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What to Expect:

  • For the first several days after surgery, there may be a mild to moderate amount of pain in the neck and throat. This can be controlled with the pain medicine that was prescribed or you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®), up to 1000mg every 6 hours as needed for pain. Do not combine Tylenol with the prescription pain medicine. Do not take aspirin products, ibuprofen or naproxen for the first week after surgery.
  • Some swelling in the neck is normal and will resolve with time. Call our office if the incision swells excessively, becomes increasingly red or starts to drain, or if you experience a fever over 102.0 F.
  • If an antibiotic has been prescribed, use it as directed.
  • Call the office if you experience numbness or tingling of the lips or fingers, or muscle cramping or twitching. This is unusual after thyroid surgery, but might represent low blood calcium.


  • For the first few nights after surgery, you should sleep with your head elevated on two to three pillows or in a reclining chair to minimize swelling.
  • Do not remove the paper tapes from the wound unless they are falling off by themselves. Your physician will remove them at the postoperative visit.
  • Keep the wound dry for 2 days, after which time you may let water run over the wound and paper tapes. The paper tapes should be adherent enough not to fall off when wet.
  • There are no dietary restrictions. It is important to drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
  • Avoid turning or extending the head, including driving. These motions can cause excessive tension on the wound.
  • Avoid exertional activity, straining and heavy lifting for the first week after surgery. Driving is prohibited while taking prescription pain medications.
  • Follow-up in our office for the post-operative appointment as scheduled, or please call to make this appointment.

Please call 610-374-5599 with any questions or concerns.