Post-operative instructions following Parathyroid Surgery for Dr. Greg Rohn and Dr. Brad Gamble of Otolaryngology Specialists of North Texas. Offices are located in Plano-Frisco and Dallas.
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Recovery from anesthesia usually occurs over several hours. Following the surgery, the patient is transported to the recovery room where they are observed for approximately 1-2 hours. Typically after an uncomplicated parathyroidectomy, the patient will be discharged home the same day. If this is the case, the patient will be transferred from the recovery room to the day surgery unit, where they are observed for several hours, then sent home. If the surgery time was long, if the procedure was complicated, or if there are other medical conditions, the patient will be kept in the hospital overnight and sent home the next day. These patients will be transferred from the recovery room to the inpatient floor 1-2 hours after surgery. In either case, we usually have the patient budget 2-3 days off of work or activities after parathyroidectomy.
The patient is typically given clear liquids either in the recovery room, or upon transfer to the day-surgery unit or floor. Depending on the level of grogginess, throat discomfort, and whether they have nausea, the patient’s diet is advanced to a regular diet rapidly over the first and second day. Upon return home, there are no dietary restrictions.
We typically have the patient maintain head elevation while in bed during the first week. This reduces swelling and discomfort. We suggest no heavy lifting or vigorous activity during the first week. We would request that the patient not travel out of the DFW area during the first week.
pain: The pain following parathyroidectomy is typically mild. Most patients have good pain control with Tylenol, or a mild oral narcotic pain medication for the first few days after surgery. We do ask the patient to avoid NSAID’s like Motrin, ibuprofen, Advil, Aspirin, or Aleve. It is common to have some mild throat pain for a day or two after this surgery due to the proximity of the surgical site to the throat, and the breathing tube which is in place during the surgery.
nausea: Nausea is occasionally present after a general anesthesia. If present in the hospital, the nursing staff can administer anti-nausea medications. If present after discharge, anti-nausea medications can be called in by your surgeon or their office staff.
fever: Fever is not expected after parathyroid surgery. If a fever over 100 is present, please call the physician.
swelling: Typically, the surgery site does have some mild swelling during the first 24-48 hours which slowly subsides over a period of 1-2 weeks. Some firmness of the region above the incision is common for about a month after surgery.
numbness: Most patients have numbness of the region around the incision for several weeks.
tingling: If the patient has tingling in the fingers/hands, the toes/feet, or around the lips, we would ask that the patient call the surgeon for further instructions.
hoarseness: Hoarseness is not common after parathyroid surgery. If present, it is typically caused by the breathing tube which is in place during the surgery, manipulation of the nerve to the voice box or both. If present, this typically lasts days. If there was an injury to the nerve, the voice could be weak for a longer period of time. If you have prolonged hoarseness after surgery, your surgeon will discuss the outlook and timing of recovery.
drains: Infrequently the patient has a drain placed during surgery. This is usually removed the next day.
incision care: The surgical incision is typically closed with absorbable sutures under the skin, steri-strips (tape affixed to the skin), or sutures on the skin. Your surgeon will update you on which method of closure was used, and how the incision is to be cared for.
Pain medication(s) as per your surgeon’s instructions. Commonly used medications include acetaminophen or prescription acetaminophen/hydrocodone. Antibiotic occasionally prescribed by your surgeon.
A routine follow-up visit is usually made for about one week after surgery. This appointment is made by the office staff when the patient sets up surgery.