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How long is the recovery for thyroid surgery?
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How long is the recovery for thyroid surgery?

I went to my endocronologists on Monday and he has referred me to a surgeon to have my thyroid nodule removed. It is benign and I had a biopsy last July.  It is causing me problems swallowing and breathing at night so he says it has to go. I am just wondering how long anyone has had to stay off work for this procedure. Last year I didn't get a vacation because I had major abdominal surgery and was off 6 weeks and right when I was planning a vacation this summer I find out I have to have another surgery.  If my time off isn't going to be that long I was going to plan a vacation within that time too so I can at least have some fun.
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561964_tn?1283802216
I had a partial done 5/1/08. It's been 2 1/2 months now. I recovered rather quickly. I was given the "OK" to return to work 2 weeks after surgery. I think it depends to on what kind of work you do. I sit at a computer all day, nothing strenuous at all. After about a month I was given the "OK" to work out. Which honestly, since the surgery I am always tired that I have no energy to work out.  Are you married, have small children? If so, then you will need help around the house and with the kids during your recup time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Linda. I am married but me and my hubby have grown kids that live on their own. I work at an office too and do computer work but I walk around a lot and may lift things at times. I was anticipating taking 2 weeks off anyway because I live in a rural area and my doctor is about 40 miles away from where I live. This lady that works in our office had the surgery and she was off 2 weeks as well and she is a classmate of mine. I have been on Weight Watchers and I walk and work out about 4 days a week or so. I don't mind slowing down a little bit though for my health. I had to do that last year. I had thyroid problems in 1999 and they gave me meds to take care of them but within the last year or so the nodule appeared and wouldn't go down. The surgeon I was referred to sent me all the paperwork that I need to complete before I go to him on Monday. I am praying that the surgery is in August so that way my honey can be with me because he might be starting a new job and I won't have anyone to take me around. How many days did you go without driving? My friend said she wasn't supposed to drive for 5 days. I have heard a week but doesn't it depend on the person?
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Avatar_f_tn
Are there any restrictions on flying? I travel a lot for work and I know some surgeries require at least a month off before flying.
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561964_tn?1283802216
Well, it was hard to turn my neck for about 2-3 weeks, so driving was quite challening. I didn't drive at all though for the first 2 weeks. I work from home so I don't drive that much. As for flying, I have no answer. You should check with your surgeon about that. You may experience light headedness just from getting out of the bed.
Oh, right after the surgery when they got me in my room, I had to pee constantly and had to get up for that.  I had to hold my neck because of the pain. You'll know what I'm talking about.  You never realize how much you use your neck muscles until you have this surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have to pee all the time now because I have HBP and take a diurectic with my pill every morning so I will probably not like that. Yeah you do use your neck muscles a lot. The nurse in the Drs. office told me I would be okay in 2 days but I wasn't buying that because everyone is different and your neck is too close to your head to not cause you any discomfort.  I will take how many days that the Dr. suggests plus extra for myself.  Did you have any troubling eating and swallowing right after the surgery? How long did you stay in the hospital. Sorry if I'm asking so many questions, I'm just curious about this.
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561964_tn?1283802216
I was on liquids only in the hospital (stayed for only 24 hrs). I so enjoyed the beef broth. The warmth felt good. My husband was able to stay with me since I was in a private room. If you get one too, you might want your husband to stay with you as well. He was a great help. He fed me. I also had jello which I don't like but I enjoyed it then as well. I do recommend driving so soon. I had to travel 2 1/2 hrs to the hospital where I had my surgery (we stayed a few nights) my husband drove.  the day I left the hospital it was straight to the hotel. There was no way I could make the trip back without passing out. I was on liquids for about 2 days, then added pudding and campbells soup at hand.   We went back to surgeon ( the 2 1/2 hr drive) 1 week after the surgery. No way I could have even driven 1 mile.  YOU CAN'T TURN YOUR NECK.  You don't want to get into an accident. It's not worth it. Any other questions do not hesitate to ask.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks a lot for the info.  Yeah my hubby will more than likely stay with me. He stayed with me last year when I had surgery 2 nights.  The hospital only had private rooms there. Anyway, Jello and pudding and soup are fine, I eat a lot of that now plus yogurt. Is there anything that you can't eat??? I am hoarse most of the time now and have problems even swallowing my on saliva so I am ready for this surgery so that I can get this lump feeling out of my throat.  I will have my hubby drive me no doubt. Last year I didn't drive for 6 whole weeks and I was about to go crazy but like you said an accident is not worth it. We had one back in 2004 and one of my discs in my neck is messed up anyway so I have to be careful with that. The two weeks off is looking better everyday. I will let the surgeon know about my neck and other injuries that I had that will play into this surgery as well.
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561964_tn?1283802216
I too had a car accident, back in 1999 and I ended up with 2 herniated discs in my neck, I think it's 5 and 6.
I didn't mention that to the docs thinking it's been so long did it really matter.  
I do have this hump on the top of back neck. I gotta do research to see what that is. I'm too young to osteo.
One thing, since my surgery, I have not been able to lift my head back. Feels like I am missing some skin on my front neck.  that might be attributing to the tight feeling I have in my throat now. I pray you don't have that. It is not enjoyable ( to put it nicely) to feel this "thing" in the thoat. almost like there is something stuck in my throat. don't want to scare you, but it could happen. So be prepared.  anything else, don't hesitate to ask.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well today I go to the Dr. to see when he will schedule my surgery. I have read a lot of posts on this site. Everyone is different.  I think my L3 and 5 or messed up in my neck so I will let the Dr. know about my accident in 2004 and how I have had neck and back pains since then. Anyway, I know God will see me through this. I talked to my primary Dr. today and she told me not to worry it shouldn't be that bad. I just want to make sure that I get the best of care and that I take the necessary time off to heal because I don't want to go from one problem to another. I live in the same town that I work and I'm about 1 mile from work, I could walk if it weren't so hot. Anyway, thanks for all your advice. Take care and God bless. I will post about my surgery when I find out this afternoon. I am leaving work early and won't be back.
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561964_tn?1283802216
Your very welcome. I am glad I could help. Oh,  a couple of other things I forgot to mention. Hope you read this before you have your surgery.
For a few weeks after the surgery, I could not do a "full" yawn.  If it happens to you, you'll know what I mean.  Also, it hurt when I sneezed.
I know these things don't seem like BIG things, but something you don't think would be affected.  
Keep me updated on your post surgery.  God bless.
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168348_tn?1379360675
It took me 2 weeks to feel decent and about 10 weeks to feel decent from the Synthroid and 1.5yrs to get fully regulated.

If I was working full time .. it would have been 2 weeks off for sure but others bounce back much more quickly.

WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY,

Cheryl
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for the info. I went to see the surgeon yesterday. My surgery is scheduled for August 6. He says the nodule is mostly on the right side so he will remove that and as much of the left side that is needed, if any. He told me that I should be off 2 weeks and that I can't drive for 5 days because I would have a stiff neck and not be able to move my head from side to side. I have to go back for a post op visit a week after the surgery. He also told me that I would be on thyroid meds for the rest of my life after this procedure. He told me he had done hundreds of this type of surgery and he will make sure that he protects my nerves attached to my voice box so I won't have permanent hoarseness from injury. This Dr. is very nice and he actually drew a picture of what he would remove and everything. I am just trying to get myself prepared mentally as well as physically for this procedure. Oh yeah, he also told me if they take the entire thyroid I would stay in the hospital over night for monitoring but if not I would just have it outpatient and go home after a few hours. Pray for me.
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168348_tn?1379360675
Haven't read the other posts but carrying the luggage and/or take on bags may be a challenge as those muscles are used and airport is alot to walk with them.  

C~
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