Thyroid issues are not uncommon, and many people need thyroid surgery. Whether you need to have surgery because of cancer or you have issues with your metabolism, you likely have questions. This guide will answer some questions people have when they learn they need to have surgery.

Why Is Thyroid Surgery Necessary?

Your thyroid regulates hormones in your body, specifically those that help control your metabolism. A lot of issues can develop in your thyroid. For example, your thyroid can become enlarged, overactive, or develop a small lump. Sometimes, the thyroid can also develop cancer.

What Happens During Thyroid Surgery?

Thyroid surgery first requires an IV and general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep. While you are asleep, the doctor will make a small incision on your neck. The doctor may take out all or part of the thyroid gland. If the issue was nodules, the doctor will perform a lobectomy to remove them.

The doctor then closes the incision with tape or stitches. Some patients will still have a drain left at the incision site to remove fluid buildup. The doctor will remove this drain at a later time.

doctor showing a model of the thyroid gland for sugery

How Can You Prepare for Thyroid Surgery?

First, you need to talk to your doctor about medications and treatments you are currently using. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications before surgery to ensure that you don’t have any bad reactions to the surgery.

Additionally, your doctor may request that you not eat or drink in the hours leading up to surgery. You should also stop smoking before surgery to ensure that your body heals as quickly as possible. Smoking can actually delay healing and lead to infection.

What Is Recovery Like After Thyroid Surgery?

After you have surgery, the anesthesia may take several hours to wear off. The doctor may require that you stay at the surgery center for some time after monitoring your progress and recovery. Some people stay overnight and some go home after just a few hours.

While some people are nauseous after surgery, most can eat and drink afterward. Additionally, some people need to take hormone replacement medications after surgery if the doctor removed the entire thyroid. After all, the thyroid was previously managing a variety of hormones. Some people also exhibit signs of low calcium after surgery. Supplements can help with this problem.

Your doctor will typically prescribe medication for pain during your recovery. The risk of infection is relatively low, but a doctor could prescribe an antibiotic to ensure that infection does not occur.

Some patients worry about having a noticeable scar along their neck. In most cases, surgeons are able to use the natural creases of the neck to create a scarless appearance. In the first weeks of healing, you may notice a raised mark where the incision was.

While you should be able to perform some light stretches to ease soreness, you must wait for at least a week to perform strenuous exercise. The doctor may advise you to wait longer depending on your recovery.

Finally, take note that your voice be strained in the days after surgery. You may see changes in your voice that last long term, but hoarseness is short term.

Can Get Scarless Thyroid Surgery?

Through the advanced facilities at TSC – Rutherford, our surgeons can perform a scarless thyroid surgery, so you don’t have to worry about a post-operation scar.

thyroid surgery nashville tnWhat Should You Do If You Have Questions?

You should always work with a doctor you feel comfortable with. You should be comfortable asking your doctor questions about your upcoming surgery and diagnosis.

The Surgical Clinic offers thyroid surgery for those who need it. If you believe you may need a thyroid surgery or you have concerns about thyroid issues, call us today to learn more.

General surgeons in Greater Nashville

dr suhail allos best general surgeon in nashville at southern hills

Dr. Suhail Allos
General Surgeon
Southern Hills

best surgeon dr john boskind TSC surgeon

Dr. John Boskind
General Surgeon
Summit

dr rachel bryant general surgeon nashville

Dr. Rachel Bryant
General Surgeon
St. Thomas West

Dr. Mark Cooper breast surgeon best general surgeons downtown nashville dr mark cooper with the surgical clinic

Dr. Mark Cooper
General Surgeon
Downtown

dr patrick davis best bariatric and weight loss surgeon in nashville at southern hills

Dr. Patrick Davis
General Surgeon
Southern Hills

dr alex brent fruin general surgery

Dr. Alex Fruin
General Surgeon
Summit

Dr. Andrew Garrett, general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Andrew Garrett
General Surgeon
Columbia

dr trudie goers for hernia surgery best general surgeon at the surgical clinic in nashville

Dr. Trudie Goers
General Surgeon
Downtown Nashville

Dr. Mark Hinson, general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Mark Hinson
General Surgeon
Columbia

dr george lynch general and bariatric surgeon at the surgical clinic in nashville and middle tennessee

Dr. George Lynch
General Surgeon
Downtown Nashville

best general surgeon at the surgical clinic dr clinton marlar

Dr. Clinton Marlar
General Surgeon
Skyline

dr james mcdowell board certified general surgeon in nashville tn at the surgical clinic

Dr. James McDowell
General Surgeon
Downtown Nashville

best robotic surgeon in tennessee dr willie melvin the surgical clinic rutherford hospital

Dr. Willie Melvin
General Surgeon
Smyrna

Dr. Chad Moss, MD, FACS general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Chad Moss
General Surgeon
Columbia

dr oxley is a general surgeon in columbia tn

Dr. Davidson Oxley
General Surgeon
Columbia

dr william polk best surgical oncologist general and oncology surgeon in nashville at the surgical clinic downtown nashville

Dr. William Polk
General Surgeon
Downtown

dr drew reynolds gallbladder specialist general surgeon nashville tn

Dr. Drew Reynolds
General Surgeon
St. Thomas West

dr joshua taylor best hernia surgeon in murfreesboro

Dr. Joshua Taylor
General Surgeon
Smyrna

dr tyson thomas general surgeon in nashville tn at the surgical clinic

Dr. Tyson Thomas
General Surgeon
St. Thomas West

dr tyler watson robotic general surgeon nashville mt juliet

Dr. Tyler Watson
General Surgeon
Summit Clinic

dr patrick wolf best surgical oncologist in gallatin general surgeon at st thomas nashville tn

Dr. Patrick Wolf
General Surgeon
St. Thomas West

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: click here.