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  • Suze
      Post count: 24

      Hi All,

      I am back after my thyroidectomy 2.5 weeks ago. I’m writing because I am still a bit hoarse (actually it sometimes sounds like I swallowed helium when I speak). The surgeon said that he did not harm a nerve and his office informed me that it could take some time to heal (my goiter was big). However, since I am seeing my surgeon post surgery next week, I thought to see if anyone else had this experience so I know if there are specific questions I should ask.

      Pre surgery I was informed that this could happen, but at the time they said it would last about a week or two. The dr. also informed me that there was a small risk of damage to vocal chords. I think he cited a 3-4% risk. This is a very high volume, well-respected surgeon. His nurse is now saying that this is normal and it will get a little bit better every week. She also said that they wait 6 months before doing anything further (a scope down the throat) to see if there is damage. Basically, I think they feel it could take 6 months for my voice to return to normal due to inflammation or whatever.

      Prior to surgery, people who responded to my post said they were back to work in a couple days. Not that I can’t work, but this is an impediment. I still don’t feel 100%. I’m wondering if others experienced this voice issue and if I should be particularly concerned.

      Thank you.


        Post count: 305

        They have equipment that enables them to avoid nerve damage, which is something not available years ago. I did not have any hoarseness, but I didnt have a goiter so less to remove. Just regular intubation for anesthesia for any kind of surgery, however, can make you hoarse just from mechanical trauma, not nerve damage, during intubation. Garden variety simple laryngitis from allergies, virus, etc can last a few weeks.

          Post count: 160

          It was almost 7 weeks before my voice was back to “normal”. I was cut really low and they were very inflamed from being wrenched around. I read my surgical report and they used an electric pulse to verify the nerve was intact at regular intervals. (I asked) Using this pulsing during surgery can cause the more lasting inflammation that I had and you might be experiencing now, the trade off being confirmation that the nerve is unharmed from the procedure itself.

          But yes, 6 months after surgery the lingering raspy was gone. I would have forgotten it even happened.

          My advice is to give it time. You did have a major surgical procedure. Some people take longer to recover than others.

          Congratulations on your decision to move forward! It will take a while to get your life back, but all of it can and will be yours again!


            Post count: 24

            You folks are extraordinary. This is now like the third time that this site has bailed me out from panicking about one thing or another related to this surgery. Thank you for being part of this community and helping out people like me.

              Post count: 148

              Are you doing a bit better now? I was still a bit hoarse two weeks after my surgery. I remember, because when I was at my surgeon’s office for my post-op appointment, I joked that I sounded better than her receptionist, who had a cold. The hoarseness disappeared so gradually that I don’t remember exactly when it was completely gone, but I noticed a lack of hoarseness the following week. I know that the hoarseness lasts longer for some people and it’s still completely normal and goes away on its own.

              Before surgery, people try to be encouraging about the recovery time, but it can take a while to get back to 100%. Our minds tend to minimize details like that when we’re happy with our outcome.

                Post count: 1909

                How are you doing now? I had a similar experience. As I recall, the person who noticed it the most, was myself! I think that I forgot about it sometime in the third week. I suspect it was pretty much of a non-issue before then. Things swell a bit when they are messed with! Just think of bumping yourself and getting a bruise! I sing in a chorus, so that definitely strained my voice and was uncomfortable, so took a couple months off for going back.

                I waited a couple weeks to go back to work, I think it was about that long. I think I tried to go back too soon, when I gave it a go the first week. I TOTALLY did not feel 100% for at least a month, like back to total baseline. Anesthesia really does knock the socks of your endurance a bit. It is really nice to have someone cook a meal, bend over to put stuff away, clean up the kitchen and do the laundry!

                It sounds like you are doing well. If you have the opportunity, take advantage of as much time off as you can that works for your. Or work partial days if your job allows it. I remember being very TIRED.

                Do write again, and pretty soon, you will see a post like yours, and be able to reassure them with your recent experience!!!

                  Post count: 12

                  Hi Suze, I am 23 days post thyroidectomy. Overall doing very well. I too am having hoarseness and at times sqeak when I speak. I still can’t project my voice very loudly like when talking to my husband if we’re not in the same room.
                  I have to keep reminding myself that we’re all so different and I don’t think any two surgeries are the same, but hearing others’ experiences have been helpful to me prior to and post thyroidectomy.
                  I went back to work one week after my surgery, could’ve used an extra day but figured it would be harder to go back the longer I was away. I was extremely tired that first day. I can’t imagine going back in 2 days! My job though is not physically stressful or physically demanding. I felt less tired every day. My incision looks good, am using Mederma gel daily. Hang in there, our bodies repair and heal at their own pace.

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