How will I know what does a surgery to remove the thyroid consists of, recovery time, is it an outpatient procedure?
Thyroidectomy. Thyroid surgery involves removing either the entire thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy) or just one lobe (lobectomy). The incision is 2- 3 inches long and is placed across the front of the neck in a natural skin crease. If you have a lobectomy, you may be able to go home the same day. If you have a total thyroidectomy, you will stay in the hospital overnight so your calcium levels can be watched.
About 1 week. The surgery itself can last anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours depending on the complexity. Hospital stay is usually 1-2 days but some people are able to go home the same day. It is important to take it easy for about a week so as not to cause any wound problems. No heavy lifting during this recovery period. Common medications include thyroid hormone replacement, calcium, pain medications.
Maybe outpatient. There are many published series showing that total thyroidectomy can be safely performed as an outpatient. It depends upon local practices in your community, the reason for your surgery, whether you live close by, and whether there will be someone at home to watch you. Checking a parathormone level (PTH) a couple of hours after surgery is predictive of whether your calcium level will be a problem.