Recovery & Support for Hyperthyroidism
After surgery, NYU Langone endocrine surgeons schedule a follow-up appointment one to two weeks after the procedure to ensure there are no complications. Typically, you then meet with your endocrinologist to create a plan for further monitoring and treatment.
Although many hyperthyroidism treatments, including surgery, may cure you of the condition, they may also leave you without a fully functioning thyroid. This results in permanent hypothyroidism and requires long-term treatment to replace the thyroid hormone thyroxine.
If your doctor prescribes synthetic thyroxine, you need to be monitored regularly and have your thyroid levels checked twice a year—or more frequently if you experience symptoms.
NYU Langone endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons provide you with the most effective treatment and follow-up care possible, so you can continue on your road to recovery.
Pregnancy and Hyperthyroidism
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy is Graves’ disease. It’s crucial to manage this condition, because Graves’ disease during pregnancy can lead to fetal arrhythmia or fetal goiter, which is enlargement of the thyroid and can obstruct the baby’s airway after birth.
Hyperthyroidism can also cause preterm labor and a complication known as preeclampsia, in which a pregnant woman develops dangerously high blood pressure. Hyperthyroidism also may lead to kidney disease, which is detectable by the presence of protein in the urine.
Treatment during pregnancy is based on the severity of the condition. In women with mild hyperthyroidism, doctors may only monitor the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH. This hormone is made in the pituitary gland and signals the thyroid to increase hormone production.
If the condition worsens or becomes severe, your doctor may prescribe antithyroid medication. Throughout treatment, TSH is monitored frequently to avoid the development of hypothyroidism.
If antithyroid medication doesn’t control hyperthyroidism or isn’t an appropriate treatment option, surgery during the second trimester may be an alternative in emergency situations.
If you have hyperthyroidism and radioactive iodine ablation has been recommended, NYU Langone doctors recommend that you not become pregnant for 6 to 12 months after treatment. This helps to ensure that the small amount of radiation used in this treatment doesn’t harm your unborn child.
Sperm counts can also be affected by radioactive iodine. If you have hyperthyroidism, it’s important to talk to your physician before you plan to conceive or take appropriate precautions.