Life After a Thyroidectomy

You may be facing a thyroidectomy for several reasons. But, whether you need all of your thyroid removed or just a portion, you’re in safe hands at Surgical Associates of North Texas

As a top-ranked surgeon in McKinney, Texas, Dr. Scott deVilleneuve uses the most advanced thyroid surgery techniques available, including minimally invasive approaches performed endoscopically. With his expertise, you can rely on exceptional results, so you can get back to living your life as fast as possible.

What to expect during a thyroidectomy

Your thyroid is a small, bow-shaped gland found at the base of your neck. It makes the hormones that control several critical functions in your body, like your metabolism. 

Dr. deVilleneuve uses a variety of techniques to perform thyroidectomies, depending on the amount of thyroid requiring removal and why. The most common approaches to access your thyroid include:

Whenever possible, Dr. deVilleneuve performs an endoscopic thyroidectomy because it's less invasive, has fewer risks, and comes with faster recovery times. But, he determines the best surgical technique for each procedure on a case-by-case basis.

Life after a thyroidectomy

Recovering from a thyroidectomy varies depending on the amount of your thyroid removed and the technique Dr. deVilleneuve uses. In most cases, you can expect an overnight stay in the hospital before going home to recover.

Short-term changes

You can usually begin eating and drinking after having your surgery, but you should choose soft foods that are easy to swallow. It's common to have a sore throat, neck pain, and a hoarse voice, for a short period of time. These symptoms are typically temporary and often caused from having a breathing tube in your throat during your procedure.

When you go home, you can typically resume your normal routine immediately. But, you should avoid vigorous or strenuous activities, especially any that may strain your neck, for 10-14 days. 

If you have a surgical incision in your neck, it can take up to a year for your scar to fade. 

Long-term changes

The main changes you may see following a thyroidectomy depend on the amount of your thyroid Dr. deVilleneuve removes. Without enough of the hormone your thyroid produces, you can experience symptoms that include:

Sometimes, if you have a partial thyroidectomy, the remaining portion of your thyroid can produce the amount of hormones you need to regulate your metabolism. However, when you have a complete thyroidectomy, or all of your thyroid removed, you need daily medication to replace your missing hormones. 

If you need prescription hormone replacements -- like Synthroid® and Levoxyl® -- they function the same way as the hormones a healthy thyroid naturally produces. To ensure your hormone levels remain optimal, you will need them tested regularly.

For more information on life after a thyroidectomy, contact us by calling Surgical Associates of North Texas in the Stonebridge area of McKinney, or by booking an appointment online today.

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