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When to start thyroid hormone medicine after total thyroidectomy
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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When to start thyroid hormone medicine after total thyroidectomy

My father has gone through total Thyroidectomy on 16 Sept 2010 and he is currently going through Radiation therapy.  The doctor has not yet started any thyroid hormone replacement medicine.  They are giving him Calcium and Vitamin D.  He is getting very weak as a result of Radiation and I am concerned if absence of thyroid hormone could be contributing to his condition?  What is typical lead time between surgery and body needing replacement thyroid hormone?

Muneesh
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Usually it takes about 7-10 days for the thyroid levels to drop significantly.
It's been about 5-6 weeks for your dad, so this is severe hypothyroidism at this time.
Once we give I-131 (one dose by mouth about 6 weeks after surgery) then we restart (start) thyroid medication within 1-2 days.
Would discuss with his doctors as this is a very long time for an older person to be without thyroid medication....
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
Sarasota, FL
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