Thyroid surgery is done through an incision (surgical cut) in the lower part of the front of your neck. It takes about 2 to 3 hours. During your surgery, your surgeon will examine your whole thyroid gland and remove the parts that have cancer.
How serious is thyroid cancer surgery?
Potential complications of thyroid surgery include: Temporary or permanent hoarseness or loss of voice. This can happen if the larynx (voice box) or windpipe is irritated by the breathing tube that was used during surgery. It may also occur if the nerves to the larynx (or vocal cords) are damaged during surgery.
Is thyroid surgery a major surgery?
A thyroidectomy is a treatment for a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy is a common but major surgery with serious risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options.
How long is recovery after thyroid cancer surgery?
Most people take 1 to 2 weeks off to recover. You should not drive for at least a week. There are no other restrictions. Depending on the amount of thyroid tissue that was removed and the reason for your surgery, you may be placed on thyroid hormone (Synthroid or Cytomel).
How urgent is thyroid cancer surgery?
Don’t rush into surgery
Except for the most aggressive thyroid cancers (such as anaplastic thyroid cancer), these cancers are typically slow-growing. Even when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, there’s generally not an urgent need for surgery.
Does thyroid removal shorten life expectancy?
We have also shown that treatment per se (thyroidectomy, high-dose radioactive iodine and thyroid hormone medication) is safe and does not shorten life expectancy. Nonetheless, it remains important to realise that patients with persistent disease have a median standardised survival time of only 60%, independent of age.
Can you talk after thyroid surgery?
Voice. Your voice may be hoarse or weak at first because the surgery took place near the voice box but usually recovers within weeks. Some patients also notice a change in the pitch of their voices that affects singing. Rarely these changes are permanent.
How long do you stay in hospital after thyroid surgery?
In the case of thyroid and parathyroid surgery, the risk is 1 in 300 patients (much less than 1%). Because of this rare chance of bleeding, we keep you in the hospital for 4 to 6 hours after the operation for observation and in certain cases may observe you overnight in the hospital.
What is life like after thyroid removal?
For most patients, walking and normal routines can resume the day after the operation, but vigorous activity and heavy lifting are not recommended for two weeks. Depending on their job type, most people will need to take 1-2 weeks off work after thyroid surgery.
Will I gain weight after thyroid removal?
Following thyroid surgery, patients often complain of weight gain, even when they have achieved biochemical euthyroidism.
Can you die during thyroid surgery?
Although deaths related to thyroid surgery are uncommon (approximating 7 deaths per 10,000 operations), patients may feel like their lives may be permanently altered from a surgery that we perceive as routine.
Where Does thyroid cancer spread first?
Most patients with thyroid cancer have the cancer contained in the thyroid at the time of diagnosis. About 30% will have metastatic cancer, with most having spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes in the neck and only 1-4% having spread of the cancer outside of the neck to other organs such as the lungs and bone.
Can you live a normal life after thyroid cancer?
The bottom line is that most thyroid cancers are papillary thyroid cancer, and this is one of the most curable cancers of all cancers. More than 98% of patients with papillary thyroid cancer remain alive after five years.
Do you need chemo for thyroid cancer?
Chemotherapy is seldom helpful for most types of thyroid cancer, but fortunately it is not needed in most cases. It is often combined with external beam radiation therapy for anaplastic thyroid cancer and is sometimes used for other advanced cancers that no longer respond to other treatments.
Where do they cut you for thyroid surgery?
During the procedure
Once you’re unconscious, the surgeon makes a cut (incision) low in the center of your neck. It can often be placed in a skin crease where it will be difficult to see after the incision heals. All or part of the thyroid gland is then removed, depending on the reason for the surgery.
What can I expect after thyroid cancer surgery?
After a thyroid lobectomy, you’ll need to have your thyroid hormone levels checked and will be prescribed a thyroid hormone replacement, if needed. In the weeks after your thyroid surgery, you may have neck pain, soreness of your vocal chords or a weak voice. These symptoms are usually temporary.