The removal of a thyroid mass via surgery is an oft-recommended treatment for the malignant growth. But it has its risks, too, including side effects that affect a patient’s ability to talk, chew and swallow, as well as your activity levels and mood. In most cases, nonetheless, patients will feel better a couple of weeks after surgery; some people may take a longer time to recover.
Talk to your ENT doctor about these side effects and possible coping measures in your case. You may also talk to fellow patients but set realistic expectations as what may have worked well for them may not work so well for you.
Eating and Drinking Issues
Due to the throat surgery, you will have difficulty in swallowing because of the swelling in the area. You may find, too, that it’s painful to swallow even fluids like water, a temporary difficulty lasting for a few days. But you may also be able to drink or eat normally within several hours after the surgery depending on the technique used by your surgeon.
Even when you’re finding it difficult to swallow, you should eat nutritious foods and drinks to aid in your faster recovery. Your doctor will formulate a diet plan that will meet your nutrition needs at every stage of your treatment and recovery. You may, for example, start with soft foods after surgery and with small yet frequent meals.
Of course, it’s important to eat a balanced diet filled with nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, among others. Your body will require good nutrition for a full post-surgery recovery and for beating cancer.
In some cases, thyroid surgery affects the voice box particularly its nerves although it’s often a temporary effect and it improves over time. Your voice may sound weak or hoarse for a few days, perhaps a few weeks, afterwards.
You may experience discomfort or pain in the incision site, too. You can ask your doctor for pain medication, which will contribute to your overall well-being and faster recovery.
Due to the position you were placed in during surgery, you may wake up with a stiff neck and back, a temporary side effect, too. You can ask for a massage or physiotherapy to relieve these symptoms, as well as use a triangle-shaped pillow designed for optimum neck support.
And then there’s the issue of scarring on the incision site. You may observe a 5-centimeter to 7-centimeter long horizontal scar above your collarbone; your doctor will choose a natural skin crease to hide, so to speak, the incision site.
Don’t worry if the incision site looks red because it will fade in time and become less noticeable. You should keep the incision area moisturized, perhaps use a special tape to facilitate faster healing.
Keep in mind, too, that these side effects may seem unbearable in the short-term period but these are temporary. The possible long-term reward of remission should be enough reward.
HK ENT Specialist Ltd. is a Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre offering ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy, Sleep Disordered Breathing Management, Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services. If you have ENT problem, it is suggested to call us to make an appointment for the appropriate ENT services.
HK ENT Specialist Ltd.
Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre
For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,
Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,
Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services