under control for as long as possible. Learning to live with cancer that does not go away can be difficult and very stressful.

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables contain both nutrients and fiber, which are essential to healing during your recovery from surgery. While fresh is best, frozen or canned items are also good. Try to emphasize items that are not processed, such as fresh broccoli, and avoid processed foods, such as canned broccoli soup.

One side effect of eating more fruits and vegetables than usual is gas. While this can be an annoying or embarrassing problem, it should pass within a day or two.

If the gas is so severe that you feel stomach pressure or abdominal cramping, you can decrease your intake of fresh produce or use a gas reliever, such as Beano to prevent gas or Gas-X to relieve gas that is present.

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Foods Containing Vitamin C

As you recover from surgery, eating a nutritious diet containing a wide variety of foods will aid your body in healing. In particular, vitamin C is necessary for healing wounds and forming scar tissue. Since vitamin C is water soluble, your body requires a continuous supply of foods containing this nutrient. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, sweet bell peppers, and orange and tomato juices.

What Is A Thyroidectomy

5 Tips for What to Eat After Thyroid Surgery

A thyroidectomy is an operation to remove all or part for the thyroid gland. It is the treatment for a number of different thyroid disorders including thyroid cancer, goitre, thyroid nodules and Graves Disease.

Watch Surgeon Professor Neil Tolley at Imperial College in London talking about thyroid and parathyroid surgery

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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.

Reasons For Not Having A Thyroid Or For Having It Removed

Whenever possible, the best course of action is to try and keep your thyroid gland in your body!

Unlike other organs, such as your appendix, your thyroid serves a VERY important function in your body.;

Its definitely possible to live without a thyroid gland, but not everyone who has their thyroid removed will experience a return to normal life afterward.;

The reason for this has to do with thyroid medication .;

Having said all of this, its not always possible to keep your thyroid gland.;

The primary reason to have it removed is that you may have a medical condition which creates an environment in which keeping your thyroid gland inside of your body is less safe than having it removed.;

Some of the reasons you may have your thyroid removed include:

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Avoid Foods That Cause Constipation

Constipation is common after surgery because prescription pain medicationsopioids, in particularare often used in the days following a surgical procedure and have a known side effect of decreasing the movement of the intestines.

While some foods can help prevent or treat constipation, there are other foods that can make constipation more likely. Constipation can increase your pain level and can place additional stress on your incision, so it is important to avoid whenever possible.

Does Thyroid Surgery Leave A Scar

What to Expect After Thyroid Surgery – James Wu, MD

Like all surgeries that require an external incision, there is an initial scar from the incision made to remove some or all of your thyroid. Over time this scar will heal over 8 to 12 weeks and become barely noticeable if taken care of properly. For many patients, the scar will get so light over time that it is unrecognizable, especially if the scar treatment regimen and creams are followed.

When going out in the sun, however, you need to make sure that you place sunscreen and a cover over the scar for the first 6 months to avoid redness in the area. Any ultraviolet light that comes in contact with these incision scars will darken and can be noticeable. Most patients will either wear a scarf or a bandaid when going outside to cover the incision for the first 6 months.

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Hypocalcemia And Bone Health

Your bones have been starved of calcium during the time you have had hyperparathyroidism, and will now have the chance to grow strong again. After successful parathyroid surgery, I recommend plenty of dietary calcium. If you do not take at least three daily servings of calcium-rich foods, you may prefer to take Caltrate Plus twice a day to promote healthy bones. In addition to these supplements, an exercise routine using weights is also recommended. Your vitamin D should be kept >75 to enable your intestine to absorb the calcium in your diet.

In a small number of patients who have parathyroid surgery, the remaining parathyroid glands have become lazy, and do not function properly immediately after surgery. It is very rare after the mini-surgery, but about 5% if you need both sides of the neck explored. This is usually temporary and causes the blood calcium level to drop below normal . Symptoms of hypocalcaemia include numbness and tingling in your hands, soles of your feet and around your lips. Some patients experience a “crawling” sensation in the skin, muscle cramps or headaches. These symptoms appear between 24 and 48 hours after surgery. It is rare for them to appear after 72 hours.

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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Doctor Visits And Follow

Your health care team will explain what tests you need and how often they should be done. Your schedule of doctor visits, exams, and tests will depend on the original extent of your cancer, the specific type of thyroid cancer you had, how it was treated, and other factors.

Papillary or follicular cancer: If you have had papillary or follicular cancer, and your thyroid gland has been completely removed or ablated, your doctors may consider at least one radioactive iodine scan after treatment, especially if you are at higher risk for recurrence. This is usually done about 6 to 12 months later. If the result is negative, you will generally not need further scans unless you have symptoms or other abnormal test results.

Your blood will also be tested regularly for TSH and thyroglobulin levels. Thyroglobulin is made by thyroid tissue, so after total thyroid removal and ablation it should be at very low levels or not be found in your blood at all. If the thyroglobulin level begins to rise, it might be a sign the cancer is coming back, and further testing will be done. This usually includes a radioactive iodine scan, and may include PET scans and other imaging tests.

For those with a low-risk, small papillary cancer that was treated by removing only one lobe of the thyroid, routine physical exams by your doctor, thyroid ultrasounds and thyroid blood tests are typical.

How Do I Find An Experienced Surgeon

FAQs about Parathyroid Surgery

It is important that your operation is carried out by a highly skilled endocrine surgeon. Do not hesitate to ask about your surgeons experience, the number of operations they perform and their complication rate.

The British Association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons collects information and published an audit. You can find out how many surgeries your surgeon performs annually here: ;De-anonymised numbers 2018

You can also search by name, hospital or postcode for information about the outcomes of endocrine and thyroid surgeons on the British Association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons Surgical Outcomes website page. This gives;further data about an individual surgeons practice, number of operations and late hypocalcaemia rates ie the percentage of patients still requiring calcium or vitamin D supplements 6 months after total thyroidectomy.

An experienced surgeon should ;be doing about 50 thyroid/parathyroid operations a year.

The Royal College of Surgeons provide a;Find a Surgeon page on their website

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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.

How Long Does Hoarseness Last After Thyroid Surgery

If you do have the hoarseness side effect after your thyroid surgery, it could last anywhere from two weeks after the surgery to three to six months after surgery. As time goes on and the nerves in your throat start to heal, the hoarseness will get better. You may wake up sounding normal but return to hoarseness by the end of the day. Hoarseness will come and go through the recovery process over the course of several weeks to months. This is about the nerves being weak and irritated. As the day goes on, your body continues the healing process; some days may be more irritated than others. ;;If hoarseness lasts more than 6 months, then your physician may make various recommendations to improve it.

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What Is The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroids job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.

An Important Word About The Costs Of Treatment

What to Expect After Thyroid Surgery from Mount Sinai in New York

Insurance rebates have not kept pace with the cost of running a medical practice. As a consequence, there will be a gap to pay for the surgical fee and for the anaesthetist. Your insurance company might also charge you an excess for a hospital admission. We will advise you about expected out-of-pocket costs not covered by insurance. If these costs represent an undue hardship for you, please discuss them with us.

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Removing Your Thyroid Gland

Thyroid surgery is done through an incision in the lower part of the front of your neck. It takes about 2 to 3 hours.

During your surgery, your surgeon will examine your whole thyroid gland and remove the parts that have cancer. Theyll also check the lymph nodes next to your thyroid gland and remove any that have or might have cancer cells.

  • If half of your thyroid is removed, its called a lobectomy or hemi-thyroidectomy.
  • If your whole thyroid is removed, its called a total thyroidectomy.

Your surgeon will talk with you before your surgery so you know what to expect.

Nerve injuries

There are 2 nerves very close to your thyroid gland that help your larynx work. These nerves are called the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the superior laryngeal nerve. They may be affected during your thyroid surgery.

  • Your recurrent laryngeal nerve goes behind your thyroid to your voice box. If your tumor is close to this nerve or this nerve is injured during your surgery, your vocal cords could be damaged. This can make your voice hoarse. Voice hoarseness is common after thyroid surgery and usually goes away with time.
  • Your superior laryngeal nerve helps you raise the volume and pitch of your voice. If this nerve gets weak or injured, the pitch and tone of your voice can be affected. This may make it hard for you to raise your voice or sing.


Foods To Avoid After Total Thyroidectomy

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What To Eat After Thyroid Surgery

    Thyroid surgery is a common procedure. More than 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. While some of them may respond to non-invasive treatment, others require surgery.

    Regardless of what type of thyroid surgery you plan to undergo, you need to adjust your diet. While some people prefer to avoid changing their eating regimen, sticking to old habits after the surgery may decrease your quality of life.

    Here are a few things to consider when adjusting your diet after thyroid surgery.

    Why Do I Need Parathyroid Glands

    Pin on Thyroid Board

    Parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone which regulates the amount of calcium in your blood. Calcium keeps your body functioning properly. If parathyroid glands are damaged they cannot produce parathyroid hormone and, if permanently damaged, they cannot be fixed.

    If your parathyroid glands are permanently damaged you will be left with a condition called hypoparathyroidism . It is a rare condition and requires lifelong treatment. It causes hypocalcaemia which causes a range of symptoms and can be life threatening.

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    Stick To Soft Cool Foods

    If youre left with a sore or tender throat after your surgery, its best to include soft and cool foods in your diet.

    Smoothies made from fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables are a great way to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet. Similarly, if your throat is feeling particularly tender, eating small ice chips can help soothe the sore feeling.

    Other soft foods you might consider including in your diet are soups, yogurt, and cottage cheese. All of these offer good nutritional value while still being easy to swallow. Tender, steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes are also a great option. Of course, if youre craving something sweet, a milkshake or bowl of ice cream is ideal.

    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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