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Partial Thyroidectomy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A partial thyroidectomy is surgery to remove part of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland makes hormones that regulate your metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. You may have a sore throat, hoarse voice, or difficulty swallowing after surgery. It is normal to have these problems for up to 6 months after a thyroidectomy.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Seek care immediately 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.

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.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Thyroid medicine may be needed daily to keep your thyroid hormone level steady.
  • 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.

Wound care:

Check the wound every day for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus. 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.

Supplements:

Ask your endocrinologist if you need to take calcium or vitamin D and how much to take.

© 2017 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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