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Partial Thyroidectomy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A partial thyroidectomy is the removal of part of your thyroid. Your thyroid is a gland in the front lower part of your neck. The thyroid makes hormones that regulate your metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Smaller glands called parathyroids regulate the level of calcium in your blood. You have 4 parathyroids, located on the sides of your thyroid gland. Your parathyroids will not be removed during this surgery.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Medicines:

The following medicines may be ordered by your healthcare provider:

  • Pain medicine can help take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Thyroid medicine may be given if your thyroid hormone level is too low.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your endocrinologist or surgeon as directed:

You will need to return to have your wound checked and stitches removed. You may also need blood tests to monitor your calcium, parathyroid, and thyroid hormone levels. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Self-care:

  • Rest when you need to while you heal after surgery. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • Wound care: Carefully wash your skin near the incision wound area with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. You can use a mild body lotion to improve the scar.
  • Swallowing and voice changes: You may have a sore throat, hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing after surgery. These symptoms should go away after a few days.
  • Supplements: Ask your endocrinologist if you need to take calcium or vitamin D. Ask how much to take and how often to take it.

Contact your endocrinologist or surgeon if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You feel very tired and cold, gain weight for no reason, and your skin is very dry.
  • You vomit several times in a row.
  • Your incision is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have new voice weakness or hoarseness, or it is getting worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have sudden tingling or muscle cramps in your face, arm, or leg.
  • You have muscle spasms in your legs and feet that do not go away.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • You have sudden swelling in your neck or difficulty swallowing.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have a seizure.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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