Thyroidectomy - Patient Stories

(Removal of the thyroid gland)

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A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland. Surgeons often perform a thyroidectomy when a patient has thyroid cancer or some other condition of the thyroid gland (such as thyroid nodules, thyroid enlargement (goiter) or hyperthyroidism).

Read the patient stories below for information and advice on thyroidectomy. Learn about common concerns, including what to expect during the procedure, possible complications, and recovery.

Patient Advice

Overall Rating
average of all patients
Pain is 4.3 of 10
Inconvenience is 3.1 of 10

About the rating

Preparation for Thyroidectomy:
“Find a surgeon who is highly recommended and makes you feel relaxed and confident.”

“Do not hesitate to ask the surgeon any questions, and keep asking a question — in different ways — until you understand the answer.”

“If you have a neck or back problem that is triggered by arching your neck backward, tell your surgeon prior to surgery because during surgery your neck will be in a flexed position.”

What to Expect After a Thyroidectomy:
“Report any pain or discomfort to the doctor or nurses. Do not hesitate to communicate.”

“Give yourself a week after surgery to get back to your usual daily activities.”

“Ask about the variety of thyroid hormone medication available; there are different families of medication, and you may do better on some rather than others.”

“Tingling in fingers after surgery could be a symptom of low calcium, so call your doctor immediately with any issues.”


Patient Stories


I had some nominal pain in the throat from the insertion of the tube for the anesthesia, and pain in my neck from my head being held in an uncomfortable position for approximately 3 hours during the surgery. Read More

Harry, male, 69, Massachusetts


I had hurt myself weightlifting, and when the orthopedist took an X-ray of my shoulder, he saw some lumps on my thyroid gland. Read More

Stephen, male, 54, Massachusetts


Going into surgery, I had two options: they would remove entire thyroid, or they would remove the right lobe and we would watch the left side with the possibility of a second surgery. Read More

Bonnie, female, 52, California


Severe laryngitis led to a scan of my neck, revealing a nodule on one side of my thyroid gland. A subsequent scan revealed two suspicious nodules and a needle biopsy – uncomfortable not painful – gave strong indication of thyroid cancer. Read More

Michael, male, 60, Massachusetts


I was diagnosed with multifocal thyroid cancer (papillary carcinoma). After identifying the cancer by a fine needle aspiration, I was told I would need my entire thyroid gland removed. Read More

AR, male, 38, Israel


I had a large lump on the left side of my thyroid. On the day of surgery, I went to the hospital desk and registered, and was taken back to the preop area. Read More

Valerie, female, 47, Massachusetts


I went to the doctor for trouble with sinuses/allergies and during the exam, which included a neck palpation, the doctor felt a nodule in my thyroid gland. A biopsy revealed Hurthle cells and the doctor recommended a thyroidectomy. Read More

Joan, female, 50, Massachusetts


I had hyperthyroidism connected to a tumor and nodule on my thyroid. The doctor recommended removing the mass. Read More

Maureen, female, 66, Massachusetts


I ended up having a partial thyroidectomy. I had developed a cough that never seemed to resolve itself. An ultrasound showed seven nodules in one thyroid lobe as well as a cyst and a couple of nodules in the other lobe. Read More

Lynne, female, 46, Massachusetts


I had a thyroid nodule that was giving me discomfort and was not responding to medicine. Read More

Ellie, female, 42, Massachusetts


I had ongoing issues with hemorrhagic cysts on my thyroid gland that had been drained multiple times, but came back faster and larger after each draining. Eventually their presence began to affect my ability to swallow without discomfort, and made it difficult at times to catch my breath. In addition, the constant pressure on my throat began to induce some nausea, so it was time to get it taken care of. Read More

Kathleen, female, 36, Massachusetts


My primary care physician (PCP) felt something in my throat during an exam and had me get an ultrasound. A large nodule was found. A needle biopsy was done and was inconclusive. There is a family history of cancer, including thyroid cancer. I was referred to an ENT surgeon. He recommended removing half of it to test it. Read More

Lisa, female, 36, Massachusetts

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