Q: What are the side effects and recovery time for thyroidectomy?


A: Thyroidectomy, or intervention for the surgical removal of the thyroid, results in the fundamental need to undergo replacement therapy with thyroid hormone (L-thyroxine) for life. In rare cases (1-2% of patients), thyroidectomy can result in injury of the laryngeal nerves with vocal cord paralysis and voice alteration (in most cases transient) or lesions of the parathyroid with resulting hypocalcaemia (also in most cases transient) to be treated with a combination of vitamin D and calcium. Typically, hospitalization for thyroidectomy does not exceed 3-4 days and recovery time is rather quick.