At Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates in Atlanta, GA, we believe in offering only the safest, most effective treatments for ear, nose, and throat concerns. While your parents or neighbors may have undergone an invasive thyroidectomy with a long preparation, procedure, and recovery process, you won’t get that here. Today, we reveal what you can expect from an innovative minimally invasive thyroidectomy.
What You Should Expect From a Minimally Invasive Thyroidectomy
During this procedure, your neck will first be sanitized with a cleanser featuring at least 70% alcohol by volume. Once the treatment area is cleaned, a tiny incision measuring less than an inch in length is made between your parathyroid glands. Then, a tiny endoscope measuring 0.5 cm in diameter is inserted into the tiny incision.
The endoscope allows us to see the area that needs to be worked on and remove the thyroid gland through the tiny opening. During a traditional thyroid removal, the several-inch incision is closed with sutures, clipping and extensive packing. During this procedure, we offer a revolutionary technique that does not require drains or bandaging.
How Long the Procedure Will Last
How long your procedure will take depends primarily on whether the entire thyroid is removed or we remove only part of the thyroid. Generally, you can expect the entire procedure to last between 30 and 90 minutes. One of the primary benefits of this procedure is that it can be performed comfortably using only local anesthesia and a mild-to-moderate sedative.
There are several advantages to this. For many, the primary advantage is that local anesthesia and a separate sedative is considerably more affordable than general anesthesia. Another advantage is that you won’t need to be observed for three hours post-op to ensure there are no side effects from the general anesthesia.
Results to Expect
What results to expect once your thyroid is removed depends on the condition you suffered from in the first place and the particular symptoms you suffered from. One of the most common reasons people seek this procedure is hyperthyroidism.
If you suffer from some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, such as nervousness, irritability, fatigue, sensitivity to heat, or insomnia, you can expect these symptoms to be relieved.
Other symptoms you can expect relief from include:
- Unexplained muscle weakness
- Hand tremors
- Uncontrollable muscle spasms
- Symptoms of IBS
- Irregular menses
- Puffy eyes
- Panic attacks or mood swings
- Excessive hunger
- Hair loss
- Warm skin
What You Should Expect From the Recovery Process
Just as the procedure is completely different from a traditional procedure, you can expect the recovery process to be completely different, too. After a traditional thyroidectomy, the recovery process began with a drain in the neck and an overnight hospital stay so blood can be drawn and serum calcium levels can be tested every four hours.
After this procedure, you are free to return home after we provide you with a comprehensive list of things to do and avoid post-op. Once we feel confident that you understand your limits during your recovery process, you may go home and rest. While your recovery time after this procedure is much shorter than a traditional thyroid removal, it’s still important that you avoid strenuous activity for 10 days post-op.
What to Eat After the Procedure
There are few restrictions regarding what you may not eat after your procedure. For the smoothest recovery process, we strongly encourage our clients to eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet. A licensed nutritionist can give you a better idea of your unique nutritional needs. However, in broad terms, you should focus on lean protein and fiber while minimizing highly processed foods.
If you want to eat a high-protein, high-fiber soup, like lentil soup, you may want to put a few cubes of ice in your soup or wait for it to cool off until it is no longer steaming. As a good general rule of thumb, you should avoid eating any foods that are steaming hot. Other meal ideas include:
- Smoothies made with frozen fruit, kale, and Greek yogurt
- Swordfish and asparagus
- Tuna on kale or spinach salad
- Tilapia and red potatoes
Good Candidates for This Minimally Invasive Procedure
Unlike a traditional thyroid removal, most people are a good candidate for a minimally invasive thyroid removal. There are several reasons for this including, but not limited to, the invasiveness of the procedure and the anesthesia used. The only way to determine definitively if you are a good candidate for this minimally invasive thyroid removal procedure is to come in for an initial consultation.
Generally, we look for individuals who have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition that has not responded to hormone therapy or other alternative treatments. He or she should be in fairly good health, but there are far fewer medical restrictions than exist for traditional thyroid removal. The best candidate for this minimally invasive procedure should also have realistic expectations about the procedure, recovery, and results.
Discover if a Minimally Invasive Thyroidectomy Is Right for You
If you suffer from Graves’ disease or other thyroid or parathyroid concerns, a minimally invasive thyroidectomy may be right for you. To learn more about what to expect from this minimally invasive procedure, or to find out if you’re a good candidate, contact our experts today at Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates in Atlanta, GA to schedule an initial consultation.