Advertisement

Will I have pain after thyroid surgery?

Most patients prefer to use some pain medication for a few days after thyroid surgery. There is pain at the neck incision, and many patients have a sore throat due to the plastic endotracheal breathing tube that is needed for general anesthesia. Your surgeon may give you a prescription for a pain-killer that combines acetaminophen with a narcotic (hydrocodone, oxycodone, or codeine). If your pain is mild, you may stop taking the stronger pain medication and just use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or another over-the-counter medication. Be sure to ask your surgeon if it is safe to use aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications such as ibuprofen, because these drugs can increase the risk of post-surgical bleeding. Always tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist if you have any drug allergies or history of problems (such as nausea and vomiting) with a particular pain medication.

Like all operations, thyroid surgery involves some pain and discomfort. Our goal is to minimize this discomfort. At the time of operation, your surgeon will give you some numbing medicine, which usually lasts about eight hours. Although you should be able to eat and drink normally, the main complaint is pain with swallowing. Most patients take Tylenol or Motrin to keep them comfortable at home.

Continue Learning about Thyroid Disorders

Know the Signs of Thyroid Issues
Know the Signs of Thyroid Issues
Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland releases hormones that regul...
Read More
Are Thyroid Conditions Often Undiagnosed?
Are Thyroid Conditions Often Undiagnosed?
How Do I Recognize a Thyroid Disease in My Child or Adolescent?
How Do I Recognize a Thyroid Disease in My Child or Adolescent?
Can a Thyroid Problem Make Me Forgetful?
Can a Thyroid Problem Make Me Forgetful?

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.