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Doctor insights on: Partial Thyroidectomy Side Effects

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Side effects of thyroidectomy - any possible bad things?

Side effects of thyroidectomy - any possible bad things?

Thyroidectomy: This would not be done unless absolutely necessary. Any surgery can have complications such as infection swelling etc. Later complications can come from scarring and the need for thyroid medication for the rest of your life - you could not be without it ever! Review with the surgeon or at least get a second opinion if you are not sure!

Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
370 Doctors shared insights

Thyroidectomy (Definition)

Is the surgical removal ...Read more


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I'm having a thyroidectomy and I'm worried about side effects. What are common ones?

I'm having a thyroidectomy and I'm worried about side effects. What are common ones?

The common ones: Besides the usual bleeding, infection, and excess scarring (less than 1%) that can happen anytime you have an incision through the skin, the most common side effects of thyroid surgery are voice changes (5-10%) and low calcium (10% for total thyroidectomies). These are usually transient - they go away. Getting your thyroid hormone balanced after surgery can be tricky in some patients.

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What are the side effects of complete thyroidectomy? Any alteration in body weight?

What are the side effects of complete thyroidectomy? Any alteration in body weight?

Hypothyroidism: Patients who had total thyroidectomy might develop hypothyroidism. Symptoms are usually associated with slower metabolism which include slow heart rate, fatigue, weakness, constipation, anemia/low blood counts. Patients are kept on a daily thyroid medication to prevent this. Hope this helps.

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Is standardize black cohosh safe to use for menepause symptoms? On Levrothroxine 125 mg in AM. Total Thyroidectomy and celexa (citalopram) Any Side effects?

Is standardize black cohosh safe to use for menepause symptoms? On Levrothroxine 125 mg in AM. Total Thyroidectomy and celexa (citalopram) Any Side effects?

Safe but effective?: To date, the use of the herbal medication, black cohash, used as directed, 20mg daily, has been safe but recent large randomized studies have not shown it to be statistically effective in relieving menopausal symptoms. Like other herbal medications, the long term use of these drugs has not been throughly studied. There is no known contraindication using black cohosh with your other medications.

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I had thyroid cancer less than a cm big and had a partial thyroidectomy. What are the chances that cancer could return/is already on the other side?

I had thyroid cancer less than a cm big and had a partial thyroidectomy. What are the chances that cancer could return/is already on the other side?

Yes: Thyroid cancer may come back (recur). Unlike other types of recurrent cancer, recurrent thyroid cancer is often cured, especially if it has spread only to the lymph nodes in the neck.Recurrent thyroid cancer or thyroid cancer that has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body may be treated with surgery, radioactive iodine, radiation, or chemotherapy.

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I had a partial thyroidectomy and the radioactive iodine treatment for the other side due to goiter-nodule with small cancer. Synthroid (thyroxine) reduced-why?

I had a partial thyroidectomy and the radioactive iodine treatment for the other side due to goiter-nodule with small cancer. Synthroid (thyroxine) reduced-why?

For RAI to Work: The overall treatment is a little confusing as cancer is usually surgically removed, but there are a few reasons to lower your Synthroid (thyroxine). It may be held for a while so your left over thyroid tries to work and will suck up the RAI. The other reason is when the thyroid cells die they will release thyroid hormone. This could temp make you hyperthyroid. Eventually your dose will be adjusted again.

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What are the effects of a partial thyroidectomy?

What are the effects of a partial thyroidectomy?

It removes: A portion of your thyroid. You will definitely need life-long replacement with brand name T4 after the surgery. There are some risks, including potential damage to laryngeal nerve and parathyroid glands, but risks should be minimal with a good surgeon. Depends upon the indication for the surgery in the first place.

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I'm considering surgery to treat my overactive thyroid as the medication is not improving it, are there any dangerous side effects of thyroidectomy?

I'm considering surgery to treat my overactive thyroid as the medication is not improving it, are there any dangerous side effects of thyroidectomy?

Low risk: Risks are bleeding, infection, damage to nerve to voice box (1%), scar (100% but well hidden), low thyroid (100%--you will need thyroid hormone), low calcium--common but usually does not need treatment and recovers normally--rarely is very severe.

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I am losing weight after partial thyroidectomy, is this ok?

I am losing weight after partial thyroidectomy, is this ok?

Variable: I think it would depend on other health issues. Are you already underweight? Are there other symptoms? Are you on thyroid hormone supplementation? What is your TSH level?

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My son had a partial thyroidectomy done two days ago. How would he find out of the nodule removed was hot or cold?

My son had a partial thyroidectomy done two days ago. How would he find out of the nodule removed was hot or cold?

Not important now: During the study phase, knowing if a nodule is hot or cold helps to better characterize possible etiologies of the nodule in search of a diagnosis. A thyroid uptake & scan is noninvasive and used for this purpose. However, after a partial thyroidectomy, the tissue specimen is sent for direct visualization (histopathology) for a final diagnosis obviating the need of a thyroid scan.

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I had a hemi thyroidectomy (right side) because I had a tumor. Shouldn't I be on medication if now the left one is enlarged and overcompensating? I

I had a hemi thyroidectomy (right side) because I had a tumor. Shouldn't I be on medication if now the left one is enlarged and overcompensating? I

Need Blood Test/ultr: You need a ultrasound and tsh, freet4, T3 (liothyronine) levels and you may or may not need a boipsy of the left lobe of thyroid to find the proper treatment consult your endocrinologist if you have not done so.

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What happens to the thyroid after a partial thyroidectomy?

Usually nothing: About 75-80% of people who get a partial thyroidectomy remain euthyroid (have normal thyroid hormone levels) after surgery. About 20+% will need extra thyroid supplementation with thyroid hormone pills. I check everyone's thyroid function about 4-5 weeks after surgery. People may have a higher risk of hypothyroidism (low thyroid) later in life that would need thyrpid hormone supplementation.

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I had a partial thyroidectomy in 03, I had my 2nd child in 05, my levels have been off an I've gained a lot of weight. How can I correct this problem?

I had a partial thyroidectomy in 03, I had my 2nd child in 05, my levels have been off an I've gained a lot of weight. How can I correct this problem?

Hypothyroidism: See you primary care doctor for blood test to confirm your under active thyroid condition. Prescription of thyroid replacement hormone pill will correct the problem!

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How long after my partial thyroidectomy will my hormone levels move to normal?

How long after my partial thyroidectomy will my hormone levels move to normal?

Depends on amount: Most will return to normal within 2w, some never do and a supplement may be necessary. If your pre surgery TSH was <2, and 4wafter surgery it is >4, I would recommend supplement.

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If you have tsi in your blood, will a partial thyroidectomy control it or reduce it? Does exercise reduce it?

If you have tsi in your blood, will a partial thyroidectomy control it or reduce it? Does exercise reduce it?

No: Partial thyroidectomy will not treat a high tsi level. It indicates autoimmune disease. Exercise is not a treatment for high tsi either. Main treatment is thyroidectomy or i-131 ablation since those are the only cure for graves' disease.