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.
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.