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Thyroid cancer

A place for people affected by thyroid cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Phlegm After Total Thyroidectomy

Rachy40
Posted by

Hi, I’m new to the group and actually live in the US, not the UK, but this is the only site I could find where people were asking a similar question. I had a total thyroidectomy 10 days ago and the pathology report actually found that there was a small spot of cancer in my thyroid. The ENT wasn’t worried, since they removed the entire thyroid and some neighboring lymph nodes, and I’m getting a blood test in a few weeks to make sure it’s gone. 

What’s really driving me crazy is the constant phlegm that’s still in my throat after 10 days. I think it has something to do with why I still don’t quite have my voice back. It’s only gotten slightly stronger. Has anyone else had lingering phlegm they can’t quite clear after 10 days following surgery? I should also add that the breathing tube caused me a lot of irritation and phlegm from day one that I think caused an infection, because a few days after surgery I was bringing up yellow and green phlegm and just finished a course of antibiotics today. But the phlegm hasn’t eased up yet and it’s making me crazy!

Rachy40
Posted by

I should probably post an update. I know I just posted this yesterday, but I’m actually seeing significant improvement today when it comes to all the yucky stuff in the throat. However, my voice is still very weak. 

ClaireRus
Posted by

Hi I had partial Thyroidectomy and then completion 4 years ago.

After 1st operation had a very irritating cough. It was the Uvula that had become very swollen This is the flap at the back of the throat.It felt like a bit of phlegm stuck at the back of the throat and was very irritating.It settled about day 3. Plenty of fluids and rest.

If your are coughing up anything especially if green or discoloured phlegm you should seek medical review.If a smoker you should NOT smoke .

After the second op I had vocal cord damage that affected my voice. This was again of short duration

It does sometimes still cause issues if I have to talk for long periods .

Check web sites for vocal cord exercises. 

Hope you get on welll

Virtual Hugs from across the pond 

Rachy40
Posted by

Thanks for the reply, Claire! I'm glad your cough and voice came back so soon. I think that's normal. I did get on antibiotics and finished the course yesterday to clear the infection up. I can thank my dad the doctor for that. I actually don't have a Uvula, tonsils, adenoids, or a soft palet. I had them all removed when I was 16 for sleep apnea reasons I think. My friend who's a general surgeon told me they may have bruised my vocal cords if my voice is still so weak. But it is slowly coming back and getting stronger by day, so I guess that's a good sign. As for the phlegm, I'm starting to think it was worse than other people due to the infection, or maybe my autoimmune disease. I should probably mostly be thankful the cancer was only a microcarcinoma that hadn't spread to my lymph nodes.  

Thanks again for the help!

Cheers xx

ClaireRus
Posted by

Hi I also had micro carcinoma and thankfully no spread. Although I now have breast cancer

If cough hasn’t cleared you may need more specific antibiotics.

Rachy40
Posted by

Is your breast cancer in the first stages? Is it something that can be resolved with treatment or surgery?

Some luck we have huh? My severe RA was just about all I could handle and then comes Hashimoto’s and thyroid cancer the moment I hit 40. My TT was my 9th surgery. It’s like I finally learn to manage one thing and another comes along. I like to focus on living in the moment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s what’s really helped me. I have a close friend with progressive cancer whose health is a lot worse than mine and she amazingly continues to fight. She’s somehow managed to beat stage 4 breast cancer and now battles brain cancer, somehow keeping it in check. I think of her and her love of life when I need strength.  

ClaireRus
Posted by

It is a true saying that there is always somebody worse off than yourself.

Both times I have been lucky.

Thyroid was small and contained.

Breast was noted on routine mammogram I had not felt the lump .Stage 2 Wide wedge excision and lymp nodes clear. Operation was on the 9th April .I am to start Radiotherapy on the 4th June. So almost done Thank goodness for NHS screening programs 

Remember nothing inside so strong xx

ClaireRus
Posted by

It is a true saying that there is always somebody worse off than yourself.

Both times I have been lucky.

Thyroid was small and contained.

Breast was noted on routine mammogram I had not felt the lump .Stage 2 Wide wedge excision and lymp nodes clear. Operation was on the 9th April .I am to start Radiotherapy on the 4th June. So almost done Thank goodness for NHS screening programs 

Remember nothing inside so strong xx

ps

Sorry should have asked how is your chest 

Rachy40
Posted by

True. That’s good you’re staying on top of treatment, and mammograms. You should do fine. I had my first mammo this year. They almost had me do a repeat because my tissue was so dense and they couldn’t really see much, but they said I was low risk and wrote it off. I’ll recheck next year.

My chest is doing okay, thanks. Well it’s my throat really. I think it’s mostly allergies and post nasal. It’s not helping my voice come back.