Three For The Thyroid: The Top Three Tips to Help You Recover From Thyroidectomy

Thyroidectomy is the most common thyroid cancer surgery today because thyroid removal is the best way to prevent the cancer from returning. If your doctor has told you that thyroidectomy is necessary, you might feel a bit apprehensive about recovering from the surgery. Whilst this feeling is quite normal, you don't have to let it take hold if you learn about how to make your thyroidectomy recovery as smooth and easy a possible. Here are three of the most important things you can do to make your recovery easier.

Rest to Recover

Whilst you won't necessarily be restricted to your bed after your thyroidectomy, your surgeon will likely advise you to rest as much as possible for the first few days post-surgery. Some patients are hospitalised for one or two nights post-surgery, however many thyroidectomies are outpatient today. If you go home the same day of your thyroidectomy, you'll be a bit drowsy from the anaesthesia for at least a few hours. Don't push yourself: this is the perfect time to rest and allow a loved one to look after you. 

If possible, have your loved one stay with you for a few days so you can recoup your energy as much as possible before being on your own. Sleep when you're drowsy and leave the work and worries for later. If you're bored of simply staying in bed, take this opportunity to catch up on your reading, your favourite programs and do other quiet activities that you enjoy.

Don't Damage the Drain

Most patients have a drain -- a thin tube -- in their neck following a thyroidectomy. Whilst it might be a little uncomfortable, it's vital because it allows you to excrete any remaining fluid from the area where your thyroid was. Don't touch or otherwise agitate the drain, as this can introduce bacteria and cause an infection. Usually, your surgeon will remove your drain at your follow-up appointment (typically a couple of days post-surgery) provided that there's no further drainage. 

Don't Ignore the Pain

Whilst most thyroidectomy patients don't have severe lingering pain post-surgery, you can expect at least some degree of pain for a few days after your procedure as you heal. It's vital that you stay ahead of this pain by taking your prescription medicine when you start to hurt. If you allow the pain to grow terrible before taking your medicine, it will be much more difficult (and may take much longer and more medicine) to get comfortable. 

Use the three simple tips above -- along with the expert guidance of your thyroid cancer surgeon -- to make your thyroidectomy recovery a smooth and simple one. Speak to your surgeon about any other concerns you have now to ensure that you're relaxed and prepared for your surgery.