Side Effects of Thyroid Removal (Thyroidectomy) - Ojus Life

Side Effects of Thyroid Removal (Thyroidectomy)

Dr Anita Nischal


Did your doctor suggest thyroid removal surgery? And, you are confused as you have clouds of doubts hovering upon you. Then, you have landed on the correct place as here we are briefing you about the thyroid gland and thyroid removal long term side effects.

The process of Thyroidectomy includes the removal of all or parts of the thyroid gland. It treats diseases related to the thyroid glands such as thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, large goiters, nodules, or cysts. Thyroidectomy complications can affect men but majorly those are triggered in women.

As per the studies, more than 25% of the population of the United States undergo thyroid removal operations every year. Persons with thyroid cancer should go for thyroidectomy then your doctor may recommend surgery to remove
part or all of it. Common thyroidectomy side effects include nausea, vomiting, neck pain and stiffness, a sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, and voice problems.

About Thyroidectomy

The Thyroid Gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ found in the neck. It makes two hormones secreted into the blood that further help the body maintain its temperature and energy. Also, thyroid hormone keeps the heart, brain, and other organs running efficiently.

Thyroid disorders are very conventional which some are temporary or permanent. An imbalance in body weight is a sign of the abnormality of thyroid function. Excessive production of thyroid hormone is called hyperthyroidism.
Another indication of thyroid disease is the swollen neck which is caused by goiter.

Thyroidectomy is a process to eliminate the thyroid gland. It can be used to treat thyroid disorders like thyroid cancer, goiter, overactive thyroid or thyroid nodules. Thyroidectomy, complication process includes:

  • Traditional thyroidectomy– In this, a slit in the center of the neck is inserted to directly approach the thyroid gland.
  • Transoral Thyroidectomy– This procedure comprises a slit inside the mouth instead of the neck.
  • Endoscopic Thyroidectomy– This procedure makes use of the smaller incisions in the neck. Surgical instruments and a small video camera are inserted through the cut.

Removing the thyroid is a safe procedure but entails thyroid removal long-term side effects.

Post Thyroidectomy Complications

Some of the vital complications of thyroid removal surgery involve:

  • Bleeding
  • Wound in the laryngeal nerve
  • Low levels of parathyroid hormone
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Injury in the laryngeal nerve
Thyroid removal long term side effects
  • Infection
  • Bleeding takes place a few hours after surgery.
  • Injury to the nerve which regulates the voice box.
  • Injury to PTH.

Thyroidectomy: Complications, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Below find some of the thyroidectomy side effects:

1. Hoarse voice / Laryngeal Nerve Damage
Definition An injury to the nerve which is attached to the voice box.
Causes It happens due to a viral infection or a neurological condition prevailing.
Symptoms Speaking difficulty, problem in consuming food, and hoarseness. Also can result in noisy breathing.
Treatment & Diet
  • Try some self-care methods that can reduce pressure on your voice
    like breathing damp air.
  • Avoid murmuring & decongestants. Also, drink fluids to
    prevent dehydration.
2. Hypoparathyroidism
Definition A medical condition in which a person’s body produces slightly low levels of a parathyroid hormone commonly known as PTH (PTH maintains a balance of calcium and phosphorus in your body. Lack of PTH leads to a decrease in calcium in blood levels and an increase in levels of blood phosphorus.)
  • Genetics
  • Cancer radiation treatments
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Injury or removal of PTH
Symptoms Symptoms include dry rough skin, mood swings, fatigue, muscle cramps in legs, feet or stomach, trembling of face muscles.
Treatment & Diet
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements. Also, consider thiazide
    diuretics which can reduce the lost calcium through
  • Include dairy products, green vegetables, orange juice, and
3. Hashimoto’s Tingling and Numbness
Definition Hashimoto is a disease of the immune system In which antibodies are created by the immune system. These antibodies later damage the thyroid gland.
  • Gender- Women are prone to this.
  • Age Factor- It occurs mostly in mid-age.
  • Heredity- There is a possible chance for you to be at
    higher risk.
Symptoms This puts pressure on nerves in the arms as well as legs which often leads to tingling, numbness, and pain.
Treatment & Diet
  • Take over-the-counter supplements like vitamin D
  • Also, adopt a good lifestyle such as eating nutritional
    foods, exercising, controlling stress amongst many.

Read More: Proven Ways to Lower Thyroid Antibodies & Prevent
Hashimoto’s Disease

4. Bleeding Thyroid Nodule
Definition A thyroid nodule is a lump present in the thyroid gland. There can be solitary thyroid nodules or multi nodules in the thyroid gland. Size varies in these nodules.
Causes Thyroid nodules are composed of fluid, which usually accumulates due to bleeding from the fragile blood vessels.
Symptoms Some are enormous getting out of the neck while some can be too small to feel or see at all which we call non-palpable nodules.
Treatment & Diet
  • Radioactive iodine treatment may be operative in both controlling gland overactivity and diminishing its size
  • Antithyroid drugs: Speak to your doctor before you start taking anti-thyroid medication. These medicines stop the release of hormones from the thyroid.
5. Seromas
Definition Seroma can be defined as a group of fluids that spreads under the surface of a person’s skin.
Causes It develops after surgery, mainly at the place where the tissue was taken out. Breast reduction, implantation of breast, breast checkup, cosmetic surgery.
  • Fever and chills
  • Confusion
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Rapid heart rate or breathing
Treatment & Diet
  • Our immune system naturally treats small seromas.
  • On the other hand, larger seromas are taken care of through large or painful draining by doctors.

Conclusion | Thyroid Removal Side Effects

The thyroid removal side effects can lead to depression, dry and flaky skin, muscle cramps, sleeping issues, tiredness.

Apart from this thyroidectomy side effects include neck tension and tenderness, hoarseness, difficulty in
swallowing, irritated windpipe, laryngeal nerve wound.

Often when thyroidectomy complications like these happen, prompt medication and treatment can bring your health back to normal.

To prevent thyroidectomy complications, you must avoid foods like cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peanuts and
millets. Furthermore, consult your doctor if symptoms get worse.