Thyroid Surgery Recovery

Dr. Tarrin P. Lupo, D.C.

thyroid surgery recoveryThyroid surgery recovery can be tough

Since I don’t do surgery or prescribe drugs, I usually don’t see thyroid surgery patients until a few months after they have healed. They come to me looking for ways to manage their thyroid function naturally.

Recovery after thyroid surgery can be difficult. Even after you heal up, you can still have the same underlying metabolic problems at play that caused you to have the surgery.

The key is to try to resolve these underlying issues to aid in recovery and to help maintain what you still have.

Unfortunately you are not made with spare parts, so you will need to do something to replace the function of thyroid and to help regulate your underlying metabolic problems. Generally this involves thyroid replacement hormone and a plant-based anti-inflammation diet.

Thyroid Surgery Recovery: Immediately After Surgery

thyroid surgery recoveryYou will probably need to be on a thyroid replacement hormone the rest of your life

Thyroid surgery is pretty serious and can leave some complications.

The thyroid gland is not an encapsulated gland, so it's very difficult to remove all of it. There are usually small remnants left behind, which can continue to cause thyroid symptomatology.

However, there are things you can do to help thyroid surgery recovery (diet, nutraceuticals.) Your surgeon will go over what to expect from your surgery, but will most likely tell you:

  • You will probably need to be on a thyroid replacement hormone the rest of your life, especially if you had the entire gland out. I have had a patient who did not go on anything, but that is rare. 
  • Your voice can be hoarse for a while. The procedure is hard on your voice box and can even damage your larynx permanently. As with all surgeries there is a chance of an infection.
  • Sometimes they take your parathyroid glands when they take your thyroid because they are difficult to leave intact. If they did you will require supplementation that will regulate calcium levels.
  • Swelling around the neck will make eating difficult and you might be placed on a liquid diet or diet of soft foods.

Thyroid Surgery Recovery: Long-Term Management

thyroid surgery recoveryA good long-term management strategy is to adopt an anti-inflammatory plant-based diet

The thyroid is not an encapsulated gland, so it may not all come out in the surgery. Most of the time some is left behind and will still cause issues. This is when patients come to get my help. 

Usually a patient has undiagnosed Hashimoto’s or their thyroid damage is a byproduct of another underlying metabolic issue.

Until the underlying issue is addressed the body will keep attacking the pieces of the thyroid that were left behind from the surgery. 

  • A good management strategy for long-term recovery from thyroid surgery is to adopt a plant-based anti-inflammatory diet and use some high quality nutraceuticals to support the missing thyroid biological functions. 

Also consider going to a doctor trained in functional wellness so that kind of analysis can be performed.

Functional wellness doctors are passionate about finding solutions to your health problems, not just masking the resultant symptoms of disease.

  • Proper testing can help your physician or thyroid doctor discover the real reason your thyroid was damaged. It most cases the thyroid is the victim, not the real problem

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