Surgery preparation and post surgery advice!

Hi All! 

I've been given a date for my hemithroidectomy surgery (23rd May) and being an organisation freak I'm trying to be as prepared as possible. Understand everyone will go through different experiences, but would be great to hear any advice/ things you wish you'd known going into the surgery. Key questions are: 

  1. How was your eating post surgery? When could you eat solid food?
  2. How was your mobility post surgery ie when could you walk about? When could you feel like doing physical activity like a run? 
  3. How long did you take to get back to work? I have an office job so won't be needing to do anything particularly physical.  
  4. How was your speech post surgery? Could you speak normally straight away?
  5. What are key things you are glad you packed for your hospital stay i.e. were you well enough to read a book? 
  6. Is there anything you thought was useful to do to prep for the surgery i.e. is it worthwhile changing diet now?

Any additional advice welcome Slight smile

Thanks in advance! 

  • Hello there.

    Everybody's experience is different but I appreciate your interest in trying to be as informed as possible. My hemithyroidectomy was my first hospital stay or surgery so I did not know what to expect. I was back on the ward after surgery late afternoon and after a general anesthetic all I wanted to do was sleep. I did however manage a couple of yoghurts on the first night. The following morning I managed breakfast and eating has not been a problem. In the early days I did by choice avoid heavy meals and ate things like porridge, soups and fish pies. 

    On mobility once the anesthetic wore off I went out for short walks and stepped up the distances gradually. I treated my wound with care and whilst short showers were fine I avoided prolonged soaking of the wound area. I am a walker rather than a runner but energy levels did increase gradually. I avoided lifting weights for quite a while.

    My recovery was good and felt ok for office work from week 3. i did however tire  quite quickly and some short days were helpful.

    I was quite lucky and speech was ok. For a few weeks if I spoke for too long my voice would weaken but I learned to take care.

    Re packing take some of your favourite drinks and a good book because you can never rely on hospital tv. I was released from hospital on the day after my operation. Re diet before the operation treat yourself well and enjoy your favourites, What I wished I knew was the importance  of daily exercises for the neck area.

    Best wishes for your surgery and recovery. 

  • Hiya! Thanks so much for this. Really helpful to get some insight of post surgery recovery!

    One follow up question, when you say you wished you’d known the importance of daily neck exercises, what do you mean? 

  • I felt that the skin around my wound felt quite “tight”. When I mentioned that feeling to my consultant she said I should have been given some advice on exercises before discharge. It was nothing dramatic and was just gentle stretching. Even without the initial exercises I now have completely unrestricted movement. 

  • I had full removal and central lymph nodes removed in February. It was my first surgery and anesthetic. I was woken in recovery by a nurse,I wanted to stay asleep,it felt like the best sleep ever!

    She asked how I felt,I spoke and got excited as I had a voice,croaky but there.the first thing I did was feel for a tracheotomy. Then I needed water and lots of it!! I also needed the loo,so was able to get off the bed and walk with drip and nurse to the toilet..on returning to the bed the nurse asked if I was hungry,I managed a cheese salad sandwich of all things!! Once on the ward I continued to need water,especially when wanting to talk..I drank 8 bottles within the night..so plenty of trips to the toilet,but that was a good thing as I was very mobile..having the drains removed was probably the worst pain throughout. But I only had paracetamol....look out for signs of low calcium, mine has been low and ended up on a drip 9 weeks after surgery!,take short sleeve pjs,had no energy for books,magazines etc..used a small sideplate for meals and ate things that took little effort as hard to get food to mouth bizarrely! Had lots of rice pudding, jelly,icecream, mac and cheese,soup in a cup..easier than using a spoon..

    All will go well.take care.

  • Sorry I also meant to say,a V pillow and wedge were a saviour!! Amazon sell them.

  • Thanks for all the info! Really helpful! 

    On the V pillow and wedge pillow, have been able to find some on Amazon, but what did you use them for and why were they a saviour?! 

  • You might find it hard to lay down on normal pillow.i used the wedge with the V pillow on my bed.it keeps your neck raised,the V pillow supports the sides of your neck..I also used the V pillow while sitting on the sofa,my neck felt like it needed support,until my muscles strengthened, which was a few weeks!

  • Gotcha! Thanks Sha, super helpful!

  • Good look,take care! Xx