Your anaestheticoptions

You may be able discuss anaesthesia and choices of post-op pain relief with your anaesthetist

The anaesthetist is responsible for pre-medication before the surgery, your anaesthesia and wellbeing during surgery, and your post-operative pain relief.

General anaesthesia is normally used for thyroid surgery

Usually, you’ll meet the anaesthetist on the day of your surgery, but you may be able to talk to them beforehand if you have any particular concerns.


The anaesthetist may offer you medication before the surgery. This could be to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or help you relax. If you think you’ll be feeling anxious, ask if you can have something to relax you.

General anaesthetic

With general anaesthetic you’ll be unconscious for your procedure and a tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. You may wake up with a sore throat from the tube. Some discomfort on swallowing is very common for a few days. General anaesthetics occasionally cause post-operative nausea and vomiting.

You may also have a local anaesthetic in your wound for pain relief after surgery.

If you’re overweight or obese, there are increased risks associated with general anaesthesia.

Pain relief after surgery

Thyroid surgery isn’t too painful. Many patients have a sore throat from the breathing tube more than pain from the cut. After surgery you’ll be given pain relief prescribed by your anaesthetist.

You may be offered prescription opioid pain killers, but many patients find paracetamol or ibuprofen are enough.

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your procedure.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.