Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
Hi doctor. I’m a thyroid patient. I was scheduled for surgery in few months. i want to ask you as a second opinion. Will I have to take thyroid hormone after my thyroid surgery?
What will happen if i dont?
Hi there! Thank you for your question. Allow me to explain about thyroid surgeries first. 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. Complications that can happen during the surgery includes 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, bleeding. This is because the thyroid is a highly vascular organ, mean it has a lot of blood vessels. Thirdly, 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. Nevertheless, all these complications can be avoided or reduced through proper preparation before the surgery which will be done by your doctor.
As for your question, yes you will have to be on life-long thyroid medication. The drug used I levothyroxine and it is given to replace the thyroid hormone which the body is unable to produce anymore due the removal of the thyroid gland. If is drug is not given, the patient will have hypothyroidism and can expect the following symptoms:
Nevertheless, fear not as this drug will be optimized for you to have a normal life after the surgery.
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