After surgery, the patient will have a sore throat. Mild hoarseness is common and should go away within one to two weeks. There is not much pain involved with thyroid surgery. Rarely, narcotic pain medication (such as morphine) is required afterwards in the recovery room. Most patients, in fact, will just need acetaminophen to control their discomfort.
The patient can usually eat and drink normally the night of the procedure. The incision is usually closed with absorbable sutures and surgical tape or glue. A light bandage that may be placed in the operating room should be removed the following morning. Patients may shower the next morning and get the incision wet but should not soak it in water (no soaking in a tub or swimming) for one week.