Q:

What medications and treatments are necessary after thyroid removal?

A:

Quick Answer

Pain medications, calcium supplements and thyroid hormone replacement therapy are usually necessary after surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Patients generally experience a sore throat immediately after the surgery. Lozenges and throat spray are usually given to reduce their discomfort, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Full Answer

The thyroid gland mainly secretes hormones that regulate growth by maintaining the metabolic rate of an individual. Disorders of the thyroid gland include abnormal growths, such as nodules or tumors, goiter and hyperthyroidism, which pertains to the excessive secretion of hormones due to Graves' disease. Surgical removal of the gland is generally recommended for these conditions, as suggested by Healthline. The procedure is classified into three types: lobectomy, subtotal thyroidectomy and total thyroidectomy.

Patients who undergo thyroid removal are closely observed in the recovery room for any signs of complications that may develop after the operation. Based on the results, a physician might advice a patient for an overnight stay at the hospital for further monitoring.

Over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may relieve a patient's pain. Prescription medications, such as morphine, may be given for severe pain, although this seldom happens. Calcium replacement pills are typically advised for patients with reduced calcium levels, which usually occurs after surgery. Thyroid hormone replacement drugs, such as levothyroxine, are prescribed to increase hormonal levels and treat hypothyroidism. Thyroid stimulating hormones are required following a non-cancerous total removal of the gland, as stated by the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

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