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Friday, April 8, 2011

2 Weeks Post-Thyroidectomy

Today is exactly two weeks since my thyroidectomy.  I think that, in general, the recovery has been pretty good.  There have been a few hiccups here and there, such as, a sore mouth and some bouts with low energy.  However, overall I haven't felt a lack of energy, my weight has remained constant (after an initial drop and then a slight increase) and most days I have been able to make it through the day without any problems. 

Since it is the two week mark I thought that I would recap my post-op progress for anyone who may have just found this blog.  I had a total thyroidectomy exactly 2 weeks ago today.  The procedure took about 2 1/2 hours and then I took another few hours to recover from the anesthetic.  I spent the night and the first day following surgery in the hospital until they were able to determine that my calcium levels were normal.  My levels were just above low normal the whole time I was hospitalized and so the evening after surgery I was released from the hospital with a prescription of Tylenol 3 for pain management and Cytomel for thyroid hormone replacement.  I was told to watch for any tingling in my hands and feet or any other signs that my calcium may be dropping.  I haven't experienced any symptoms or low calcium so I assume that my parathyroid glands were left intact -Yeah! 

When I returned home I rested and slept a lot for the first 2 days, but I was sure to get some exercise each day.  I started with a very short walk 2 days after surgery and gradually increased the distance and speed each day.  I did feel out of breath the first day that I walked but not since.   I feel as though I am ready to run and start working out again but since my neck is so swollen I am reluctant to do too much too soon.  Yesterday I felt very tired, but late in the afternoon I developed a migraine. This is typical for me so I don't think that it had anything to do with recovery. I didn't drive for the first week because I couldn't turn my neck far enough to check my blind spots. This week I have started driving again, so I am feeling more normal.

The roof of my mouth was very sore for the first week and so my diet was limited.  I was mostly eating chicken soup and meal replacement drinks.  I couldn't tolerate extremes in temperature, acid, sugar or spice.  By last Friday that had resolved and I have been eating well ever since.  My weight dropped dramatically the first week after surgery.  I had started Cytomel and hadn't been eating much do to the pain in my mouth so both of these things likely played a role in my initial weight loss.  (see post on thyroid hormones)
The first week my incision line was covered with steri-strips.  I couldn't see it but I could tell that it was swollen.  On Monday I saw the surgeon and he removed the strips.  The incision line was almost invisible but there was a great deal of swelling.   I have noticed that the swelling is decreasing some but that the actual incision appears to be more red than it was on Monday.  I have started applying vitamin E oil. 

Scar 2 weeks post-op

Most days I have felt better than I did prior to surgery. However, I have had a few days where I have felt very tired. I had days like these prior to surgery as well so it may just be normal. I'm not sure why I feel better than ever. It could be a result of the removal of a sick gland, the medication or just a more relaxed schedule. I usually have a very busy schedule which is hard to keep up with and it can wear me down. I may be able to tell more when I get back into my regular routine next week.

I am still waiting for the pathology report and hope to have it next Thursday.


  1. this was really helpful i just had my thyroid removed like 3 days ago and your story sounds the encourgeing so far

  2. I was 2 weeks post-op yesterday. Our stories could match each other as far as symptoms go. I had a couple of days with headache, but I think it was from pushing too hard before getting too tired. I still play out mid-afternoon. I try to rest everyday so that I have energy when my 4 kiddos come home from school. Half of my thyroid was removed, with parathyroid glands intact. I am not on any thyroid med whatsoever. There was no cancer. Overall, I'm very encouraged. I see the dr. post-op for the first time tomorrow. Thanks for your post!!