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Old 01-22-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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What should I expect Post-Op??

Ok...I have found an ENT that I absolutely love. He went over my labs and symptoms and has decided to go for a full thyroidectomy. Surgery is scheduled for the week of February 1st. Of course I am nervous, but I am also feeling like this might be an end to 9 years of being told nothing was wrong.

I am looking for any comments from people who have had a FULL thryoidectomy about what I can expect to feel like and anything else after surgery. When I should go back to feeling like myself and any other advice you can offer. Thanks so much!!!!

 
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

I had my thyroid removed 6 years ago--on feb 1, for thyroid cancer. I had a great surgeon, I stayed overnight in the hospital, but was up and about pretty soon after the surgery. It sounds like you have a great surgeon---whom you like, so all should go smoothly.

You sound like you have a great attitude, and you should do very well. There have been people that have had overgrown diseased thyroids removed on here (my mother in law had this done) and live long and wonderful lives afterwards.

I highly recommend---tylenol pm for sleeping in the week after surgery, and soups, and of course, ice cream---these all made me comfy within the few days after surgery.

Hope all goes well!

 
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Thank you so much for the advice Reece. I am so thankful that I finally found a doctor who is not dismissing any of my symptoms. I am very nervous about the surgery, as anyone would be, so I thought asking about experiences would ease some of the tention a little. I am perfectly fine with an ice cream diet!!!

 
Old 01-23-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Hi sleepyallday,

I just posted a similar one, but I am asking for feedback on having this procedure done. Did you go through medication(s) first to see if it resolved the problem before deciding on surgery?

I'm still weighing my options at this time and will be very interested in seeing what others share about Post-Op.

Thanks

 
Old 01-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking4aAnswer View Post
Hi sleepyallday,

I just posted a similar one, but I am asking for feedback on having this procedure done. Did you go through medication(s) first to see if it resolved the problem before deciding on surgery?

I'm still weighing my options at this time and will be very interested in seeing what others share about Post-Op.

Thanks
Hello Looking4aAnswer,

I will find out all the details about my surgery this Weds (Jan 26), so I will definitely share whatever information I have been given with you. I have never been on any types of medication for my thyroid. I was pushed off about it for quite a few years now and ended up developing a goiter. I was told even with medications, the goitre is not going to go away and since it is now causing troubles with my breathing, it has to go out. I was told by my ENT that from his personal experience, he finds it so much easier to have thyroid surgery on those who have not been on Synthroid.

Were you given a choice on having or not having surgery??

 
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

I just had my TT on Thursday. I read a LOT of boards before going in and promised myself I would do whatever I could to contribute and hopefully help people after my experience.

I freaked out when getting my IV because I have anxiety about relatively minor things. Once the IV was in, and I got over that, it was really fine! Here I am just three days later and not even taking Tylenol. Just tired and pretty much don't have a voice. . .which should resolve itself eventually.

Here are some little tips that have made a big difference, in no particular order of importance.

1) Wear a shirt that buttons home from the hospital.
2) Have comfort foods--like your favorite ice cream--waiting for you.
3) This one is huge, and it took almost 24 hours for a nurse to give me this advice. When you try to swallow, tuck your chin in. If not, you may feel like you're choking, and it's really hard to cough. That swallowing tip really has made a big difference!
4) Keep a rolled-up towel around your neck when you're at home resting and sleeping. It gives a lot of support. I haven't slept in bed yet. We don't have a recliner, but I am good on the couch as long as I have a ton of pillows to tuck this way and that around my neck to give me support and let me sleep.
5) If your doc hasn't already recommended this, do a lot of neck stretching exercises before the surgery. I didn't have any muscle pain or spasms at all after the surgery because I stretched a lot before hand.
6) Have a white board on hand. My voice isn't really working, and even whispering can be a little exhausting. It's been great just jotting things down to people on the board, and my kids think it's pretty amusing.

Good luck--if I can do it, anyone can. You may PM me with any other questions. I am only a few days out of this, so I am no expert, but everything is fresh in my mind!

 
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Poetmom,

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all of your information. I read the boards a great deal, but it is so much nicer having an answer from someone who has just gone through it. You have given a lot of great advice that I will definitely remember for when my surgery is done. I love the idea of a white board, since I have children at home and I figured I would have no voice. Glad to hear you are doing so well so close to being done. How long did you spend in the hospital after surgery??

Best of luck in your recovery and I hope you feel back to normal shortly!!!

 
Old 01-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Hi sleepyallday,

Anytime! I was so nervous about this surgery, but reading about it beforehand removed a lot of the mystery and helped me stay relatively calm. Regarding the hospital, I was in there for 26 hours. The first night they just let me eat clear liquids. I was ravenously hungry from fasting for the surgery, so they brought me a ton of jello. Then a nice nurse brought me pudding! They gave me a sleeping pill for that first night and kept me on oxygen so I would sleep a little more easily. The next morning I had an omlette and pancakes for breakfast. For the most part I was on Tylenol, but a couple times I asked for the heavier stuff. Still, the pain was never that bad. Will some one be around to help you with the kids?

Best wishes!

 
Old 01-23-2011, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Hello Looking4aAnswer,

I will find out all the details about my surgery this Weds (Jan 26), so I will definitely share whatever information I have been given with you. I have never been on any types of medication for my thyroid. I was pushed off about it for quite a few years now and ended up developing a goiter. I was told even with medications, the goitre is not going to go away and since it is now causing troubles with my breathing, it has to go out. I was told by my ENT that from his personal experience, he finds it so much easier to have thyroid surgery on those who have not been on Synthroid.

Were you given a choice on having or not having surgery??

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Hi sleepyallday,

I would greatly appreciate your feedback on this. The physician did say you would be taking medications after the surgery, correct? Oh great. I wonder why it's an easier process for "those who have not been on Synthroid", because I wonder if the same thing holds for Armour.

I'm taking some tough classes this quarter. It's a 12 week process and I am starting on Week Eight tomorrow and I am SO looking forward to having it done. I'm nearing completion of my Masters degree and this thyroid stuff has been interfering big time.

A choice for surgery? Let's see...as soon as I walked into his office he stated, "So, when do you want to set this up for surgery?" The second time he did the same thing. I was trying to explore other areas of treatment as opposed to the surgery and to be honest, he made me nervous.

Thanks again!

 
Old 01-23-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Quote:
Originally Posted by poetmom View Post
I just had my TT on Thursday. I read a LOT of boards before going in and promised myself I would do whatever I could to contribute and hopefully help people after my experience.

I freaked out when getting my IV because I have anxiety about relatively minor things. Once the IV was in, and I got over that, it was really fine! Here I am just three days later and not even taking Tylenol. Just tired and pretty much don't have a voice. . .which should resolve itself eventually.

Here are some little tips that have made a big difference, in no particular order of importance.

1) Wear a shirt that buttons home from the hospital.
2) Have comfort foods--like your favorite ice cream--waiting for you.
3) This one is huge, and it took almost 24 hours for a nurse to give me this advice. When you try to swallow, tuck your chin in. If not, you may feel like you're choking, and it's really hard to cough. That swallowing tip really has made a big difference!
4) Keep a rolled-up towel around your neck when you're at home resting and sleeping. It gives a lot of support. I haven't slept in bed yet. We don't have a recliner, but I am good on the couch as long as I have a ton of pillows to tuck this way and that around my neck to give me support and let me sleep.
5) If your doc hasn't already recommended this, do a lot of neck stretching exercises before the surgery. I didn't have any muscle pain or spasms at all after the surgery because I stretched a lot before hand.
6) Have a white board on hand. My voice isn't really working, and even whispering can be a little exhausting. It's been great just jotting things down to people on the board, and my kids think it's pretty amusing.

Good luck--if I can do it, anyone can. You may PM me with any other questions. I am only a few days out of this, so I am no expert, but everything is fresh in my mind!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~

Hi Poetmom,

Would you mind keeping me posted as well? I need to make a decision pretty soon and appreciate all your information on this.

Thanks

 
Old 01-23-2011, 10:06 PM   #11
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Sure! I guess I should say why I got the surgery. I've had a big nodule tracked for about 10 years. I've had 4 biopsies: 2 benign and 2 "unclear"--that whole follicular neoplasm thing. Since the nodule really grew in size over the past year, my endo recommended surgery. My thyroid has functioned fine. During my two pregnancies I was borderline hyper and took some medication for a couple of months. (I don't remember what it was.) Now I am on Levothyroxine. In a couple of days I'll find out if this was really cancer or not, and I know that will change things as I prep for the RAI. I'm not too stressed because I know it is so curable--more stressed about the logistics of what to do with the kids while I'm radioactive! Nice thing about the surgery is no more biopsies!

 
Old 01-23-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Quote:
Originally Posted by poetmom View Post
Hi sleepyallday,

Anytime! I was so nervous about this surgery, but reading about it beforehand removed a lot of the mystery and helped me stay relatively calm. Regarding the hospital, I was in there for 26 hours. The first night they just let me eat clear liquids. I was ravenously hungry from fasting for the surgery, so they brought me a ton of jello. Then a nice nurse brought me pudding! They gave me a sleeping pill for that first night and kept me on oxygen so I would sleep a little more easily. The next morning I had an omlette and pancakes for breakfast. For the most part I was on Tylenol, but a couple times I asked for the heavier stuff. Still, the pain was never that bad. Will some one be around to help you with the kids?

Best wishes!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Hi Poetmom,

Did you experience difficulty talking afterwards as well?

Thanks

 
Old 01-23-2011, 10:29 PM   #13
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Quote:
Originally Posted by poetmom View Post
Sure! I guess I should say why I got the surgery. I've had a big nodule tracked for about 10 years. I've had 4 biopsies: 2 benign and 2 "unclear"--that whole follicular neoplasm thing. Since the nodule really grew in size over the past year, my endo recommended surgery. My thyroid has functioned fine. During my two pregnancies I was borderline hyper and took some medication for a couple of months. (I don't remember what it was.) Now I am on Levothyroxine. In a couple of days I'll find out if this was really cancer or not, and I know that will change things as I prep for the RAI. I'm not too stressed because I know it is so curable--more stressed about the logistics of what to do with the kids while I'm radioactive! Nice thing about the surgery is no more biopsies!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Hi Poetmom,

I'm confused. You had surgery and are also going through the RAI as well?

Thanks

 
Old 01-24-2011, 06:45 AM   #14
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

No, the RAI is only if it is cancer. I won't know until the pathology results come back from the TT in a day or two. If it is, then I will do the RAI.

The talking (or lack thereof) is the worst part of all this. It's a bummer because I own my own tutoring business and will lose a lot of $ each week that I can't talk. There's nothing I can do, though, so I'm just trying to be patient and thankful that I don't have a life-threatening condition!

 
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #15
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Re: What should I expect Post-Op??

Hi postmom,

Oh absolutely! Your health is the highest priority.

My visit at the Drs. went well and he said we should wait and see in the next 6 weeks before deciding if surgery is a necessity, so I will keep waiting,,,

Thanks

 
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