Immediately after thyroid surgery, doctors do their best to make sure that patients go through the recovery phase free of complications. Post-surgery thyroid support incorporates prescription of medicine and neck exercises to aid in the recovery process. Post-surgery follow-up also entails your physician keeping an eye on the progress of your surgical wound. Despite efforts by doctors and patients to keep complications at bay, you cannot completely rule out infections. If you experience the following symptoms after thyroid surgery, then seek medical attention immediately.
Numbness or Tingling
First of all, it is essential to understand that it is normal to feel some level of numbness under your chin and especially the area around a surgical incision. However, if you feel a tingling sensation around the lips, toes or fingertips, then you should call your doctor immediately. It is especially the case for patients who have had a total thyroidectomy. The reason why the tingling sensation is felt is that parathyroid glands do not begin to function properly immediately after surgery thereby lowering blood calcium levels considerably. The low level of calcium brings about the numbness and tingling sensations which can be very unpleasant if left unchecked. Your doctor will probably prescribe calcium tablets to improve the situation.
Prolonged Voice Change
It is common to experience mild hoarseness or voice tiring a few weeks after thyroid surgery. It can be attributed to the irritation some nerves undergo as they are moved about during the operation. What you should know, however, is that temporary voice changes should last for about six months. Therefore, if you experience hoarseness after six months, then you should call your physician immediately. Prolonged voice changes, such as the feeling of gradual voice loss, might be a sign of permanent damage to the laryngeal nerves. In such cases, a patient might have difficulty making high pitched noises, which should cause concern.
After thyroid surgery, the tenderness of the operated area can lead to irritation even from the slightest of activities such as swallowing. Coughing two to three weeks after surgery should, therefore, be seen as usual. However, the problem arises when a post-surgery cough gets excessive. One of the reasons could be that the wound is taking too long to heal, and as a result, the thyroid gland and its surroundings remain tender. It can lead to prolonged coughing, which should warrant immediate medical attention. A doctor should help rule out possible causes of excessive coughing such as inflammation or internal infection.