When can I expect to feel better after surgery? I’ve been feeling terrible.
This is a great question. Unfortunately there isn’t a single answer for everyone. On average, most people will feel better within a few weeks after surgery, and this improvement can continue for months. But that is just the average. I have had patients who wake up after surgery and felt like a cloud was lifted. They feel amazing, right after the operation. These patients are rare, but they happen. And then I have had patients tell me that it took a year for them to notice any improvement. Thankfully, this is also rare. Instead of talking about this huge range (from minutes to a year), we end up talking instead about the “average” patient. The average patient will feel improvement within a week or two. Of course, no single patient will look exactly like that average patient. In addition, certain symptoms tend to improve faster than others. Bone pain, for example, is often the fastest to improve – it may be gone right after the operation. Fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive impairement often improve in the first few weeks. Some symptoms take a much longer time: depression and anxiety associated with parathyroid disease can last for many months after the operation. I know it can be frustrating to wait for these improvements, especially if you are feeling terrible. Fortunately, whether it takes hours or months, most people do notice significant improvements in their symptoms.