What Are the Side Effects of Thyroid Removal?

Side effects of thyroid removal procedures include sore throat, damage to the nerves that attach to the vocal cords and impaired parathyroid glands that can lead to depleted calcium levels, according to Healthline. Individuals may also experience an imbalance in thyroid hormone levels that can usually be treated with medication.

Additional side effects and complications of thyroid removal surgery include temporary breathing difficulties, voice loss and obstruction of the airways, explains MedlinePlus. While side effects are possible, the prognosis for thyroid removal surgery is excellent in most cases. Individuals who undergo total thyroidectomy procedures as opposed to partial thyroidectomies are usually required to take thyroid hormone replacement medications for the remainder of their lives.

Thyroid removal procedures are commonly performed on individuals who have cancerous or potentially cancerous nodules on their thyroid glands, explains the American Thyroid Association. During a thyroid surgery procedure, the surgeon creates an incision in the neck and removes the affected gland. In certain cases, smaller incisions are made and the surgery is performed with the guidance of a video camera. Patients are typically required to stay in the hospital for approximately 24 hours after surgery is performed. While patients can resume certain regular activities following release from the hospital, it is important they avoid strenuous activities, such as sports and heavy lifting, for 10 days following the procedure.