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Thyroidectomy: Surgery to Remove the Thyroid Gland

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Updated June 02, 2013

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Life After Thyroid Surgery
Before and After Thyroid Surgery

Before & After Thyroid Surgery

Image: © ADAM

After surgery to remove your thyroid, your body will no longer produce necessary thyroid hormones. These hormones will be replaced with hormone replacement drugs. While synthroid is a particular type of thyroid hormone replacement, you may find that people refer to the entire category of thyroid replacement drugs as “synthroid.”

Your thyroid replacement may begin immediately after your surgery or it may be started several weeks later, depending upon the condition that made the surgery necessary. Once the hormone replacement is started, it will need to be closely monitored to prevent the symptoms of hyper or hypothyroidism.

The level of calcium and vitamin D in your blood may also be monitored. In some cases, a daily supplement will be necessary every day. This is especially true if the parathyroid glands were involved in the procedure.

Once the medication is dosed properly, you should begin to feel a normal level of energy. Symptoms of ongoing lethargy, fatigue and feeling chronically tired should be reported to the physician managing your thyroid-replacement medication.

If you experience ongoing problems with your voice or hoarseness after surgery, let your physician know. While these side effects are normal immediately after surgery, they should resolve during the recovery process.

Sources:

Parathyroid Function. Endocrineweb.com http://www.endocrineweb.com/function.html

Thyroid Diseases. National Institutes of Health http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/thyroiddiseases.html

Thyroid Function Tests. The American Thyroid Association http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/FunctionTests_brochure.pdf

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