Bechara Y. Ghorayeb, MD.
OTOLARYNGOLOGY – HEAD & NECK SURGERY
1140 Business Center Dr., Suite 560. Houston, TX 77043. Tel: (713) 464 2614
Post-Op Instructions for Thyroidectomy
Patients who have received general anesthesia may experience nausea and occasionally, vomiting. It is therefore preferable to eat a bland light meal or a liquid diet on the first day after the surgery. Regular diet may be resumed the next day. Also, pain pills may cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach. It would be better to take those pills with a piece of toast or some food.
Activity and Wound Care
Elevate the head as much as possible. Head elevation reduces bruising and swelling. Occasionally, you may notice that the bruises or swelling have migrated to lower regions of the body. Avoid straining and heavy lifting, but do not stay in bed. Walk or move your legs as much as possible, to prevent blood clots and gradually resume your normal activity. You may have a dressing or your wound may be exposed. For picture of neck wound, click here.
Wounds Sealed with Dermabond
Your wound will most probably be sealed with a coat of clear acrylic compound called Dermabond. This protects the wound and allows you to take a shower without covering it. Do not apply antibiotic ointment over this acrylic coat; it will peel off by itself in 10 - 15 days.
Wounds with dressings or drains:
In rare instances, you may have a dressing or a drain. Unless specifically instructed, do not remove them. Avoid showers and keep the dressing dry. Some dressings may be sutured to the skin. Do not attempt to remove them. Drainage is expected for two to three days after surgery. Just kink the drain tubing, before detaching the bulb and emptying it. By kinking the tubing, you prevent air and old drainage from being sucked back into the wound.
Following thyroidectomy, most patients develop transient hypocalcemia. This is treated by placing calcium in the intravenous fluids (IV). When you go home, if you experience cramping of the fingers or toes, or if you feel tingling around the mouth and in the extremities, this indicates low calcium levels. This condition is treated with over-the-counter tablets of calcium carbonate such as TUMS which is generally available in most households and you might have taken it in the past for an upset stomach. Take 1000 mg by mouth 3 times daily until the tingling or cramping disappear.
An antibiotic is usually prescribed for seven to ten days following the surgery. You may also receive a prescription for painkillers in the form of codeine or hydrocodone. These products cause somnolence, drowsiness and constipation.
DO NOT DRIVE IF YOU ARE TAKING PAIN KILLERS.
Milk of Magnesia is a good over-the counter laxative.
Please schedule a follow-up visit in the office: PHONE: (713) 464 2614.
We are unable to refill your medications on weekends or after hours.
We do not refill painkillers over the phone. For prescription refills, please call during office hours:
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm and Friday: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
This page was last updated: July 29, 2018