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After thyroid surgery, how should I care for the incision site?

Although your scar is small on the outside, many tissue layers are divided to reach the thyroid gland. The layers are generally stitched back together at the end of the surgery. The normal healing process can cause temporary swelling or stiffness under the skin. Most swelling develops within the first two weeks after surgery and may last several months as the healing process evolves. When your surgeon recommends, massaging the swollen area daily can thin the scar tissue, help it flatten and heal nearly invisibly.

Sometimes fluid accumulates in the empty space created by surgery leading to swelling, this is more common in patients with very large thyroids and when lymph nodes are removed as well. This type of swelling develops slowly and peaks about 5-7 days after surgery and usually begins to resolve after that. While some swelling is expected, marked swelling is more concerning. If the area under the scar suddenly increases in size, bulges out impressively, or causes difficulty breathing, speaking, swallowing, or lying flat, you should contact your surgeon immediately.

For more information go the endocrinediseases.org:

Diseases of thyroid function

Thyroid Surgery: Recovery

Thyroid Surgery: Complications

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.