Thyroid Cancer Support Group

Thyroid cancer is cancer of the thyroid gland. There are four forms: papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic. If you or anyone you know and love is affected by thyroid cancer, join this community to lean on the support and experiences of others.

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vocal cord bruising

new to this site......

Vocal cords bruised.....whisper, raspy, choke on water a few times a day and out of breathe...
had tt about three weeks ago. First two weeks........HELL!!!!!!!!
Now my only problem is my vocal cords.
My doctor said that my voice will come back either all of a sudden or this true?

Also.....should I be talking just as much or should I try not to talk???
I will be seeing a speech therapist soon.

Thank you for any advice even if not directly related to my questions...
oh yes, does anyone have a good website for difficulties after TT related to vocal cords or even just a good site for the things?

Thanks all,



When they take out your thyroid it is attached to the nerves that operate you vocal chords and most surgeons will leave thyroid tissue on those nerves to avoid damaging them.
This was my biggest fear that almost made me back out of my surgery, except that surgeon promised not to risk damage to those nerves and left tissue behind.
In the consent form for the surgery it says you could have permanent vocal paralysis and not be able to talk above a whisper.
I know of a someone who had paralysis one side that took like 2 years to get normal voice back.
I would think you should see an ENT for evaluation if it takes more than a few months to find out if there is permanent damage.

Once again I agree with and/or have experienced what JCVOLT has said. Since the Thyroid wraps around the voice box, They can't get to close to it with the scalpel in surgery or they can bruise the vocal cords causing temporary or permanent damage.
After my TT in 1994 they had about 4 interns come in my room within hours after surgery. They asked me so many questions and me still being groggy, I tried to talk and answer. I then lost my voice for 3 weeks. I was not happy that they let those interns question me like that.
My boss at my job lost her voice for 6 months after her TT because they really bruised her.
Now, 15 yrs. later. I am having lots of problems with my voice that have increased in the past 5 years. I live in Las Vegas where it is very dry and have been told by all my Dr's. that I need to live somewhere with a moister, cooler climate.
I loose my voice all the time. Sometimes for a day, 2 or a week. It gets raspy and hoarse a lot mostly in the summer. They say it's from the TyCA.
And I have to be careful not to take big gulps when I drink any liquids. It hurts like heck if I do and it gets caught and I can't breath until it goes down. Fells like a knife.
If I yell, I'm hoarse immediately, so....I don't yell, LOL.

Hu Lori,
Don't worry, try to rest your voice as much as possible. I know it's hard! I'm a teacher and had to go on disability for 8 weeks until my voice came back. Your voice may come sooner. Take it easy and it will come back.

I'm new to this site too. I had a total thyroidectomy plus a large number of lymph nodes in March 2009. According to my surgeon, many of the lymph nodes were clustered around my vocal nerve, and they had to "scrape" them off the nerve. I'm lucky to have a voice at all.

After the surgery, my left vocal cord was paralyzed. Any liquid I drank went straight into my lungs, which improved slightly a few weeks after surgery, but I was still choking many times a day. My voice didn't recover much above a whisper.

My endocrinologist sent me to a speech therapist, and I was very skeptical that a speech therapist could do anything for a paralyzed vocal cord. I have to say that I was completely wrong. They have a new therapy called VitalStim that involved direct electrical stimulation to the outside of the neck. It isn't comfortable, but it isn't really painful either. After about 12 treatments, my voice is about 85% back, and my swallow success rate is about 95%. My ENT was amazed -- he thought that we were headed back into surgery to give me any vocal strength back.

Good luck, and remember that there are options to help!

I just had my total thyroidectomy on 9/25/09. My voive is very raspy and it hurts to cough,drink and swallow. My surgeon forewarned me that this would occur because your main vocal nerves run along besides the thyroid. My 3 year old son is enjoying my silence though!lol I hope that is gets better soon. I try to rest my voice as much as possible because I love to sing and I have to talk to people all day at work. So hopefully yours will bet better also!

Well, guess how and why I chose my online name in here? I had a TT in December of 2007, and I'm closing in on the second anniversary. I have recovered my voice very slowly. It was well over a year before I had a singing range of more than a few notes...I was thrilled because I had given up on singing. I'll never do the solos or be called "the Voice" in church again, but I can sing along at least a little to the radio or by myself. There are much fewer "dead" zones now.

My speaking voice is still just a bit raspy, not markedly so, but not as smooth as previously. I still cannot effectively raise my voice. I am a teacher, so when I have to call kids in from the playground, I just enlist some student helpers. *smile*

The point of this is, you've been through a helluva change and ordeal. You may have some permanent damage, like I do, but even that smooths out in time, or you find ways to adapt.

My surgeon told me that whatever voice and range I recovered in about six months would be it....luckily, he was wrong and it's improved a bit even after that.

Unfortunately, the recovery process from this is slower than any of us would like, so be patient and notice and celebrate the small change. Best of luck!

My medical doctor referred me to a doctor at the hospital to do my thryoidectomy instead he should have referred me to my ear, nose and throat doctor. That was the first big mistake. The doctor that did it at my hospital was a general surgeon. After the surgery he came in and spoke to me and asked me why my voice sounded so horribly because he said he thought the thryoid came out without bothering the vocal cords. He told me my voice should be back soon. I had terrible coughing and choking that kept me up all night. Well I went to my ear, nose and throat doctor and told me the right vocal cord was paralyzed and he could go in there and move over the right and place gelfoam in there to keep it in place..temporarily. Hopefully it would wake it up and come back. I went through a terrible time after that procedure with breathing and acid reflux. Well now it's 2 years later and my right vocal cord is still paralyzed and my ENT says it probably won't be coming back if it hasn't already. My other vocal cord is really doing well though and I'm talking good. It's been a long road for me though. When I first went for this after being diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer I didn't think I would have to endure what I did. Not saying mine is in any means as bad as others. I'm lucky getting rid of the cancer. I've never been sick in my life besides when I tried to get my tattoos removed a year before this and that first treatment of the laser process put me in the hospital and shot my whole immune system down. I still myself blame that for the my thyroid cancer because when the immune system is down it attacks the thyroid but it can't be proved. Enough of me, I know I'm rambling on and on. Thanks for listening.

After my thyroid was removed I had absolutely no voice for a month and a half, no kidding. It was very frustrating to try and take care of 5 kids when you could not talk louder then a wisper, and a winded wisper at that. It did come back full strength though, thank goodness.
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