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The thyroidectomy

August 1, 2017

Even though I was very much at the surgery, I don't remember it. Thank the Lord for anesthesia!


After being taken from recovery to my hospital room, I was able to look at my neck. There was a 2" incision covered by these white adhesive strips. My sweet, doting husband was there waiting to make sure I was okay. I had all kinds of questions about the surgery and what they found. Was it cancer? Did they take all of my thyroid? He was able to answer most of my questions.


My husband told me that the surgery (which was supposed to take about an hour and a half) took over 3 hours. The surgeon came out twice during surgery to tell him that he had removed the right thyroid lobe and was shocked that the growth was over 2" in size. He further explained that it was rather a delicate, complex removal because the growth was pushing against the back of my throat. The pathology department was at work examining what was removed and it was confirmed that the growth was cancer. 


My surgeon and I had discussed leaving the left thyroid lobe if the right turned out not to be cancer. Well, that was not an option since the growth was cancer. They intubated me again and the surgeon removed the left thyroid lobe as well. This side was a bit easier to remove.


I also found out after surgery that I have Hashimotos disease. Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease where you immune system attacks your thyroid. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Wow, did that take me back. After all the years of being hypothyroid, no medical professional had ever told me I had Hashimotos disease. Ouch! The damage done to my thyroid was making a mess for the surgeon. Something I may have been able to avoid had I only known.


After the surgery, I expected to have a really, really sore throat. That was one of the most common side affects of this kind of surgery based on my Google research and what I heard from others who had the same surgery. I was pleasantly surprise to now have that sore of a throat. Sure, It was a little sore but not that bad. What may have been keeping it from being so sore was being under anesthesia for over 3 hours and the pain medication but I was wonderfully surprised by how little discomfort I felt right after and the day after surgery. Keep in mind that we are all different so that is why I mention to do Google research and take what others say with caution because your experience (like mine) may be very different.


What did surprise me, was that I had no voice. A whisper is all I could get out for weeks. When I asked why, I was told that it was not uncommon after this kind of surgery (I had read that from a few online posts from others). Since my surgery was a delicate one, the vocal chords may have been stretched or bumped causing them not to work. I was given hope that they would heal and my voice would be back. Thank you for that hope!


Other than that, I was feeling pretty good and very thankful to God for that. I was told that I would be off any thyroid medication for the next 6 weeks to starve what little bits of thyroid were left and in preparation for the radioactive idoine treatment.


I got the green light to go home the day after surgery. Ah, it was good to be home but that is not where my story ends. 

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