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I want to know regarding drainage tube

Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan

Last Updated: July 25, 2019 1:36 AM
davepatel 20 months

Doctor i want to know regarding drainage tube after my thyroid removal surgery. Why is it necessary and how does it work?

Dr Sri Viknarajan 2 years
General Practitioner

Hi there! Thank you for your question. Allow me to explain about thyroid surgeries first. There are 2 types of thyroid surgeries which are total thyroidectomy (involves the whole thyroid gland) and sub-total thyroidectomy (involves removing about 8g of the thyroid gland). This is done in hopes that the left over thyroid tissue will be able to restore normal thyroid function.

However, most often the left over tissue will not be able to restore normal function. Moreover, there will be higher chance of reoccurrence due to the leftover tissue. Due to these reasons, surgeon don't prefer them. Thyroid surgeries are done for 4 reasons; cosmetic, cancer, failure of anti-thyroid drugs, and compression of nearby structures. Just like any other surgery, there are possible complications of thyroid surgeries.

Firstly there can be injury to surrounding nerves. There are 2 important nerves near the thyroid gland; superior laryngeal nerve and recurrent laryngeal nerve. Once injured, the superior laryngeal nerve will produce a husky voice and the recurrent laryngeal nerve will produce hoarseness of the voice. Secondly the can be bleeding. This is because the thyroid is a highly vascular organ, mean it has a lot of blood vessels.

Next, a thyroid storm. This is a life threatening condition of hyperthyroid which often includes a rapid heartbeat, fever, and even fainting. This is rare and only occurs if the patient is inadequately prepared prior to the surgery. Complications that can happen after the surgery includes shortness of breath.

This happens due to accumulation of hematoma (collection of blood outside of blood vessels) around the neck. A drain is place under the neck to drain the blood. Some people may need to have a drain because fluid retention can happen due to the irritation from the breathing tube (endotracheal tube) that's inserted into the windpipe (trachea) during surgery, or as a result of nerve irritation caused by the surgery.

Please click on this link (DoctorOnCall) to talk to us privately online and discuss further about your inquiries. Thank you.

Last Updated: Thu Jul 25 2019 01:36:09 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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