How Do I Prepare for Thyroid Ablation?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Preparing for thyroid ablation involves education concerning the reason for the procedure as well as what occurs during the ablation itself. Before the procedure, the doctor may order blood and urine tests as well as a thyroid scan. Dietary changes may be suggested before undergoing thyroid ablation surgery, although this varies from patient to patient. Certain medications may need to be taken before the procedure, while other types of medications may need to be discontinued. Any questions or concerns about thyroid ablation preparation on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Thyroid ablation is a medical procedure that typically involves the use of radioactive iodine to decrease the functioning of the thyroid gland in those who have conditions such as an overactive thyroid gland or thyroid cancer. In some cases, all or part of the thyroid gland may need to be surgically removed instead of using radioactive chemicals. If chemical treatment is used, the procedure will often need to be repeated several times, with each treatment spaced a few month apart.


Before the thyroid ablation takes place, the doctor may order blood and urine tests in order to determine the overall health of the patient. Females may also be given a pregnancy test, as this procedure is not safe for an unborn baby. A thyroid scan is often performed in order to determine how well the thyroid gland is working. For this procedure, a special dye is injected into a vein through a small catheter known as an IV, and then pictures are taken of the thyroid gland in order to obtain an accurate level of functioning.

Dietary changes may be suggested prior to the thyroid ablation, especially if radioactive iodine is being used. Foods such as eggs, dairy, and seafood are naturally high in iodine and may need to be discontinued until after the procedure. The doctor can provide the patient with a list of foods that should be avoided if these dietary changes are recommended.

Medications that are designed to help the cells of the body hold in the radioactive iodine may be prescribed prior to the thyroid ablation. Medications that are already being taken to control a thyroid condition are often discontinued a couple of weeks before the procedure. Any medication changes should be discussed with a doctor beforehand, as each individual case is different and proper individual care is important.



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What are the drugs and when should they be withheld?

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