What is the cause of dyspnea after thyroid cancer surgery? How to deal with it?

“Doctor, I have difficulty breathing after the operation. Is it because the cancer cells have spread to the lungs? Are you sick?”

“Doctor, I can’t breathe, is it a relapse?”

“Chest tightness , did a thyroid surgery cut off the lungs?”

As a common complication of thyroid tumors and even the entire thyroid surgery, dyspnea accounts for a relatively high proportion of all postoperative complications. It is not cancer recurrence, nor is it a lung problem. In fact, it is far less terrible than we imagined.

What is thyroid cancer surgery

Clinically, thyroid cancer is divided into four types, which are Papillary, follicular, medullary, and undifferentiated carcinoma.

Except for undifferentiated cancer, which progresses very fast and cannot be cured by surgery, most of the other three different cancers require total or partial thyroidectomy, as well as cervical cancer. Lymph node dissection.

subtotal thyroidectomy has become the mainstay of treatment for thyroid disease One, dyspnea after thyroid cancer surgery may have the following causes:

1. Postoperative bleeding

Postoperative hemorrhage is the most common cause of postoperative dyspnea. Compression of the windpipe, resulting in difficulty breathing.


The doctor will first find out the cause and try conservative treatment first. Watch closely. If it can’t be relieved, you need to operate again quickly, remove the blood clot in the operation area, carefully find the bleeding point, and complete hemostasis.

2. Laryngeal edema

Because most thyroid cancer operations require general anesthesia and endotracheal intubation, some patients may experience Laryngeal edema , resulting in difficulty breathing.

Patients with a history of respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, etc.) or who smoke, it is difficult to discharge respiratory secretions after surgery, and they accumulate in the edematous airway, which will aggravate the Difficulty breathing.


The dyspnea caused by laryngeal edema is usually temporary , the doctor will provide oxygen and intravenous administration for relief.

You also need to work hard to expel sputum, learn and master the appropriate sputum expectoration method before the operation. As a family member, it is necessary to pat the patient on the back regularly to promote the discharge of respiratory secretions.

3. Bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerves are invaded by tumor

If the tumor invades or the bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerves are damaged by surgery, in addition to causing voice Hoarseness can also cause dyspnea. The incidence of permanent bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve injury is low, and most injuries are temporary.

Countermeasures:< /strong>

Planned resection of bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerves is required, bilateral vocal cords are fixed, and tracheotomy is required to prevent dyspnea. After the tracheotomy, after the nerve injury period has passed, the doctor can close the incision after confirming that the vocal cords can stand on their own.

Another rare situation is laryngeal recurrent The nerve is not violated, but bilateral traction injury occurs, and preventive tracheotomy is also required. The nerve function may recover in about three months, and the tube can be extubated.


Summary at the end of the article

Generally speaking, patients with thyroid cancer develop Dyspnea, the bed doctor can detect it in time.

When the necessary conservative treatment is given, the dyspnea symptoms of most patients can be relieved or even disappeared quickly.

Finally, as a patient and family member of thyroid tumor, you need identify the signs of dyspnea as early as possible with the help and guidance of your doctor.

Once the above situation occurs, notify the doctor in time, so as to deal with it in time, so as to ensure that the patient can “smoothly survive” the dismantling time before the line.