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Good Foods to Eat After Thyroid Surgery

author image Gwen Bruno
Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin.
Good Foods to Eat After Thyroid Surgery
Soft drinks and foods are a good choice following thyroid surgery. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Removal of part or all of the thyroid gland is called a thyroidectomy, and is necessary when you have a cancerous thyroid nodule. You may also require surgery if you are suffering from symptoms due to a benign thyroid nodule. Other reasons for thyroid surgery include recurrent thyroid cysts, Graves’ disease or goiter. Recovery from an operation on your thyroid is usually quick. Most people require only a one-night stay in the hospital, then return to their regular routine and a normal diet within a week or two.

Immediately Following Surgery

Good Foods to Eat After Thyroid Surgery
Piles of ice cubes Photo Credit Kritchanut/iStock/Getty Images

When you awake from your operation, your neck will be sore and stiff. You will likely experience discomfort when swallowing due to irritation from the breathing tube inserted in your throat for your anesthetic. Sucking on ice chips will help to relieve your thirst and also soothe your throat. Some people experience nausea following surgery, so begin your fluid intake slowly.

Clear and Soft Diet

Good Foods to Eat After Thyroid Surgery
Bowl of mashed potatoes Photo Credit Inga Nielsen/iStock/Getty Images

Surgery requires that you discontinue eating and drinking after midnight on the night prior to the operation, so once the the effects of the anesthesia have worn off, you will likely feel hungry. Begin by eating a clear liquid diet, such as broth or plain gelatin. Your doctor will tell you when to return to your usual diet. If you still have a sore throat, begin with easily swallowed soft foods, such as milkshakes, smoothies, soup, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding, oatmeal, tender vegetables, soft-cooked eggs, mashed potatoes and applesauce or other mashed fruit.

Foods Containing Vitamin C

Good Foods to Eat After Thyroid Surgery
Fresh strawberries in bowl Photo Credit Maris Zemgalietis/iStock/Getty Images

As you recover from surgery, eating a nutritious diet containing a wide variety of foods will aid your body in healing. In particular, vitamin C is necessary for healing wounds and forming scar tissue. Since vitamin C is water soluble, your body requires a continuous supply of foods containing this nutrient. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, sweet bell peppers, and orange and tomato juices.

Foods Containing Zinc

Good Foods to Eat After Thyroid Surgery
Grilled chicken breast Photo Credit beti gorse/iStock/Getty Images

Zinc is a trace mineral found in cells throughout your body. It plays an essential role in the healing of wounds and in proper immune system functioning, both of which are important as you recover from surgery. High-protein foods such as chicken, beef and pork are excellent sources of zinc, as are whole grains, legumes and nuts. If you are a vegetarian or if you eat a low-protein diet, you may require zinc in supplement form, since fruits and vegetables are not good sources.

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