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I just had a Mini Parathyroidectomy on 7/11/06 removing a walnut sized adenoma from the left upper side of my neck.

I am on day four post-operatively and am still having a lot of throat pain radiating to my left ear and some difficulty swallowing. (I need to jut my chin forward to swallow)

Is this "normal" or should I be concerned?

Thank you,

Joy

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Hi,

I had total thyroidectomy 4 weeks ago and I would give your throat some time, a few weeks, to get past the surgery. Yes, I had sore throat and swallowing discomfort. I had pain and tightness while yawning, swallowing, etc. that I believe was surgery related -- all of which go away very slowly as you heal. It is major surgery and you will feel better on a daily basis. I was impatient, too.

I still have an issue that concerns me and I'm not sure if it's normal or not. I was going to post about it, but saw yours, so decided to post here. About two weeks after surgery I noticed my scar itself seems to be attached to muscle or something else under the skin, and it always seems to feel like it's pulling upward. I have folds of skin above the scar, yet it's tighter skin on skin lower than the scar, as if it has adhered too high on my neck to the muscles - or whatever - underneath. When I swallow, the scar lifts up and takes literally a second or two to go back down. My surgeon said to give it time, since the scar will soften in a few weeks after sugery, but this seems very strange to me and I'm always aware of it. I also seem to burp more and have a general feeling of less space in my throat (although I can breath fine), and wondered if it was related. If someone has had this happen post thyroidectomy, please let me know. I can wait for it to heal if it will heal, but want to start looking for a solution if there's something wrong.

Otherwise I'm healthy and fit, and very happy with the outcome of my surgery. I sweat more when I exercise, actually feel like exercising more, sleep much better, seem to have more endurance when running, and haven't gained a lot of weight. My skin has improved (acne) and I feel like I can concentrate better. Prior to surgery my levels were fine (except for antibodies), although I'd had a lot of hair loss and lots of other symptoms (hypo and hyper) that make sense now because my thyroid was all wacky.

Post surgery, my synthroid has been increased once and after two weeks of real tiredness, I seem to have bounced back. I will have it checked again in a few weeks, but it doesn't seem to be far off. I had the entire thyroid removed due to a large nodule covering both sides and hashimotos which would have eventually shut the thyroid down.

I hope you're feelign much better now.
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I have had 2 subtotal thyroidectomies for thyroid cancer in the past 10 years. (Now everything is gone, but my parathyroids). My thyroid doc did not stitch the wound, but used steri-strips, so my scar is nearly invisible, despite the fact that I scar very easily. He had me massaging my scar several times per day to keep it from adhering to the muscles and tissues behind the scar. Sounds awful-especially with no sutures to hold it together, but to be honest, within 3 days, my wound was closed and within 5 he had me start the massages with vitamin E oil.

After my first surgery, I had some adhesion, because I was a little scared to rub the scar, but after about 2 months, it softened and seemed to go back to normal. After my second surgery, I did as I was told, and never had a problem.

I wouldn't worry too much, and even if it has been some time since your surgery, I would try to rub the area vigorously with vitamin E oil (if your scar is still tender and red, try to avoid friction on the skin, and instead be moving the skin itself.

Good luck to you!
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I had partial on 1994 for papilary cancer. since have been on replacement (synthroid). Until a year ago, in monitoring a small nodule, thru ultrasound annual, there were two small nodules last Oct. in Dec. had remainder of throid removed.

Surgeon said, non-cancerous nodules removed with remaining thyroid. no other radiation, etc necessary.

Since the last few mos. have pressure on (over) throat region. Had a follow up ultasound last March, nothing found. Endocrinologist thinks it might be fine tuning meds (cytomel and synthroid combo), and still take calcium 1500+ per day as surgeon suspected that parathyroids of recent surgery (low calcium levels) might be damaged and did not want to dig around for para's on other side to see if they were damaged or removed at tme of earlier surgery.

have to go for another blood work up. every six mos. has as of recent experienced severe pressure as tho some pressure was exerting over front of throat. trouble swallowing, sometimes breathing.

any comments?
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Hey, sure amy happy to find this. I had my rightside thyroid and parathyroid removed aug 23, my throat still extremely sore and have prob swallowing. At night I feel like I am choking on my saliva. Has anyone noticed their upper abdomen swollen after this procedure? I am going to doc tomorrow because of it, surely thyroid surgery wouldn't cause this. I feel a lot better, but think I over exert myself at times. for two days I cleaned and stayed busy all day, next day well I didn't feel so great, I guess I also am impatient and ready to get back to my old self. Thanks for posting on here it has helped a lot
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Oh, I'm so glad to see your posts. I will know better what to expect... What is normal. I have a right-sided parathyroid adenoma. I also have Graves...but that seems in check.

Any reccomendations about surgery or surgeons? They have referred me to a general surgeon saying they refer lots of parathyroid cases to...but he is not a thoracic or specialist, which worries me.

I sing...that worries me. How long were you hospitalized? How long reccuperating? Looks like I'd better give myself a while to recover. I'm a self-employed painter...so don't want to strain myself too soon. :-) Kim
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kimkimcherie wrote:

Oh, I'm so glad to see your posts. I will know better what to expect... What is normal. I have a right-sided parathyroid adenoma. I also have Graves...but that seems in check.

Any reccomendations about surgery or surgeons? They have referred me to a general surgeon saying they refer lots of parathyroid cases to...but he is not a thoracic or specialist, which worries me.

I sing...that worries me. How long were you hospitalized? How long reccuperating? Looks like I'd better give myself a while to recover. I'm a self-employed painter...so don't want to strain myself too soon. :-) Kim




I had a total thyroidectomy 3 weeks ago and I sing at the Palm Beach Opera. I was terrified, trust me. But I had a great surgeon who was equally concerned about my voice and took every precaution during the surgery. There are two nerves connecting to the vocal cords that are visible, but there are a couple of nerves that aren't visible that the surgeon just has to hope he doesn't run into. It was about a week an a half after surgery that I tested my pipes on some stacatto warm-ups and I realized that I still have my range. Now, three weeks later, I'm singing just as well as I ever did. Maybe even better now that I don't have a golfball-sized nodule in my throat anymore. I was hospitalized for two nights so they could monitor my calcium levels, but I was back at the gym a week later. I feel good, haven't gained weight (they upped my dosage of levoxyl directly after the surgery), and I'm as normal as ever.
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can I ask what doses everyone is one that had just the right side thryoid and one parathyroid removed? I am taking 125 mcg and feel extremely tired all the time, don't know if overdosed or under
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Thanks to all the responses to my earlier post.

Doses: I had total thyroidectomy and take 137 mcg. Feel fine with that, no weight gain, and with only one adjustment since surgery. You do need to give that more time, as it really does take a couple of weeks (really two for me) to feel a difference after you take the meds or change the dosage. I called doc just under two weeks after my dosage change since I was tired, and the next day felt great.

Surgeons: I went with a recommendation from my endocrinologist, a personal recommendation from him, a general surgeon. I didn't like the hospital as much, wish it had not been so large and impersonal. I would certainly investigate other doctors, surgeons experienced in the head and neck area, cancer specialists, etc.

You will be hospitalized at least one night to check calcium levels into the next day. I believe the effects I felt were as a result of the anesthesia - *considerable* compared to other procedures I've had and the swelling in the area. I also felt like I overdid it and would tire pretty easily, not easy to accept when you like to run and are very active. Take it slow and give yourself a break. Also, consider the hyper-extending of the neck due to intubation - it causes some damage, too. The underside of the tip of my chin is still numb. ??

As far as progress on my throat pressure (surgery end of June), it has improved a great deal, and I do try to use cocoa butter on it and massage it regularly and of course sunscreen. I can swallow almost normally, although chugging a big glass of water still feels odd. Also odd, is I believe humidity or heat somehow makes a difference and I notice the feelign of swelling is good one day, not so much another. But the good days are much more frequent and I'm aware of the swallowing thing less. No one notices my scar (or says so anyway).

Good luck with the surgery, Kim. You'll want to feel better, and in a lot of ways you will, but when you don't feel well or tired, then do rest. Keep us posted.
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First let me say that it seems having thyroid surgey is more common than I thought. I had a tyroidectomy 9-6-06 and go to my MD tomorrow to have steri strips removed. I don't think she took nodes with the gland. She had blood drawn before the surgery to check for tumor markings? Does this make sense? Also, she said she would know for sure about cancer cells. Should I be concerened about more surgery for nodes? Also, I still have tightness and pain when yawning and have to sleep on 2-3 pillows. Is this a normal or am I a whimp?
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Laluna, Seadog, everyone!

Thanks for the detailed response and information. Laluna, I'm glad your singing voice was intact. I'm hoping for the same, though I don't sing professionally.

I was also referred to a general surgeon. My reading on the internet told me it should be more of a specialist. But, this surgeon does a fair amount of parathyroidectomies. My endo refers only to him. So, I'm just going to have to go with it.

My calcium has been quite high for some time and I've got numerous symptoms...so I'm anxious to feel normal again. I had a hysterectomy two years ago...and understand the fatigue that comes with surgery. But, heck...I've been feeling weakness, bone and muscle pain, lethargy, concentration problems, ulcers. Feels like I'm already in those shoes...so I probably won't feel much worse than I currently do.

Thanks again for the posts. I will keep you posted. I will be having surgery within the next week to 10 days I think.

Hugs - Kim 8)
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kimkimcherie wrote:

Oh, I'm so glad to see your posts. I will know better what to expect... What is normal. I have a right-sided parathyroid adenoma. I also have Graves...but that seems in check.

Any reccomendations about surgery or surgeons? They have referred me to a general surgeon saying they refer lots of parathyroid cases to...but he is not a thoracic or specialist, which worries me.

I sing...that worries me. How long were you hospitalized? How long reccuperating? Looks like I'd better give myself a while to recover. I'm a self-employed painter...so don't want to strain myself too soon. :-) Kim



KIM! Have you had your surgery yet? Please write to....there are some things you need to know. I had surgery 9/14.

edited by moderator***emails not allowed
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kimkimcherie wrote:

Laluna, Seadog, everyone!

Thanks for the detailed response and information. Laluna, I'm glad your singing voice was intact. I'm hoping for the same, though I don't sing professionally.

I was also referred to a general surgeon. My reading on the internet told me it should be more of a specialist. But, this surgeon does a fair amount of parathyroidectomies. My endo refers only to him. So, I'm just going to have to go with it.

My calcium has been quite high for some time and I've got numerous symptoms...so I'm anxious to feel normal again. I had a hysterectomy two years ago...and understand the fatigue that comes with surgery. But, heck...I've been feeling weakness, bone and muscle pain, lethargy, concentration problems, ulcers. Feels like I'm already in those shoes...so I probably won't feel much worse than I currently do.

Thanks again for the posts. I will keep you posted. I will be having surgery within the next week to 10 days I think.

Hugs - Kim 8)



Kim,
My extensive research has told me that you DEFINITELY need to see a specialist, one that ONLY does this type of surgery!! Trust me on this one. I travelled from AZ to Florida to see a specialist, and it was well worth my time, energy and expense. I am not sure if I am allowed to give names of where to go, but I will try...check out parathyroid.com there is alot of very useful information that will help you, if you haven't seen your surgeon yet. Best of luck!
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Well...surely didn't see this coming. They got in there Thursday and couldn't find the parathyroid that was "hot" on the scan. I had elevated PTH, high calcium (repeated testing of these) and a scan. They kept me on the operating table and scanned again, making a two hour surgery into more than six hours. He said just a bit of the regular thyroid showed on scan, but nothing looked malignant. I'm stumped (and dissapointed). Plus, I was outrageously sick from the anesthesia, vomiting, migraine till midnight that night. At least my voice is fine. Swollen and sore and looks like we'll be back to square one.

PS...my calcium level was normal yesterday. Could he have inadvertently taken out the parathyroid and not known it? SCARY!
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Oh, Klaube...thanks for posting that. I had actually gotten a lot of information from parathyroid.com and am already feeling regretful that I didn't try that route first. They were so forceful in their opinions and I did read some back-and-forth opinions published about the radio-guided surgery and whether it really is that helpful. It's a great expense to go to if the benefit isn't that high. But, perhaps they are adamant for a darn good reason!!!

I was assured this doc did parathyroid ops weekly, which is conisidered experienced as you know. He said he NEVER had this problem before (not being able to FIND the affected gland). Bad scans, bad info? I don't know. I am definitely going to look into the Florida clinic at this point. It would be worth the consult fee to at least find out if we're on the right track.

I'd love to hear more about your experience with them.

Thanks for posting! Kim
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