There have been many posts about total thyroidectomy surgeries lately and I'd like to contribute my experience to the forum, in the hopes it would help others who are thinking about this option!
My surgery was yesterday with a check-in time at 5:30am. I was prepped and ready to go into surgery at about 8:00am. They did an EKG as a precaution because I was put on Propranolol in preparation for the surgery and took a urine sample as well. My anesthesiologist was so great - I mentioned that I had Thyroid Eye Disease and he made sure to keep my eyes moist and covered during the surgery. It's true what they say, all I remember is hearing him say he was going to give me something to relax and the next thing I know I am waking up in recovery! My surgery was completed at 12:45pm and I was then in recovery for about an hour before being wheeled up to my room.
My surgery went well! No damage to the parathyroids! No drain at the incision site either. My surgeon used dissolvable stitches and closed with steri strips on top, which are supposed to fall off naturally in about a week. I can shower normally, just no soaking in the tub and no swimming for three weeks.
I do have to admit I was in more pain than I expected the first three hours after surgery. Mainly it was because of the size of the intubation tube…they said they had to use a somewhat large one that also had nerve sensors on it. But, after taking some Vicodin and a nap, I felt 100% better. I stayed overnight at the hospital and mainly just drank juice. I was able to eat a little bit of jello yesterday and some rice today. My throat still is very sore but it's getting better. I couldn't go to the restroom at first so they had to catheterize me (because of the anesthesia) but after a few hours I could go on my own.
I am taking calcium supplements as a precaution and started my Synthroid and Cytomel today as well. I was a little worried about the “rush” i would experience as a result of the Cytomel but I didn't feel it today (perhaps because of the Vicodin). How long will it take for me to begin getting a sense if my dosing is close to the mark? A few weeks?
My incision is a very nice straight line, about 3 inches. There is some bruising and swelling but I am putting an ice pack on every hour. My voice is still weak, but I am practicing!
Overall, I am so happy to have this over with. The anticipation was the worst part and I am just going to take it one day at a time and be patient and optimistic that I will find the right dosages of my medicine. I will keep you updated!