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Will any of these treatments cause hypothyroidism? If so, what can I expect during this time?

A total thyroidectomy—meaning the entire thyroid is being removed—results in hypothyroidism. This is why a patient must be on a thyroid hormone pill for the rest of their life following a total thyroidectomy. A small percentage of patients will also have hypothyroidism after half of the thyroid is removed and will require a daily thyroid hormone pill.

Patients are recommended to follow up with their family doctor or endocrinologist at least once a year, and often more frequently in the time following surgery. These continued appointments are to assure that a patient is on the correct dose of thyroid hormone. Following the initial appointments and stabilization of thyroid hormone, a patient will usually only need to check-in once a year to get their thyroid function tests.