Thyroid surgery pain?

Thyroid surgery pain?

Postby Butterfly » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:19 am

I’m going to have thyroid surgery in a few weeks. My entire thyroid is getting removed (papillary carcinoma.) The surgeon talked about the procedure and showed me pictures. The scars and staples look painful. This whole thyroid cancer really scares me. How painful is the surgery and recovery?
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Re: Thyroid surgery pain?

Postby Jane443 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:35 am

I’m not going to lie, your neck will be sore. When I had my thyroid surgery the incision was about 3 inches. There was also a tube that drained fluid out for a day. I stayed in the hospital for two days for recovery. I was glad to get out! The food in the hospital was just terrible.

The doctor gave me pain medication, percocet. That knocked the pain out for days. Though I sort of got nauseated with percocet so I switch to just Tylenol a few days after my surgery. That seemed to work just fine.

My neck was very bruised for a few weeks after surgery. But it eventually healed up well with only a scar. I have heard one could use vitamin E oil to help reduce scaring. I didn’t use it, wish I did. If I wear a V neck shirt my scar is easily seen.
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Re: Thyroid surgery pain?

Postby EastCoast » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:38 am

I had the minimally invasive procedure, about 1 inch cut and no staples. The surgeon glued my incision. Unfortunately, I had to have two surgeries. My initial surgery they took out the thyroid nodule. Then it I was diagnosed with papillary cancer so two days later then took out the entire thyroid. Even with the minimally invasive technique my neck was sore and swollen. After about 3 days after my surgery it was feeling really good.

I was also given pain medications and it made me nauseated or maybe it was all the general anesthesia. I remember feeling sick to my stomach for a few days. The doctors also gave me medication for my nausea.

Overall, the pain was minimal. I had the minimally invasive surgical technique not the classic technique so this may have helped my recovery.
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Re: Thyroid surgery pain?

Postby Rose » Sat May 02, 2009 1:42 am

I had a complete thyroidectomy surgery in the early 90s. I remember it being painful for a couple weeks. The scar was large because the surgeon did a neck disection and removed some lymph nodes. It's like I have a happy face on my neck. It took awhile to adjust to the scar, but it's better to have a scar than cancer. The doctor will give you pain medication so you should be too uncomfortable. God bless.
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Re: Thyroid surgery pain?

Postby Pleidies » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:05 am

I had my thyroid removed on July 30th, and am pretty much recovered by now.
My incision never hurt very much at all - it was really just the anesthesia that caused problems. I had a sensitive tummy and needed to sleep a bunch for the first few days. I spent most of my time sleeping on my back for that time since my neck was a little tender, but by the end of the week I was able to sleep in other positions. It didn't have much bruising. They removed the entire thyroid, but my scar is pretty small - about 2". There's some swelling - kindof a lump under the incision - but I'm told that will go down. It doesn't hurt. My surgeon told me not to stretch my neck back too far (as in certain yoga positions) but other than that, life can proceed as normal. Hooray!
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Re: Thyroid surgery pain?

Postby tiffhere » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:52 am

I just had a total done 4 days ago - thurs, oct. 8. It was definitely sore the first couple days, but the worse was about 12 hours after surgery in my hospital room. I had to ask for more morphine to help me sleep. The majority of pain I've experienced has been simple swallowing. The dr said because of the tube during surgery. It hurt to swallow water! Getting anything done was a real challenge while at the hospital.

However, by the third day home (today) I've been able to eat normal foods. And the incision itself doesn't really hurt that bad. It's sore if you bump it (which I have accidentally done about 12 times), but it doesn't ache or anything. But just a warning - sneezing SUCKS. If you have allergies be sure to dust the crap out of your room before coming back from surgery!!!! I live in a ground floor apartment in nyc, and people smoke outside of the building....and smoke makes me sneeze - OUCH!

That said, I took ONE vicatin the day I got home, and then it made me throw up. I haven't taken any pain meds since. Well, I took 2 extra strength tylenol because i had a headache. Nothing to do with the incision.

The majority of my discomfort was from the anesthesia (like another person reported). When they moved me in my bed from recovery to the room for my overnight stay, I immediately started puking. And it hurt pretty bad. I was crying. But the next day I was smiling and happy to leave the hospital - and within 2 days I could swallow food without wincing.

Good luck! While the hospital part sucked a little, it was still an adventure. I felt lucky that I had ONLY had thyroid surgery as I was drifting in and out in the recovery room and hearing the doctors recite what the poor recovering patients around me had just had done! And the at-home recovery is going better than I had expected. :P
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