Surgery Two - Thyroidectomy

Because having my gallbladder out last month was just so fun, I’m going in next week to have my thyroid removed. It’s very large, impeding my swallowing and there’s a history of thyroid cancer in my immediate family (in the last year, two sisters and a nephew have had their thyroids removed - all the cool kids are doing it. Of the three, two had papillary carcinoma).

Anyway, this being Tennessee, my sinuses have decided to act up. I don’t have a sinus infection or anything, just a lot of sneezing and blowing, etc. Should that impact my surgery next week? Should I call the surgeon’s office and make sure they won’t want to reshedule? I really don’t want to do that - I’ve already arranged for the time off work, etc.

Any input from others who’ve had this surgery would be appreciated.


Not a doctor & usual caveats apply.

My girlfriend had a total thyroidectomy a few months ago. She was just getting over a heavy cold as the surgery date came up & was worried she’d have to reschedule, but they didn’t seem to see it as an issue. From what I could tell it wouldn’t affect the surgery at all, it was all down to whether the anesthetist was happy.

IANAD, also I haven’t had this particular surgery (I’ve had a lot of other operations).

Respiratory tract infections prior to general anaesthetics are not ideal.

A previous post on the subject

Not everything in that post applies because you’re not having abdominal surgery (so you should be much more mobile).

I would imagine that you will have a pre-op assessment by a doctor (in the UK it’s done by a junior doctor and then your anaesthetist does their own assessment) where they will determine if you are fit enough to go under.

If you’re concerned call the doctor, but, any problems should be picked up before you’re induced… the surgeon and anaesthetist really don’t want to do anything risky.

I ended up calling the surgeon’s office, and the answer was basically if I"m not running a fever, everything should be okay. If I am running a fever, they may add extra IV antibiotics during surgery. My regular doctor has called in an allergy script, too.

Thanks for the responses.


I had a partial thyroidectomy and it was a breeze. Pain scale was about a 2 or 3 out of 10 and that was due to trauma to my uvula from having the breathing tube stuck down my throat. I recovered with nothing more potent than OTC Tylenol.

Good luck.

Okay, this is what I’m worried about - my thyroid hasn’t been working right for the last couple of years. My primary care doctor has referred me for a thyroid ultrasound, and then to the endocrinologist. The thyroid is enlarged on one side, and yes sometimes it is impeding my breathing. I’m really afraid it’s cancer. :frowning: The ultrasound is scheduled for the 18th and the endo appt. is on the 29th; guess I’ll find out then. Good luck to you, St.Germain.

I had half mine out. My test results were normal, but during a regular checkup my doctor felt it, and found it swollen. I was in the hospital one night, no pain at all, then at home for a week and half time at work for another week. Really no hassle. Only night I have ever spent in the hospital in 55 years. It was a breeze.
Good luck to you!

Several years ago I had the right lobe of my thyroid removed. It had a nodule at least the size of a golf ball on it. As it happened, it was benign, but the endocrinologist did tell me that if one has to get cancer, thyroid is the kind to get. It’s most treatable and curable.

Anyway, to answer your question, I stayed one night in the hospital. I did fill the vicodin prescription I was given, but I didn’t need to take any. I did sleep on the recliner for a few night, since getting out of the waterbed put a bit of a strain on my neck muscles. I was back to normal activities in a few days, and the only problem I had was that I hadn’t thought about the neck muscles being involved. It’s amazing how often you use those muscles. I did have the odd twinge (I think nerve endings or something) for about six months, but nothing to get excited about. Felt like a needle being stuck into my neck, but it didn’t last long at a time.

Good luck with your surgery and recovery. I hope it’s completely uneventful.

My one sister still has voice issues six weeks after her surgery, but the other sister had no issues with her voice.

tarragon - I have a 2.5" nodule on my right side, over an inch on the left, plus some others. It’s really time to have it out - it’s like wearing a slightly-too-tight turtleneck. But many people just have enlarged thyorids without cancer, so I wouldn’t worry too much. And if it is cancer, better to know early and get it treated.

Thanks, again, everyone for your stories. I’m ready to have this finished. I find the dread beforehand is usually far worse than the actual whatever.