3 doctors weighed in:
What is it like to have a total thyroidectomy?
3 doctors weighed in

Dr. Matthew Hennig
Surgery - Thoracic
2 doctors agree
In brief: A routine surgery...
Will aim to remove all thyroid tissue.
This is done sometimes for goiter, thyroiditis, or cancer. There is typically a single, midline neck incision that is used for removal of the organ. Afterwards you may receive radioactive iodine to kill any cells that might have been missed. You will need thyroid replacement on a daily basis after the surgery for the rest of your life.

In brief: A routine surgery...
Will aim to remove all thyroid tissue.
This is done sometimes for goiter, thyroiditis, or cancer. There is typically a single, midline neck incision that is used for removal of the organ. Afterwards you may receive radioactive iodine to kill any cells that might have been missed. You will need thyroid replacement on a daily basis after the surgery for the rest of your life.
Dr. Matthew Hennig
Dr. Matthew Hennig
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Andy Chung
Depending on the reason for the total thyroidectomy and surgical approach taken, most patients are able to leave the hospital the following day assuming your blood calcium levels are stable (hypocalcemia may occur after total thyroidectomy). You may have a suction drain within the surgical bed and this is typically removed 1-3 days afterwards. Most patients are able to return to their normal routine within 1-2 weeks. Radioactive iodine may be indicated if the thyroid is removed due to cancer.
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