Thyroidectomy scar

Thyroidectomy scar

 

Thyroidectomy scar

Does thyroidectomy leave a scar?

How to care for scars after thyroidectomy

How long does it take to recover from thyroidectomy scar?

What does scar look like after thyroid surgery?

How big is a thyroidectomy scar?

 

Does thyroidectomy leave a scar?

Traditional thyroidectomies and parathyroidectomies leave a visible scar in the middle of the neck. In a scarless thyroidectomy, or scarless parathyroidectomy, the surgeon accesses the gland(s) through the patient’s mouth (called a “transoral” approach.)

Read more about: Thyroidectomy

How to care for scars after thyroidectomy

You will have one scar, 3-4 inches across, along your collar line. This will run horizontally along the natural lines of the skin in your neck. After a few weeks it should be healing well, and after 12 months or so it will hardly be visible

Rarely, the wound can become infected. To reduce the risk, be hygienic, regularly wash hands with soap and water, keep the area clean, and use clean towels, clothes and bed linen etc…

 

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  • Caring for your scar the first day after thyroid surgery

While some thyroid surgeries are done on an outpatient basis (no overnight stay), most patients will spend the night in the hospital. You will be responsible for caring for your surgical wound once you are discharged. In most cases, you will be able to shower as soon as you get home, so it is important to properly care for your bandages and incision. When you do shower (no bathing), try to keep your neck as dry as possible, and make sure to carefully dab (not rub) the towel on the area to dry it afterwards. 

For extra protection, many people find it helpful to cover the wound with a piece of sterile gauze and Hy-Tape while showering. Hy-Tape is waterproof and it removes easily and cleanly, so it is ideal for this purpose. Various sizes of gauze sponges/bandages are sold in precut squares. Choose a size that completely covers the wound. Likewise, Hy-Tape comes in convenient, precut strips. 

 

Read more about: Thyroidectomy types

Read more about: Thyroidectomy complications

 

  • Caring for your scar the first week after thyroid surgery

You will likely be told to return to your surgeon’s office one week after surgery. At this appointment, you will have a postsurgical evaluation and the doctor will remove any Steri-Strips and stitches that remain. You can continue to shower during this week, but do not take a bath, use a hot tub, or fully submerge your neck in water. You may keep using the same showering method described above. Over time, your Steri-Strips will start to fall off as the glue weakens. This is nothing to worry about, but do not disturb the Steri-Strips that remain (i.e., let them fall off on their own). 

It is very important, especially during the first week after surgery, to keep your thyroid surgical scar protected from the sun. The new skin that is forming is delicate and extremely sensitive to UV radiation. Keep the amount of light your scar gets to a minimum, because this will influence the final appearance of your thyroid scar. Simply put, the less sunlight that strikes your incision, the better your thyroid surgery scar will look over time. A great way to do this is to use a piece of gauze and frame it with Hy-Tape. Make sure you use enough gauze to block out all UV radiation. One to two squares are usually enough. If you cannot see the skin through the gauze, you are using the right amount.

While it is uncommon, every surgery comes with a risk of infection. Unfortunately, a wound infection can interfere with the skin’s ability to heal, and may make the final scar to look worse. As such, make sure to examine your surgical wound for signs of infection each day of the first week after thyroid surgery. If the skin around the wound is red, warm, and or swollen, this could mean you have an infection (though a little bit of swelling and pinkness is normal). If you see pus or fluid leaking from the wound, call your surgeon’s office. Also, call your doctor if you run a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher at any point during the first week after thyroid surgery.

 

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  • Caring for your scar the first year after thyroid surgery

After the surgeon removes your stitches and the skin has closed, the best way to care for your thyroid surgery scar is to protect it from UV radiation. Experts recommend covering the scar with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for an entire year after your procedure. This will help improve the long-term appearance of your thyroid surgery scar. If you know that you will be spending a substantial amount of time outdoors in direct sunlight (more than one hour), you can give your surgical scar some added protection by using a single strip of Hy-Tape to cover the incision mark. While it is relatively thin and moldable, Hy-Tape blocks UV radiation as well as or better than clothing does. So if you are going to spend the day at the beach within the first year after thyroid surgery, consider using a single strip of Hy-Tape for added UV protection.

Read more about: Thyroidectomy recovery

How long does it take to recover from thyroidectomy scar?

Your scar will be most visible for the first 1-2 months after surgery, improve significantly over 2-3 months, and gradually fade over the next 6-9 months. All incisions are sensitive to sunlight. The ultraviolet light of the sun and tanning booths will darken the scar area in the first year. Always use sunscreen.

 

 What does scar look like after thyroid surgery?

Your incision may be firm and red for many months after the procedure. The scar may have raised borders, too. Patients usually hate the look of raised borders around a scar, but early on in the process, this actually helps the skin to heal.

 

How big is a thyroidectomy scar?

Current techniques for open conventional thyroidectomy or parathyroidectomy have evolved to enable a shorter incision. There are many definitions of "minimally invasive" thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy in the literature. No matter how they are defined, the main advantage is a shorter cervical incision. The classical Kocher incision for thyroid surgery, which is approximately 10 cm long, has been the gold standard for more than a century. Results Mean length of the incision was 5.5 cm for total thyroidectomy, 4.6 cm for lobectomy, and 3.5 cm for parathyroidectomy (P<. 001).

 

 

 

10 common questions about thyroidectomy scar

1How big is scar from thyroidectomy?
Scar, 2 weeks after a total thyroidectomy for 2.1 cm (about an inch) Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma on the right side.
2How long does thyroidectomy scar take to heal?
What will the scar look like? The incision will be slightly raised, and there may be slight swelling and bruising noted. These signs should disappear in approximately six weeks. Significant swelling the day after surgery is unusual, and the patient should call their surgeon if this is noted.
3How do you massage a scar for a thyroidectomy?
Use the pads or soft tips of your fingers to massage the scar and tissue around the scar. Massage in all three directions. Circles: Using two fingers make small circles over the length of the scar and the skin surrounding it. Vertical: Using two fingers massage the scar up-and-down
4Does thyroidectomy leave a scar?
Unfortunately, the thyroid gland is in the front of the neck, so the incision that a surgeon makes to remove the thyroid gland can leave a noticeable and sometimes unsightly scar. Fortunately, there are steps you can take—starting the day of thyroid surgery—to minimize the appearance of thyroid surgery scars
5Can you live a normal life after thyroidectomy?
In most cases, these supplements can be stopped within several weeks, once the parathyroid glands heal and their normal function returns. Patients require lifetime thyroid hormone replacement when the entire thyroid gland (both lobes) is removed, and sometimes when even just one lobe is removed.
6Do you gain weight after a thyroidectomy?
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the perception of many patients that their thyroidectomy and thyroid hormone replacement or suppressive therapy is responsible for their subsequent weight gain, there were no significant differences in weight gain over time in comparison to a control group of euthyroid patients with thyroid nodules ..
7How will I feel after thyroidectomy?
After the procedure Some people may need to have a drain placed under the incision in the neck. This drain is usually removed the morning after surgery. After thyroidectomy, a few people may experience neck pain and a hoarse or weak voice. ... You'll be able to eat and drink as usual after surgery.
8Can you lose weight after thyroid removal?
Conversely, if the person takes too much thyroid hormone he or she can lose weight. ... Yes, thyroid removal can impact weight loss. Thyroidectomy (removal of thyroid gland) can disrupt your metabolism due to the decreased level/absence of thyroid hormones leading to weight gain.
9What foods to avoid if you have no thyroid?
Diet. Goitrogenic foods, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale, can interfere with the body's ability to make active thyroid hormones. But, if you do not naturally make these hormones at all—as is the case if you do not have a thyroid gland—you don't need to be concerned about them
10Can you die from a thyroidectomy?
Although very uncommon, death may occur after thyroid resection. ... The median time from surgery to death was 14 days (range 1-85). CONCLUSIONS: Death after thyroidectomy is very uncommon, and most often results from a combination of advanced age, giant goiters, and upper airway complications.

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