You may need to have tests that show exactly where the abnormal thyroid growth is located. This will help the surgeon find the growth during surgery. You may have a CT scan, ultrasound, or other imaging tests.
Your doctor may also do a fine needle aspiration to find out if the growth is noncancerous or cancerous. Before surgery, your vocal cord function may be checked.
You may also need thyroid medicine or iodine treatments 1 to 2 weeks before your surgery.
Before surgery, an anesthesiologist will review your medical history and decide what type of anesthesia to use. The anesthesiologist is a doctor who will give you the medicines that will make you sleepy and keep you pain-free during surgery. The anesthesiologist will also monitor you during surgery.
Fill any prescriptions for pain medicine and calcium you will need after surgery.
Several days to a week before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
You will probably be asked to stop eating or drinking at some point the night before or day of surgery. Your doctor or nurse will give you specific instructions.
Ask your doctor which medicines you should still take the day of surgery.
If you smoke, try to stop. Your recovery time will be shorter if you do not smoke. Ask your doctor or nurse for help.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital. Be sure to arrive on time.