Thyroid Surgery Recovery
Having your thyroid operated on or even removed is one of the preferred treatment methods for a number of thyroid disorder affecting this particular part of the body. The thyroid is a gland found in the neck. As part of the endocrine system, it stores and creates hormones to distribute throughout the body, helping to regulate things like body temperature and heart rate. If cancer or another similar medical condition affects the thyroid, then having thyroid surgery will help to cure the problem. Thyroid surgery recovery times may vary depending on the age of the patient, and if any part of the thyroid is actually removed. In some cases, the entire gland may be removed from the body. This type of surgery is used to help treat thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, and nodules, a small growth on the gland itself.
Since the gland is located in the neck, it is important to monitor the patient closely following the procedure. This mean that the first 24 hours after the procedures will be spent in a hospital bed, where nurses, surgeons, and doctors can all keep an eye on you. Your diet will also be restricted for few days after the surgery. This portion of the thyroid surgery recovery period is designed to keep the patient hydrates and well nourished, but to avoid any discomfort that may arise from eating solid food too quickly. Solid food is normally restricted for at least 72 hours, with a liquid diet put in its place. This keeps tension and strain off the neck and help keep any of the fresh wound from reopening following the surgery.
For a minimum of two weeks, light work only will be allowed. The type of work a person is engaged in will determine if they can return to their place of employment or not. Almost everything we've discussed so far are basic surgery healing needs. When it comes to thyroid surgery recovery, there are some additional special requirements.
Eating and Drinking
While most surgeries will only require you to be on a liquid diet for a few days, it is advised that you should remain on that style of diet for up to seven days. Many patients who are recovering from thyroid surgery will experience a sore throat for several days following the procedure. This is either due to the procedure itself or the placement of the breathing tube during the operation. In any case, the severity of your symptoms along with your surgeons recommendations will be the determining factor as to when you can eat solid foods again.
You will be fitted with a drain following your surgery, and it is important that you keep this area dry and clean. Since fluid will build up in the area of the thyroid gland following the procedure, the drain will give that fluid an easy escape route. This drain will be in place for between one and seven days. Once removed, normal bathing and showering can be resumed.
Since the thyroid is a hormone producing gland, there are potential long term complications that can arise from having it operated on. A fluctuation of the hormone levels can lead to a changing of a person's voice, but this only happens in 1 out of every 250 surgeries. This occurred due to the hormonal changes the body encounters, almost forcing the person to go through a second puberty. Most thyroid surgery recovery procedures will involve the introduction of hormone supplements that will help replace the lost hormones. These hormones will likely be taken on a permanent basis to help maintain a natural metabolic balance.
Most of the thyroid surgery recovery procedures will depend on how much of the gland is removed and the age of the patient. The younger and healthier you are, the quicker the wound will naturally heal. Also, those who have the entire gland removed will need more hormonal therapy than those who only experience a partial removal.