Post-Operative Instructions and Care
We have compiled a list of post-operative instructions for you after your surgery…
- Open Parathyroidectomy Post Op Instructions
- Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy Post Op Instructions
- Total Thyroidectomy Post Op Instructions
- Minimally Invasive Thyroid Post Op Instructions
- Hemithyroidectomy & Partial Thyroidectomy Post Op Instructions
- Neck Exercises for Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery Post Op Instructions
Recommendation after Surgery
(Includes information for all different procedure types)
The following information should help you during your recovery after surgery. You should organise someone to pick you up and try to have a friend or family member help you for the first few days so that you can avoid lifting. Having some groceries ready at home after surgery can also avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket.
Pain medication will be ordered for you as needed on discharge. You are encouraged to take the prescribed pain medication in order for you to be comfortable during your recovery. Pain may prevent you from doing the activities that help with your recovery. If you have concerns about your pain management, please contact us or talk to your GP. Please report any new, increasing, or unrelieved pain.
Watch for any separation, bleeding, or signs of infection which include:
- Drainage of fluid or puss
- Heat at the incision site
- Fever (which is usually a temperature of 38 ºC or higher)
- If you notice any of these problems, call us or your GP.
Generally, you should not lift objects heavier than 10kg for 1 week. Lifting heavy objects too soon may weaken your incision. Plan your daily activity so that you can rest often. Do not expect your energy level to be the same as it was before surgery. Your body needs more energy to heal, and this may cause you to feel weaker and sometimes tired. Different surgeries require different limitations on activity. However, at your follow up appointment 1-2 weeks after surgery the further increase in activity will be discussed.
Depending on the operation but most patients especially after key hole surgery are ok to do short drives about one week after the operation in a private vehicle. Never drive while taking narcotic pain medications (e.g Targin, Oxycodone) and make sure you are able to do an emergency breaking, fasten seatbelts and can visualise traffic as you did before the surgery.
Post operative appointment
At the time of your surgery booking you would have been given a time and date to attend a post operative appointment. If this did not occur, or you have forgotten your appointment details, please contact our practice and we will arrange this for you. Post operative appointments are generally 10 – 14 days after your surgery.
The recovery period for surgery is generally 10 days. During this time we advise you to undertake light physical activity only. Driving is not recommended until at least 7 days after surgery as you will find that your neck will be fairly stiff and you may not be able to turn your head to see any nearby traffic. Swimming is also not recommended to ensure that the wound is allowed to heal. If you plan to fly or travel large distances during the first 2 weeks after surgery please contact our rooms for advice. You are encouraged to perform neck exercises after your surgery to help assist the healing process. A list of these exercises can be found in the above list of downloadable pamphlets.
Dr Sywak will change your wound dressing at your post operative appointment. If it happens to fall off before then please get some ‘micropore tape’ from your local chemist and place over the wound, changing every 2 or 3 days.
Call for concern
If you notice any significant swelling and your wound has become red, hot or itchy, or if you feel increasingly tired or unwell please contact our practice immediately for further advice. If you have any concerns after office hours please contact your GP or present at the nearest hospital emergency department.
If you are discharged on calcium or rocaltrol supplements please refer to the above downloadable pamphlets regarding medication reductions.
For patients discharged on thyroxine, your dose will be managed by Clin. A/Prof Mark Sywak and your other specialists.
For specialists in thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal surgery, contact Sydney Endocrine Surgery by clicking here.