I'm feeling well enough to give an update and timeline on my TT surgery. I hope this can help anyone about to have surgery so they can know what to expect. *nudge-nudge* Thyroidgirl!
Friday: 6AM: Went into the hospital was scheduled for surgery at 7:30. First filled out some final papers, was brought into an area with my husband where I put on a hospital gown and my own robe, was asked to give a urine sample (they do this for any woman of childbearing age). Now, that's hard when you were told not to drink anything starting at midnight, but they only need a few drops. The nurse went over a timeline with my husband for him to expect me to be in surgery about 2 hours, and then about 45 minutes in recovery. She asked a few last minute questions about allergies and such. I was very giggly and kept joking around.(I think it was nerves...that's how I cope with things). I was talking to my husband about our honeymoon in the Bahamas....and he said, "I don't know who you went there with...but we had our honeymoon in Hawaii!" OOPS! That's nerves for you I guess, and I hadn't even gotten any drugs yet.
7:00AM I said goodbye to my husband and they wheeled me into the recovery room, the nurses introduced themselves and I got to chat with two other women that were being operated on also. One lady was 95 and about to have a hernia removed. She had had multiple surgeries in her lifetime so I figure if she can survive surgery at her age, I'm golden. They put an I.V. for fluids, it took them a while to find a good vein which they said is normal because of being dehydrated from fasting. The surgeon came by to talk to me, I told I wanted a TT regardless of what he found. He said, good, as long as we have an understanding and that it is what you want, it's a go. Then the anasthesiologist came to see him and explained that I would be asleep through the whole thing, that I would fall asleep from something that drips into the IV and that I would just drift off. That was my big concern beforehand, I didn't want to feel myself go and loose control.
7:30AM So I was wheeled into the operating room, they asked for my help to transfer from the stretcher to the table and they said they would start the medecine in my IV for me to fall asleep. I barely remember landing on the operating table...I woke up in recovery! Things were hazy because I had an oxygen mask on and I was looking through the rubber of that. I remember grabbing at a nurses back because I wanted to make sure they had told my husband I was done and awake. I guess I went in and out of conciousnous because she kept telling the other nurses "boy, someone really likes me". I kept pawing at her. I asked for more morphine because I was a bit uncomfortable they gave it to me right away and I was fine. My husband said I was in recovery twice as long as they I would be, I was groggy and they wanted to make sure I was awake before wheeling me out to my husband. When they wheeled me out my husband met me in the corridor and said the surgeon came to talk to him right after surgery and said that everything went very well. My voice was very strained, but I now know that it was more from the tube down my throat than from any vocal cord paralysis.
11:00AM I was in my hospital room. Zero pain. I was allowed a few ice chips an hour later. The thing with having an IV is that you need to go to the bathroom even if you aren't drinking anything.
12:00PM With the help of my husband and a nurse I made it to the bathroom. A bit of dizzyness, but not to bad. It's when I got back to my bed that I started feeling very nauseous and vomited. I had never had general anesthesia and apparently I have a bad reaction to it. Once you know that they can give you something beforehand to help prevent it. They did put something in my IV at that time to help, and if I laid in bed and didn't move my head too quickly, I was fine.
1:00PM I started to drink some ginger ale. Another trip to the bathroom brough on another wave of nausea and I really got sick then and got a major headache. When I complained of that headache a really nice nurse came back with crackers and a Percocet for my headache. She said I was only supposed to have liquids but with my nausea she knew I couldn't keep the pill down if I didn't eat something. Well those crackers worked like a charm. They drew blood to check my calcium, came back normal. I had to keep an oxygen mask on most of the time, it's humidified oxygen, it helps your throat by keeping it moist and that way you don't cough which is important after a TT. You don't want to strain your neck muscle and also your ability to cough is minimal anyway, which I had to do a few times regardless because I chocked on liquids. The oxygen also helps with the nausea.
5:00PM When they brought me my liquid dinner, I had some fruit sherbet, some tea with sugar, some jello. Every bite helped. One of the nurse explained that when you have a reaction to anesthesia like that, only time fixes it, it has to get out of you system.
8:00PM I knew I wasn't allowed food, but I was feeling so much better. I asked for apple juice to at least get some calories in me. You have to take very small sips at a time because off the sore throat. They checked my calcium, it had dipped slightly, but they said it was to be expected.
I slept a little bit overnight, I would have slept more but I had a noisy room neighbor. So the noise of my oxygen mask actually drowned out some of her noise. From the time they brought me to my room, I asked for a bag of ice and kept it on for the first 24 hours, replenishing it as it melted. That helped a lot. I was allowed morphine, but I only needed percocet, took one at 1pm the at 4am and then not until 3pm after I got home.
4AM My calcium was climbing back up.
6AM Surgeon came in and said that my surgery had been very clean. Both lobes were enlarged, the larger nodule one the right side had not broken through the thyroid gland itself so none of the other neck structures where affected. The left lobes had a smaller nodule but also a cyst, which had not showed up on ultrasound. My parathyroids were left alone. So if it does turn out to be cancer, even if there was vascular involvment and the cancer travelled to other parts of my body it's trully a thyroid cancer and would be easily treatable with RAI. I was releived because that was my fear...I had so much pain in my neck prior to surgery that I thought he would open me up and find that it had attacked everything in my neck. He also wanted to check my calcium again to make sure it was still climbing.
8AM Ate breakfast! Small bites, but I kept everything down. Took my first Synthroid pill, 100mcg.
10AM My surgeons associate took out my suction drain. They are really not that bad. There was a small incision (quarter of an inch long) below my incision. And they are not deep at all, it just allows for drainage and that way the main incision does not bulge from accumulate fluids. Every surgeon has his own technique. And taking it out did not hurt at all either, removing the tape hurt more than the actual drain removal. IV taken out.
12PM Last calcium check to be sure.
2PM Labs were normal, I was discharged and on my way home. My incision is hidden under bandage held by a large piece of clear sticky tape. So it's not gross looking.
I took a shower! I get to remove my bandage tomorrow. My voice is getting better, getting stronger. Husband says it's a sexy raspy voice.
I took my bandage off this morning. My incision is an arc shaped at the base of my neck. 3 inches long only and barely thicker than a hair. All the stiches are internal except for one at the end, no steri strips, my incision is now out in the open and uncovered. My husband took pictures and I will keep taking them to record how fast it heals. I know it's already healing because it itches.
I'm only taking pain medication at night to sleep better. The only side effect I've noticed that could possibly be cause by the meds is cold hands and sensitivity to cold. I had a hard time ajusting the water temperature in the shower yesterday. I can't lift anything heavy and I still get some dizzyness...which is good because it reminds me to take it easy. This was an easy operation and I am so glad it is out. I feel like I got rid of a junky part of me. I have an appointment Thursday for the surgeon to remove that one external stitch and also he will have the final biopsy result. I know that I may not be out of the woods, especially if it comes back malignant, but I feel as if I've done that first big step. I also realize that ajusting the med will take a while, but it is such a relief to know that it is out of me.
What dosage did you guys start on after surgery?
My, I was long winded! Sorry about that!
Hey Thyroidgirl, I'm thinking of you, keep us posted. Any last minute questions?
Take care all,
Last edited by MatthewsMom; 01-23-2006 at 03:15 PM.
Thanks for all the info - it may be a long post, however, I read every word! I appreciate all the time you took for the rest of us that are about to have the same thing done. My TT is 1/26-Thursday.
I'm new here, so you probably don't remember me, but you answered some of my questions. You told me to get some tests and I have called to request them. If surgeon won't give them to me I'll call my primary doc.
The people here on the thyroid board are SO NICE!!
Thank you again - and everyone else - for all the help!!
"I'll make it"
Jewel TT 1/26/06 -Levothyroxine 75-88
Hey Lyse, welcome back! Great to hear from you and thanks so much for taking the time to send all the details. What an interesting story! I'm so glad that everything went well for you. I'm sure it was nice to get home and in your own bed, away from the noises of other people. I'm sure your son was happy to have Mommy back home as well.
It surely is a comfort to know, at least in a general sense, what to expect with my surgery tomorrow. I got a phone call from the hospital a little while ago and my surgery is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. I have to be there by 11:15. Thanks to all the nice people on this board who have been sharing their experiences, I am not very nervous at all. My friends at work were joking today about how calm I seem to be about the whole thing. It is due to the info and positive feedback I've received here. THANKS!
Just a few questions though Lyse. How do you feel energy-wise? Are you still tired due to what you just went through? Does your throat hurt? (I'm sure my husband wouldn't mind me coming home with a sexy, raspy voice...) I'm surprised to hear they found a cyst that didn't show up on ultrasound. Just goes to show you that even with the latest technology, they still don't always know what's going on in there until they actually go in! I hope your path. report come back just fine. The majority do. Are the symptoms you had prior to surgery gone now? (i.e., compression, etc.?) Should I ask for an anti-nausea pill before surgery?
Again, so glad everything went well! I will post as soon as I feel up to it following my surgery! (Okay, I am a little nervous now! )
I had a TT with a 1-inch incision (no inflammation, early Hashi's). My doctors postponed medication a week until the pathology was in as I had had a suspicious nodule and three other smaller unbiopsied nodules in the other lobe. After it came back as papillary cancer in both lobes, I went on the LID diet for an additional three weeks, took no medicine, had the RAI tracer scan and then treatment course, waited two more days and then started Sythroid for the first time ever at 150. I then had one more follow-up scan the following week. Now I'm just following with the endo to get regulated. I'm still on the original 150 dose and getting checked for a second time in mid-February.
Congratulations Lyse! I'm so glad that is behind you now. Isn't amazing how much better you feel without that stupid gland in there? Like you, I started at 100 mcg the day after surgery. I am still on that dose, feel terrific, and go in for my first blood work on February 1st. I will be interested to see where my levels are. Take it easy and keep us posted on your recovery.
As far as my throat hurting, the first 24 hours my throat felt as if I had a very bad cold and swallowing was a challenge but from what I understand that is because if being intubated and has nothing to do with the thyroidectomy. Also the back of the roof of my mouth felt like it had been scratched, that I think was also part of the intubation. Having trouble coughing is because of the muscles they need to get out of the way to get to the thyroid. They do the horizontal incision in the skin but then they do a vertical insicion inside in order to move the muscles aside to be able to get to the gland. Those muscles are part of what you use when you cough. But that has already gotten better.
My voice is starting to sound more like my own, but I still have no projection. As soon as I try to talk louder than a certain volume, it just goes out on me.
Energy-wise, it's getting better everyday. I just went to the grocery store and I did some light housework (emptied out the dishwasher and washed the baby bottle) but for the most part I'm hanging out in bed reading or watching TV. It also depends if you need a lot of pain medication, because that makes you drowsy.
The compression is completely gone, so is the pain I was feelling in my neck muscles towards and all the way down to my shoulder and all the way up to my ears! All gone! I'm not aware of my collar bone constantly like I used to. And I don't feel like I have a golf ball in my throat everytime I swallow.
About the anti-nausea medication before surgery, I guess it depends on each hospital but at Phoenixville they give it to you if you have had a prior bad reaction, but since I had never had general anesthesia, I couldn't know. I would ask them, it won't hurt you if they give it to you and you didn't need it. They simply inject it in the IV and if it can save you from that unpleasantness, more power to you.
All in all my impression is that it is a relatively easy surgery to get over and the instant positive results from it far outweigh any discomfort. Just tell yourself that the first 24 hours are the worse, it then just gets better. It's true that it felt good to be home in my own bed and my own pajamas!
Take care of yourself and let me know how you are doing as soon as you feel up to it. And remember you'll be fine!
congrats on your surgery, i only wish i knew all this stuff a year ago before my tt, my doctor stapled mt insicion shut with 15 staples for 10 days, what the hell kinda closure is that.and i ended up loosing my voice for 3 months along with the ability to swallow and cough, well that is the difference of doing your homework for surgeons and asking questions something i clearly didn't do, if i was here earlier i would of known.thats what i like about this board it is very imformative. so let my mistake be a message to all facing surgery, do your homework!
It is so good to know it is all behind you, isn't it?
I liked your account as it was just like mine.................I am so glad that you too found it to be a relatively easy surgery. I didn't get sick but I had several prior surgeries and knew I didn't get sick from anesthesia. So many folks do, it is a shame.
I had a "morohine migraine", is that what you had? Oh, that was the worst part of the whole thing for me. I had told them specifically before surgery I did NOT want a morphine pump because I cannot tolerate that stuff but I woke up with one anyway and sure enough it made me very, very sick. I only took Lortab and some muscle relaxers to relax my neck muscles, oh, they work better than anything because they totally relax all that surgery area and then there is no pain. My favorite pain reliever was my ice!
I started out on .75 of synthroid because before surgery I couldn't tolerate any thyroid meds but now only 5 months later I am up to 225mcgs with 250mcgs every other day and I also started on Cytomel ( t3) in the second week after surgery. I was up to my current dose by the 12th week. My dr was very proactive in preventing any hypo from setting in and it sure did me well, because I have not had one symptom since.
I too was freezing after surgery and mine was always a need for more meds. It takes your body about 2 weeks, then you will really start to notice a change. I can't really describe it, but you are recovered and yet you have this internal feeling you need more meds..................my surgeon did it this way............if I had one new symptom come up he had me call him........he would make sure my calcium was normal and then he would up my dose............so if I had a hypo symptom it was taken care of all in about 3 days. It really made a difference in my recovery. I had a neighbor who had her TT 2 years prior and she is still hypo and fighting her dr and here I was only 12 weeks post op and on top of the world. It is all in the replacement now.
Oh, doesn't that shower feel so good after being in the hospital? I didn't have any bandages so I got mine wet the next day.
I hope in the next few weeks you just bounce off the walls with health like I did because you don't realize how sick those diseased thyroids make us. I was so well I could hardly contain myself......hahaha I was mowing the lawn by 6 weeks. My srugeon had a fit but I tried to explain to him after 5 years of being so, so sick I was so healthy I just couldn't believe how I had found my old self again.
Keep us posted on things......................
It will be fine!!!!! Please, let us know how it all goes and know we are all here waiting for you and all can relate to your fears and nerves!
There are so many of us here now who have had that thing out and it just amazes me how good we all feel. It is a shame that some dr's don't do their patients justice and take the thing out. As long as a dr is smart enough to replace you right there really isn't any problem and it can give a person their life back.
Well done to you!! Im far from a newbie but youve made me feel more relaxed about having the surgery. Ive done meds for graves now for nearly 19 months and having problems again and l know it HAS to come out before long ive had surgery offered to me on every endo visit but l am terrified l think its the thought of 'dying' anesthetics and all that not them actually cutting my throat! I suppose this is a normal fear eh? I think your all blinking marvellous and really great to come back here and tell it how it is ........ l bet it is so true when its gone you never realised just how ill you were! Good luck all xxx ps will think of you thyroid girl x
Hon, if you are still so sick, get it out............you will be amazed how good you will feel with all that gone. You can get well so much quicker with just meds than with the meds/thyroid combo.
If you have any fears of surgery this is the place to come!! Just ask anything, we are glad to let you know how it was for us...............we have all been on the waiting end of the surgery game.
awwwwww thank you so much l am sick of feeling ill today ive got stabby pains in my upper sides feel drained and slow you never know where you are with this crap 1 minute your up next your down it is a roller coaster without a doubt l think l want to but lm so scared lm scared to even go to the dentists! Thats where my troubles all began........... long story l have posted about it a few times if l had no choice but to either A. go to the dentists or B. get the thyroid out ld get it out lol lve spent approx the last 8 years feeling like pooh lm going to have to do some serious thinking lm due a blood test 1st week in feb endo end of march providing blood comes back ok in feb if not l have to see him straight away l honestly dont think l can continue the med way much longer all,the long ive been a one off unique patient.. freaky lab results etc etc lve baffled my endo and his registrar it took some doing but they got me into 'normal ranges' but l dont stay in them long.. lm hoping my last blood was hyper through stress and period been due (bad pmt) and has gone back to normal,lm mixed up here l really dont know what to do. I wont bore you any longer like l said l think you lot are great and it really does help me each time l see a post of someone whose done it and come back to tell the tale. Thank you all once again will keep watching the posts xx luv niecsey xx
I know you have had a hard time.................if you decide to do the surgery.......we can all tell our stories again for you and you can ask as many questions of us til you feel ready to do it....................
Hi Karen and once again a big thank you x your all S and l wish you all a speedy superfast healthy recovery and life!!! Will keep in touch and up to date just a quick note im exhausted just realised lm sleeping more lately last week or so needing a nap etc weird but when l get up to move l feel like im in a heavy sack (slow like/ as if its an effort? dont think ive experienced this before!) never mind lol take care all and thank you your all the bees knees xxx