Drains are flexible and hollow plastic tubes that the surgeon leaves in the patient’s neck to allow drainage of blood, lymph, and other body fluids after thyroid surgery. Drains are not necessary for most thyroid operations. Thyroid surgeons place drains when there is a high likelihood of body fluid accumulation after an operation, for example if an extensive neck dissection (lymph node removal) was performed, or if the patient is on an anticoagulant (blood thinner) for some other medical condition. Ask your surgeon if a drain is likely to be placed at the end of your thyroid operation.
- Q What type of doctor should I see for a thyroid problem?
- Q What happens to the thyroid tissue that’s removed in thyroid surgery?
- Q Do I need medicine if I have borderline thyroid test results?
- Q What are the signs of low blood calcium after thyroid surgery?
- Q After thyroid surgery, how should I care for the incision site?
- Q When can I return to normal activity after thyroid surgery?