Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

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Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by HusbandOfThyca on Fri Dec 10, 2010 09:55 PM

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My wife, who just had her TT one month ago, gets short of breath every now and then.  It just started happening after TT.   She gets this just from walking or climbing stairs.  

Anyone else get this or know why it happens?

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by jsbride on Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:10 PM

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I had that also after my TT.  I was told it was because of the breathing tube that was put in during surgery.  It did take care of itself after a couple of months.  I am 3 months post-op and do not have any breathing issues.  Hope this helps.  The best to you and your wife.

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by fireweed on Sat Dec 11, 2010 05:06 AM

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Is her voice affected at all? Thyroid surgery can strain or affect the nerves to the vocal cords and vocal cord function can impact breathing. My surgeon had to sacrifice one of my recurrent laryngeal nerves due to the cancer being adhered to it, so I have a paralyzed cord and, thus, breathing issues. Could be the breathing tube, as suggested above.

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by Kazmo on Sat Dec 11, 2010 07:15 PM

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On Dec 11, 2010 5:06 AM fireweed wrote:

Is her voice affected at all? Thyroid surgery can strain or affect the nerves to the vocal cords and vocal cord function can impact breathing. My surgeon had to sacrifice one of my recurrent laryngeal nerves due to the cancer being adhered to it, so I have a paralyzed cord and, thus, breathing issues. Could be the breathing tube, as suggested above.

I too have chord damage and have been suffering since external beam radiotherapy, with breathing difficulties and the feeling of someone having there hands around my throat.

Could this be from the chord damage and not the radiotherapy?

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by fireweed on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:25 PM

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I have been told my right vocal cord is in a near medial position, which while great for speech and swallowing, results in a restricted airway. My ENT says I am breathing through a much smaller opening than a normal person. I have issues even if I just try to talk while walking quickly. It's tolerable though. My 30 external beam treatments didn't seem to have an impact on breathing, though I do know the docs developed my treatment plan purposefully excluding my voicebox. They told me the radiation would not adversely affect the nerves though so i think they were in the range of what was zapped. I don't have a feeling of hands around my throat though. Have you been scoped down the throat by an Ear Nose and Throat (or other) doctor Kazmo? Might be useful to see an ENT specialist to see if there is something they could do to help you.

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by lakegirl53 on Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:46 PM

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My background is anesthesia, and I would doubt that one month post op your SOB is related to the endotracheal tube.  I would suggest pursuing this with your physician.  Have you been hypo during this month, and possibly loosing normal strength and conditioning?

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by Kazmo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 03:36 PM

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I have been scoped this morning, there is no sign of swelling etc, they say it could be scar tissue from the neck dissection and from the radiotherapy, i have to go back i 5 weeks to see if it has eased any. The muscle on the side i have had the neck dissection it extremely tight, don't know if this is also impacting on the situation.

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by jsbride on Mon Dec 13, 2010 04:00 PM

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Kazmo, massage your scar and neck muscles  as often as you can...it helps to loosen up everything up. 

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by Kazmo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 06:44 PM

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On Dec 13, 2010 4:00 PM jsbride wrote:

Kazmo, massage your scar and neck muscles  as often as you can...it helps to loosen up everything up. 

Thank you so much will do that from now on. XX

RE: Shortness of Breath after Total Thyroidectomy

by HusbandOfThyca on Mon Dec 13, 2010 09:07 PM

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Thanks everyone for the great information.  My wife is complaining about the tightness in the throat/scar area.  I didn't even think that her airway could be narrower now.  The surgeon didn't mention any vocal chord damage and her voice is fine.  

She did go see her PCP and the PCP is sending her for a chest X-Ray today to see if there is any fluid buildup.  My guess is no.   If we find out an answer, I'll be sure to post it so others may benefit.

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