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Ask Dr. Muneeb Ali Your Own Question
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Intensivist
Category: Endocrinology
Satisfied Customers: 6419
Experience:  Have experience of Endocrinology over the last 3 years
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I am 2 weeks total thyroidectomy postop. I feel like I am

Customer Question

I am 2 weeks total thyroidectomy postop. I feel like I am having increasing difficulty swallowing, like there's something caught in my throat; and minor shortness of breath. My surgeon took 3 minutes with me and said it's normal. I feel like something is wrong.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Endocrinology
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 11 months ago.


Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. My name is***** I am reviewing your question and will get back to you with an answer ASAP!! Can you tell me if you have any fever? Is the difficulty swallowing to solids or liquids or to both? Any other medical conditions or medications?

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 11 months ago.

Since you seem to be offline, ill leave a response here which we can discuss later on

Well there are few things which can be the matter here however your surgeon is right in a way because upto 60-70% of patients can experience swallowing difficulties for upto 4 - 6 weeks following surgery. this is because when the thyroid is removed there is inflammation of the surrounding tissues and this inflammed tissue can cause compression on the oesophagus and cause the difficulty swallowing. Now if the symptoms last for more than 4 - 6 weeks, then there is a possibility that the scar tissue which has been formed around the oeosphagus is causing compression of the oesophagus. This would be diagnosed with the help of a barium swallow and an endoscopy if needed. But in most cases the difficultys wallowing post surgery resolves after a month. Similarly shortness of breath can be a consequence of the same inflammation around teh trachea (which is the breathing tube), it too should subside within a month at the most.

Now while this can be due to other causes but it is recommended that the symptoms be observed first for upto a month post surgery to see if they improve or not. However if the symptoms worsen at any time that is an indication that you should undergo an endoscopy to see if there is another reason for the difficulty swallowing.

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