Deciding on thyroid cancer surgery in Kolkata can feel overwhelming. But, surgery offers the best prognosis for early-stage thyroid cancer. Being informed and prepared can help ease some of the stress.
Five essentials you need to know before undertaking a thyroid cancer surgery:
Knowledge will help you confidently tackle the entire ordeal of surgery. Here are five thyroid cancer surgery essentials to know if your doctor recommends thyroid surgery:
Understanding the Procedure:
The most common thyroid surgery is a thyroidectomy, which consists in removing all or part of the thyroid gland. Indications for surgery include a thyroid nodule or lump that is cancerous or looks suspicious or thyroid cancer that has started to spread.
In a total thyroidectomy, the entire thyroid is taken out. In a partial thyroidectomy, only half of the gland is removed. The best thyroid cancer surgeon will explain which procedure is recommended for your specific case.
The thyroid gland is located at the base of the front of your neck. The surgery typically takes 1-3 hours and is done either under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Most patients can go home the same day.
Preparing for Surgery
Once you schedule surgery, your doctor will give you instructions on how to get ready. This may include adjusting medications, fasting before surgery, and avoiding certain vitamins or supplements that can increase bleeding risk.
Be sure to discuss any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or supplements you take regularly. Your doctor may recommend adjusting dosages or holding certain medications before surgery.
Quitting smoking at least two weeks before surgery can help dispense with the risk of breathing problems during and after. Your doctor may also have you get bloodwork, an EKG, a chest x-ray, or other tests beforehand to ensure you are healthy for surgery.
What to Expect After Surgery
After thyroidectomy, you will be constantly monitored in a recovery area until you are awake and stable. Most patients can go home the same day. The incision is closed with dissolving stitches and will be covered with a bandage.
Common side effects include:
- Sore throat or hoarse voice due to the breathing tube used during surgery. This usually resolves within days.
- Swelling, bruising, or mild pain around the incision. Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve discomfort as you heal.
- Fatigue. Rest as needed while recovering.
- Numbness or tingling around the incision. This is normal and usually dissipates within a few weeks.
Medication Needs After Surgery
Since thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, you will need to take a thyroid hormone replacement pill daily after surgery. This is a crucial part of thyroid cancer treatment and is important to avoid hypothyroidism.
Your doctor will prescribe an initial dose, monitor your hormone levels, and adjust the dosage as needed. You may start the medication right after surgery or after your pathology results come back. This lifelong thyroid hormone therapy is safe and effective in keeping your metabolism on track.
Further treatment, like radioactive iodine therapy or external radiation, may be recommended depending on the type and stage of thyroid cancer. Being aware of what follow-up care involves allows you to play an active role in your recovery and long-term health.
Having the right information sets you up for the best possible outcome with thyroid cancer surgery in Kolkata. Don’t hesitate to communicate any questions or concerns to your surgeon.