What is included in the postoperative care following thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Pramod K Sharma, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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If a surgical drain is placed, maintain it until its output has diminished sufficiently, usually on the first postoperative day. Hypocalcemia may occur in patients who have undergone total thyroidectomy. Assess for hypocalcemia by inquiring about perioral paraesthesia. In a patient with hypocalcemia, tapping on preauricular region overlying the trunk of the facial nerve may cause ipsilateral contraction of the face (Chovstek sign). Measure ionized calcium postoperatively. Hypocalcemia may require calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Manage pain with acetaminophen and narcotics as needed.

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