Are you facing surgery for thyroid or parathyroid removal? If so, ensure to ask your general surgeon questions about your procedure, recovery, and a lot more. When you’re armed with information, you can feel more confident in the outcome.
Let’s talk about the possible questions you can ask your general surgeon before a thyroid or parathyroid operation and where you can go in Sarasota or Lakewood Ranch, FL, for comprehensive care.
What Are the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped structure bridging the trachea or windpipe. The thyroid helps regulate metabolic processes, such as growth and heart rate.
The four parathyroid glands, located on the surface of the thyroid, control blood calcium levels. A person with diseased parathyroid glands usually has increased blood calcium as the gland removes excessive amounts of this important mineral from the bones.
Thyroid and Parathyroid Problems
Both types of endocrine glands are subjected to various diseases and conditions, including cancer. Other common problems include:
- Thyroid goiters
- Nodules or fluid-filled cysts
- Hashimoto’s disease due to T4 (thyroxine) deficiency
- Overactive parathyroidism, in which the four glands release too much parathyroid hormone
While thyroid hormone deficiencies can respond well to thyroxine supplements, the only successful solution to many thyroid problems, such as cancer, is the surgical removal of all or part of the gland. For overactive parathyroid glands, the sole treatment is surgery, in which the general surgeon removes three of the glands in their entirety and does a partial removal of the fourth.
If your physician recommends a thyroid or parathyroid operation, be prepared to ask some questions regarding the procedure, your recovery, and life after thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy. Here are some important things to query about in your pre-op consultation with your general surgeon in the Sarasota or Lakewood Ranch, FL, area.
#1 Will I Be Hospitalized for My Surgery?
As with any operation, it’s important to avoid complications after thyroid or parathyroid surgery. That being said, your general surgeon will discuss your options with you. If you are otherwise healthy, your surgery may be done as outpatient. Alternatively, you may spend a day or two in the hospital to watch for problems, such as infection and bleeding.
#2 Will I Have a Scar After My Procedure?
After your sutures or skin staples are removed in the post-operative period, you will have a scar resembling a thin red line. The scar will likely be unnoticeable due to its location in the skin fold at the base of the throat; plus, its color will fade over time.
#3 Will I Need to Take Medications to Replace My Thyroid/Parathyroid Hormones?
Your PCP will monitor your hormone levels closely after your surgery. If you had your thyroid removed, you most likely could be on replacement thyroxine in pill form for the rest of your life. If you have had parathyroid removal, you may not need any medication as the residual parathyroid gland left in place should produce sufficient PTH or parathyroid hormone, to maintain adequate calcium blood levels.
#4 How Many Thyroid/Parathyroid Surgeries Have You Performed?
As with any surgery, you deserve the most qualified physician for the procedure and follow-up. At Intercoastal Medical Group, we highly recommend general surgeon, Dr. Joseph Mets. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. General surgery is his specialty, and he has treated scores of patients in the Sarasota and Manatee County area. His office is located in our Cattleridge Medical Building I. He can be reached for consultation at (941) 341-0042.
#5 When Can I Go Back to Work and Resume Other Normal Activities?
Most people recover from their surgeries quickly. Scars fade, and the common voice hoarseness gradually resolves. Your physician will outline additional therapies if you have biopsy results positive for cancer. Incision care, refraining from heavy lifting, and proper nutrition are the key to recuperation. Also, the surgeon will tell you when you can drive, return to work, exercise, etc.