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having a total thyroidectomy Feb. 8 what to expect.
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having a total thyroidectomy Feb. 8 what to expect.

I am having a total thyroidectomy next month and I was wondering what to expect before and after surgery. The Dr. said he would probably put in two drains. What are they like and do they hurt taking them out they sound awful. He said I had to stay alnight in the hosp. to check calcium levels and if he took my parathyroid out he could put it in my arm.  Has anyone ever had that done? Thanks
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176557_tn?1222893911
I had a total thyroidectomy in May (Graves Disease).  I was surprised by how little pain I had and how quickly I recovered. The sore throat from the breathing tube was my only discomfort.

The surgeon told me I would have a drain at the incision site, but when I woke up, I had no drain, because there didn't seem to be much bleeding or other fluids when they closed the incision.  That was fine with me, and I had no problems.  I was also fortunate to not have any problems with my parathyroids. I stayed overnight in the hospital, had my calcium levels checked a few times and was home by 9:00 the next morning. I started driving the second day and went back to work a week after surgery.

The scar might look a little intimidating at first.  I found that mine looked much better after I took the steri strips off (10 days after surgery) and the purple ink used to mark the incision site finally washed off.  Until that time, I was a little worried about the "Frankenstein" look I was sporting. After 6 months, the scar was hardly noticeable, and I am no longer self conscious about it.

Good luck with your surgery.  I hope you find that waiting for the surgery is worse than the procedure itself!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi .Thyroid surgery was the easiest surgery I have had and I am veteran of many surgeries.My boobs aree the only spare parts I have left.
The scar fades so you hardly notice it.I had a drain,It was kinda gross but I cnat remember it hurting when they took it out.I hwas on some pretty good pain killers though.LOL
You will do fine with your TT.Keep coming here and we will see you through.
Love Venora
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158939_tn?1274918797
I liked the surgery so much I did it twice.  :-)

Actually I've had eight surgeries and those two were, by far, the easiest surgeries I've gone through.  I didn't need drains after the surgery and neither did the rest of the family members who had TTs.  My surgeon used a special instrument that was basically an electric scalpel that would cauterize the tissue as it cut (sealing off the blood vessels and minimizing bleeding).

I'm glad your surgeon is on the ball about the parathyroids - it seemed to catch my hospital staff off guard on my first surgery but they were on top of it after the family's other 6 ones.  :-)

I lost a parathyroid on the first surgery that couldn't be recovered but didn't on the second surgery.  Had calcium problems both times though.  I know they can be re-implanted  but haven't heard about the arm - pretty cool though.

The scar isn't bad and mine was practically invisible a year after each surgery.

You'll do fine!  Keep us posted.

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168348_tn?1379360675
There are different types of drains but it will be ok bcz they are very imp. part of healing.  The nurses told me they can tell immediately if there is internal bleeding and they minimize the risk of swelling that interferes with breathing.  HOnestly, I was so out of it the first day after surgery I didn't even realize the drain was in me or felt it in me or had an awareness of it.  It can hurt when they remove it; therefore, maybe ask their opinion before they do it and take something ahead of time if you *think* it may be of concern.

I only took painkillers right in the recovery room thru my IV .. only that one dosing .. then I've been ok with only Tylenol.

Cheryl .. 12 days post op 1/2 thyroidectomy
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi my daughter in Sept. late who is 21 now had graves so bad they did a lecture at Stanford University in Ca. Her heart rate ran in the 140 to 170 so she took a many medications to lead up to the surgery so she would not have a thyroid storm on the operating table. Now the goiter was 8 cc. and she is recovering well. Her parathyroids stayed in but we still have problems with calcium and today she was crying because she hates the feeling when the calcium dips. We have been to the emergecy room twice since but by the time we got there her calcium levels were ok..we took on the way and it is 20 miles to the hospital! So now she know the signs so she takes cacitroil and her calcium and they are still getting her thyroid meds to the correct levels. This has been a long process and hopefully she will get her levels right soon, she still takes 500mg calcium 3 times day and calcitroil 2 times day and one thyroid pill. It has been hard to space because you cannot take calcium with the thyroid meds. for at least 4 hours apart..so we are on a learning curve. Also shes only 21 so this is a unusual case to see this at such a young age..any advice out there??? Good luck to all of you who are getting total thyroidectomys!
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