lost my voice after thyroid surgery

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trail girl
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 2/16/2013 12:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, Just giving my update. It's been 7 weeks since my lobectomy. My voice is still weak, but it's slowly getting better. My regular work allows me to talk a lot less than most, through the course of a day, but when I need to speak, for even an hour, I go hoarse. (This made me withdraw from some other work; I wish my surgeon and endocrinologist had really said more about this potential...)

Now, I can squeak out an octave on pitch with some concentration, but not with much quality. So, I don't try. I do notice that caffeine and hot drinks, be it coffee or otherwise, really seem to "dry out" my vocal chords. So, I'm drinking extra water, with a little honey and I keep throat lozenges around. My mouth/throat seem drier than before the surgery. My naturopathic doctor recommended the homeopathic Argentum nitricum, which I already had in my arsenal; I'm just taking it more regularly, now.

I do hope I get to sing again, one day. But, I'm paying attention to whether there are lessons to be learned in the silence. And, I've noticed that if I get emotional in ANY way, the colloquial "all choked up" really happens; that's a very interesting sensation. I think we take for granted, what goes on in our throats, until having this surgery. So, breathing and relaxing are always good! Ok, this is the most I've ever written on some public forum. Best of luck to everyone else.

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Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/18/2013 5:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey have any singers from this thread made positive progress with your recovery?

I'm so worried for my partner going in for a hemithyroidectomy.. singing & songwriting is one of her greatest talents!

Trying to stay positive but All I read about is people losing their voices even though the ENT doc said there is barely any risk of damage.


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Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/20/2013 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been crying all day. I had a thyroidectomy on July 31. Today is one day shy of three weeks since the surgery, and I can only whisper. I have trouble eating, drinking, and swallowing (even my own saliva at times). My surgeon's attitude was, "Sorry; we knew this was a possibility." Today I went to see a different doctor, and ENT, who stuck a lighted scope down my throat. He said neither vocal cord is moving correctly, but he did seem some movement on both. I am a schoolteacher, and as of right now I am missing the start of school and will probably have to file a disability insurance claim because the ENT says it could be six months before I get my voice back, if I ever do. I am so very heartbroken. The ENT wants me to go to a special voice clinic here in Dallas and have an EMG done to test the muscles and nerves in my throat. I am petrified. Adding to the burden is the fact that I am so scared I will choke to death. I go online and read about what I have, and it sounds so terrible. Can anyone please give me some guidance here? I am a single mom of two teenagers, and I am so worried. I have been a teacher for almost 20 years; I'm not trained to to do anything else. If I can't talk, I can't teach, and how will I support us??? I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown; my poor kids are so weary of seeing me cry. Please help!

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Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/14/2013 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Had a Total Thyroidectomy May 30, 2013. Could only whisper and had problems breathing and swallowing for 6 weeks after. Had to drink thickened liquids and eat only soft foods. No one set those as expectations after surgery. Good news is all cancer was removed and none had spread to lymph nodes.

ENT showed neither vocal cord was moving at 6 weeks after surgery. But I could swallow non-thickened liquids and eat most regular food as long as I paid attention during those tasks.

I have found no one locally or online, until now, that had the same issues as me. I hope someone is reading this thread. It is now 14 weeks since surgery and the left vocal cord is moving. (Yea!!!) I am a part time professional singer and cannot sing. It makes me very depressed. I can barely talk for a day without returning to a whisper or just getting too frustrated to try to fit into a regular conversation. I speak slower since I am gasping for air and I cannot talk over anyone else. My volume is very low. My voice is sounding more full, but there is no increase in volume.

After many doctor visits complaining about dizziness and tingling over all my body my new ENDO suggested I try Brand Name Synthroid and that appears to be the way to go for me. The generic made me too dizzy to drive. I still get the tingling at times, but it is very light and can be tolerated. Still having difficulties getting a full breath, new ENT says the vocal cords are not relaxing to allow a full breath.

I asked about Speech Therapy and got a non committal comment of "you could go to one if you want" I asked what they would do for me..... got no response. But was told to try vocal exercises on my own since I know how to do them.

Going to have an EMG exam done on the muscles around my vocal cords to see if there is nerve damage. Has anyone else had that exam done?

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/20/2013 1:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a total thyroidectomy 3 months ago no cancer at all. The only way I don't have to strain to speak is if I'm in a quiet room. I speak with my old normal voice, but if I am around any noise at all my voice goes south and I have to strain to be heard. It's very stressful. My Dr. said my voice will be back to normal by December 3 more months. The nerves to my vocal cords were damaged because of the surgery and my Dr. said it will just take time. Does anyone know of any home remedies to quickin the healing process (therapy,gargling,meds)?

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 9/20/2013 3:38 AM (GMT -6)   
rdoo, I'm sorry you had this experience. As you can see from reading this thread, you're certainly not alone. It's a fairly common but generally short-term effect of surgery in that area. Frustrating as it may be, I think the only remedy is time.

Congratulations on being cancer-free, though.
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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/23/2013 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Texgirl ...I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through.
I had my op on 28th June and still have not regained my normal voice.  My surgeon failed to tell me at the time that one of my nerves were damaged which has resulted in a
I know how worried you feel, I actually did have a nervous break down and was in hospital for two weeks because of it.
As you have some movement in both cords, that confirms that the laryngl nerves are not cut or sethered, which is irreversible, they may be nicked or pulled, if they were damaged paralyzed vocal cord.  I have had a temporary injection to move the paralyzed cord to the middle so that the  working cord has something to vibrate against, this has resulted in me having a voice, although I can not raise it and it very high pitched compared to normal.beyond repair you would have no movement at all, the fact they  are moving is a really positive sign, please take some comfort in that.
Nerves can heal themselves but they take a very long time, if at least one of your nerves heals you will speak again, there are procedures that can be done, including the injections I had and an operation to move the cord to the midline.  I am working with a speech therapist now and training my working vocal cord to compensate for the paraliyzed one.  It takes a long time, maybe a year, but its possible.
I know the isolation you must be feeling and the sheer terror, loosing your voice is like loosing your personal power... its part of your identity, its so important, people have no idea until its gone how much we use and need it.
I have spent the last three months researching this and finding the best people here in the UK to help me, I now don't feel so hopeless and belive I will regain most of my voice in time.
I feel for you and will pray for you tonight.
There is help out there for you and with time most peoples nerves do recover as long as they are not cut.... if they are cut they do not move at all.. so have faith.

New Member

Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/26/2017 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I need your help to deal with my mothers loss of voice after thyroid surgery. Can you pleasehelp me

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/14/2017 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

I wonder if anybody has had similar experience as I have and I seek for any help, advice, what to do...

I had a total TT on 16th June 2017 (struma nodosa). The very next day after surgery I had a very strong and painful tetanus attack from hypocalcemia, looked like my parathyroid glands were damaged, had to be on Calcium supply until recently, fortunately it seems they started to work again.. Since my endocrinologist left me without pills for 5,5 weeks after the surgery, I got into strong after-surgery hypothyreosis, my whole body got weak and swollen, the pain in my joints and muscles did not let me sleep at night (it has been only about a few days the pain is getting away slowly (hope it will not strike again), but I still suffer from insomnia). My hair (long, curly and thick, everybody admired..) is falling off..

Singing has been a huge part of my life since a little girl, I come from a musical family.
After surgery I could speak, not very loudly, but I could, even it seemed the voice had no damage apart from not being strong. Within a few weeks it was getting stronger, though still I could not sing, but felt it is slowly improving, in lower tones. However, since the surgery I still have had the sharp pain all along the right side of my neck, all the time. When I saw my surgeon he told me this could be coming from the nerve at the back of my head and some pills and physiotherapy would make it. However I have always felt the pain is coming from the inside of my neck, I could hardly turn my head to the right. And then it happened - end of August 2017 - 2 and a half months after the surgery I made a bad move with my neck, the very sharp pain disappeared and the very same moment my voice got much worse - it is all of a sudden weaker and hoarse, I hear this echo all the time, I cannot sing, I cannot talk for a long time, it gets weak, when speaking in the open air, I feel such a dry throat.. It hurts in my neck to speak in general. I had my vocal cords checked and the doc said they are both moving ok, but he also could hear the change in the voice. I am scared that by a bad movement I made a damage to my laryngal nerv! Anybody experienced this? Is it possible 2 and a half months after surgery!? What can I do to help to heal the nerv? Is it possible to heal it? Is there a hope?

Moreover I have trouble to swallow easily, it is worse now than before the surgery, it feels like at the right side of my neck there was something like a string under my neck all the time, like bad sawing, I have troubles to make even longer walks, the pain is so bad, it is hitting the right part of my chest. The left side of my neck is perfectly free, like there was no surgery made.. I was told to wait, that it can take even 6 months to make better.. Really that long to suffer from the pain is normal?

Experiencing all the pain and complications and that doctors keep telling me I should just wait I had a nervous breakdown after my voice had suddenly got worse. My life has turned to hell after the surgery, I experienced nearly every complication that could have occurred. Now I am on anti-depression pills, cannot sleep at night, losing weight... I have two small kids, 2 and 5 who just see me cry every day...
If at least my voice got better again and I could read the fairy tales to my kids before sleep again.

If you have any advice, please, help! Thank you!
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