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Anesthesiology/Potential thyroid issue and anesthesia


QUESTION: Hi. I am having breast augmentation surgery soon and am curious if a potential issue with my thyroid will affect me going under anesthesia. I have thyroid issues in my family, had a baby 8 months ago and have been experiencing several symptoms that point to a thyroid issue. My surgery is very soon and figured afterward I will deal with my thyroid. My only concern is the anesthesia. If I do in fact a thyroid issue will that negatively affect my response to general anesthesia.  Thank you.

ANSWER: hi mandy,

thanks for the question.  in order to give you an appropriate answer, i would need more information.  your thyroid "issues" can point to several diagnoses, such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or postpartum thyroiditis.  what kind of symptoms are you experiencing?  what brings on the symptoms (activity, stress, etc.)?  are you taking any medicines for your symptoms?  what relieves the symptoms you experience?  or are they there daily?  any other medical issues/diseases?  ever have anesthesia in the past?

so, you see, it's not quite that simple to answer your question.  but perhaps if you provide me with some more information, i might be better equipped to answer your inquiry.

thanks again for the question.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi thank you for your prompt response.
My issues are as follows:
Losing my hair
Pain in my joints
The feeling of muscles seeming weak
Tired, even after a good nights sleep
Difficulty falling asleep (attributed to the ringing in my ears keeping me awake)
Unable to lose anymore weight
Usually cold
Regular long lasting headaches (at least 3 to 5 hours sometimes all day)
Ringing in my ears (have had this for 16 years)

It seems that some days are better than others but I cannot really pinpoint what really brings on the symptoms.  I do not take anything for my symptoms other than tylenol for the headaches and coffee for the tiredness but not more than 2 caffeinated drinks a day because it increases my tinnitus. I have actually had most of these symptoms for years but lately they have increased, the ringing has become louder, my hair is breaking and falling out to the point where I have become scared, muscle weakness and joint pain developed recently. I just wanted to know if I do have a thyroid issue will it affect me going under anesthesia? Thank you for your time and consideration.

ok, to answer your question in short.  if this is an elective procedure, i would defer clearing the patient from an anesthesia standpoint, and recommend the patient get optimized (and evaluated by endocrinologist) prior to surgery.  the risks and side effects of anesthesia on someone with untreated hypothyroidism (for example) can have deleterious outcomes.

i hope this helps some, and good luck with everything!


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Dino Kattato MSNA CRNA


Former ICU/ER RN with several years of experience. I can answer questions relating to the CRNA education process, professional issues involved, as well as questions about adult and pediatric clinical anesthesia.


Level I regional Trauma center dealing with simple to complex patient populations of all ages. Experience with general anesthesia, spinal and epidural anesthesia, and total IV anesthesia for all surgical specialties including neuro, ortho, general surgery, vascular, electrophysiology, and VIR, with the exception of cardiac anesthesia. Ambulatory surgery center dealing mostly with ENT, plastics, and eyes (70%:30% peds:adults).


AANA Journal February 2010 Feb;78(1):24-7.


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