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Is it necessary to have a local or general anesthetic during thyroid or parathyroid surgery?

When having thyroid or parathyroid surgery a patient must have a general anesthetic, so they are completely asleep. There are a few occasions where only local anesthesia can be used for a minimally invasive parathyroidectomy in a patient with extensive cardiac risks.

Preparation for General Anesthetic

When it comes to a general anesthetic, there isn’t a lot of preparation aside from abstaining from eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before surgery. An anesthesiologist will want a patient’s stomach completely empty before administering anesthesia. This is just in case a patient were to vomit there is not the risk of any fluid going back into the lungs during intubation (the insertion of a tube into an external or internal orifice of the body for the purpose of adding or removing fluids).

*Consult with your anesthesiologist for full preparation details.

Preparation for Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery

It is important that prior to surgery you are not on any blood thinners for at least a week, which would mean holding off on coumadin or aspirin or plavix. There are also certain vitamins that can cause bleeding which a patient should abstain from taking prior to thyroid or parathyroid surgery.