Free To Be Yourself After Scarless Thyroidectomy
Common indications requiring thyroid surgery include cancer (or suspicion of cancer); hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid); and Goitre (thyroid enlargement).
The thyroid gland is situated in the middle of the neck surrounding your trachea (windpipe). The only function of the thyroid gland is to secrete thyroid hormone, which is necessary to sustain life.
How is the surgery done?
Thyroid surgery usually involves removing either half (hemithyroidectomy) or the whole thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy). The operation which is the most suitable for your condition needs to be individualised. The conventional open approach involves an incision on the front of your neck. This incision is carefully planned to minimise any long-term scarring.
You may be eligible to have your thyroid surgery with a new scarless, transoral endoscopic approach. This is an attractive option available to many of our patients and does not leave any visible trace indicating previous surgery.
What are the risks?
In experienced hands, thyroid surgery, with either conventional or the scarless endoscopic approaches is very safe. The risk of bleeding, infection, or voice change is less than 1%. After total thyroidectomy, there is a small risk of a drop in your calcium level in the bloodstream. Therefore, temporary supplementation with calcium and/or vitamin D may be necessary.
What to expect after surgery?
Most patients stay overnight in hospital after thyroidectomy. The surgery is usually not painful and simple analgesics are advised for the first week as necessary. Some soft swelling and bruising at and around the wound can occur.
Please contact your hospital or Dr. Yew if there is any sudden development of swelling in the neck.
You may experience increased pain in the neck with excessive talking during the first 2 weeks. You must refrain from exercise and strenuous activity for 3 weeks after surgery. If you are unsure when to return for review with Dr. Yew, please call the office to schedule an appointment.