The thyroid gland is a critical organ which helps in controlling the metabolism of the body. However, there are certain medical conditions which can necessitate the complete removal of the thyroid gland or total thyroidectomy. These problems include goitre, thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. The removal of the thyroid gland is carried out under general anaesthesia. The operation is quite safe, and there is minimal risk of damage to surrounding organs such as the larynx and parathyroid. However, it is important to note that proper post-operative care will be required for quick recovery and control of adverse reactions. Here are some crucial guidelines to help you recover after your thyroid surgery.
Take the Prescribed Medication
You will experience some pain around your neck after the thyroidectomy because of the incision created during the operation. Therefore, you will need some analgesics to prevent and minimise your discomfort. You should purchase the pain medication prescribed by your doctor for the best results. Choosing your own painkillers can have an undesirable effect such as causing blood thinning, and this can compromise your recovery. You will also receive a prescription for antibiotics to limit the risk of infection. You should take all the recommended drugs for the specified period of time to prevent complications from an infection.
Protect the Wound Site
After the operation, the site of incision will be covered using a sterile protective strip. This will conceal the wound, preventing infection due to exposure. The strips used after thyroidectomy operations are quite resilient. You can bathe or shower without causing damage to the covering or your wound. The original strip is typically removed during the first visit after the operation. Following this post-operative session, you will need to tape the wound as advised by the doctor. Protecting the wound and changing the tape regularly will ensure healing without significant scarring.
Minimise Neck Strain
You should protect your neck from physical stress after thyroid surgery. Straining the neck will cause increased pain and stiffness, and the discomfort can affect your quality of life. Also, excess movement of the neck might disturb the site of incision. As a result, the recovery period for the wound might be prolonged. Under ideal circumstances, you should avoid heavy lifting, bending and other strenuous activities until the wound heals significantly. If possible, you should avoid driving because the activity might involve sudden neck turning. If you must drive, you should only use local roads with minimal traffic.