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Doctor insights on: Total Thyroidectomy And Hypocalcemia

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Hi doctor. I had a thyroidectomy 24 days ago and have been on 150mcg of levothyroxine. I was feeling pretty good up until yesterday. I've been very nauseous and feel kind of shaky on the inside. I've exhibited some symptoms of hypocalcemia, do I need to

Hi doctor. I had a thyroidectomy 24 days ago and have been on 150mcg of levothyroxine. I was feeling pretty good up until yesterday. I've been very nauseous and feel kind of shaky on the inside.  I've exhibited some symptoms of hypocalcemia, do I need to

Symptoms: If your thyroid gland has been removed totally your parathyroid glands have probably also gone. The surgeon who did the work should know this! Have your primary doctor check your thyroid labs, your serum calcium, and serum parathyroid hormone levels. If your doctor(s) have ignored this - shame on them. ...Read more

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Hypocalcemia (Definition)

Hypocalcemia refers to low measured levels of calcium in the blood. Symptoms of hypocalcemia may include numbness/tinglng of he hands and mouth or cramping. In severe cases, one's ability to think may be impaired. Hypocalcemia may be due to poor diet, vit d deficiency, disorders of the parathryoid ...Read more


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What are good diets after thyroidectomy?

What are good diets after thyroidectomy?

Why thyroidectomy?: Hi. Was it thyroid cancer? Most likely reason for total thyroidectomy. Best diet: healthy one! Whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits & veggies, healthy oils (canola & olive), lean meats, nonfat dairy; little or no white flour, white rice, simple sugar, high fructose corn syrup. Best of luck with your thyroid cancer! ...Read more

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What's the recovery time from a thyroidectomy?

What's the recovery time from a thyroidectomy?

Normally a few days: For routine thyroid surgery, such as for graves disease or a benign nodule, surgery can be done on an outpatient basis and recovery is fairly fast. Hormone replacement begins immediately. For cancer surgery, the procedure may be more extensive and recovery may be longer. If there are complications, such as low blood calcium, or a hoarse voice, then other outpatient treatments will be needed. ...Read more

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My question is should I undergo thyroidectomy?

My question is should I undergo thyroidectomy?

What for?: There are many reasons to have a thyroidectomy: cancer, suspicious nodules, goiter or nodule with compressive symptoms, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism, genetic syndromes with high likelihood of cancer. You should be seen by a surgeon who does a lot of thyroid procedures and have a full discussion about your reasons. If you are having trouble deciding get a second opinion. ...Read more

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What are the common complications of thyroidectomy?

What are the common complications of thyroidectomy?

Depends: In experienced surgeon's hands the complications are minimal. For example my patients have a less than 1% incidence of hoarseness, infection or hematoma. The risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism is less than 1:1000 also in my hands. ...Read more

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How common is it for someone to need a thyroidectomy?

How common is it for someone to need a thyroidectomy?

Common: In this day & age where people are getting imaging studies more frequently, "incidental" thyroid nodules are found more easily, leading to more biopsy and more surgery. Approx 50, 000 new thyroid cancer cases are expected in 2011 resulting in approx 2000 deaths. The decision to proceed with surgery depends on discussion between you and your treating physicians (surgeon, pcp & endocrinologist). ...Read more

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Can a thyroidectomy cause vocal cord damage?

Can a thyroidectomy cause vocal cord damage?

Yes: Hi. The recurrent laryngeal nerves (RLN) run right by the thyroid on their way to the voice box. Sometimes a RLN has to be sacrificed doing thyroid cancer surgery; more often a surgeon with no business operating in that part of the body hits one (or both). Since you had a thyroidectomy, may I guess it was for cancer? Was the cancer outside the thyroid capsule? Good luck! ...Read more

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How does a thyroidectomy affect your thyroid levels?

How does a thyroidectomy affect your thyroid levels?

Thyroidectomy: If they did a complete thyroidectomy, your thyroid levels should be low; you should become hypothyroid and need to be on levothyroxine. However, sometimes surgeons do not do a complete thyroidectomy, depending on why the surgery was done. If they did a non-complete resection, but then the thyroid gland is not normal (eg. Hashimoto's), then you may get hypo even though there is tissue left behind ...Read more

Dr. William Culviner
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Thyroidectomy (Definition)

This is the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. It is generally performed for rumors of the gland, occasionally for enlarged and hyper functioning glands that do ...Read more