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Having a foreign body sensation in throat while swallowing. Done CT scan. Had a full thyroidectomy. Reason for pain?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1980
Answered : 1 Question
For the past year (since Dec 2011), I've been having a foreign body sensation on the upper right side of my throat that worsened upon swallowing. In April 2012, it was noted that by thyroid was enlarged, ultrasound report showed that I had a goiter with substernal extension on the right side (same side as my sensation). My symptoms worsened and by November I was having difficulty swallowing at times and this became more frequent. A noncontrast CT scan was done in January showing by thyroid measuring 2.5 x 3.2 x 7.2 on the right and 3.1 x 3.6 x 6.8 on the left. There was also a nodule 2.1 x 2.3 x 2.1 on the inferior right lobe. There was slight tracheal deviation from the substernal goiter but no definite esophgeal compression. The report said no other obvious lesions were seen in the neck or throat area

I finally had a full thyroidectomy on January 29, so it should be about 6 weeks post surgery now. However the surgeon said that it was larger than they thought (6.8 x 4.5 x 3.5 right and 5 x 3.5 x 3.5 on the left) and that it had been pressing on my esophagus as well.

Immediately after the surgery, I felt a relief in swallowing and had no problems swallowing, however the sensation on the right side of the throat seemed to go away after the surgery but returned a week later. I did not think much of it, but this week I seem to have trouble swallowing again! I have also had tightness at the scar when swallowing that has become increasingly worse especially on the right side.

I would like to get a second opinion and ask if the symptoms I am currently having (slight difficulty swallowing, continued foreign body sensation in throat) are related to the healing of the incision or should I be worried that I may have another problem? My surgeon believes it is all related to the scar healing.
Posted Sat, 30 Mar 2013 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Rahul Tawde 1 hour later
Thanks for writing in. If thyroidectomy is complete then thyroid or a nodule arising from it cant be responsible for these symptoms. So we are left with 2 possibilities. First tightening due to scar formation and healing and 2nd local issues related to throat and pharynx. To me your symptoms appear to be due to contraction of scar and hence tightening of soft tissue structures around throat. These symptoms tend to resolve over a period of few weeks to months. However an ENT examination to rule out XXXXXXX issues within the throat may be worthwhile. Both are not very serious although disturbing. So dont worry. I dont see any other issues lingering around.
Hope this helps
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