| | Thyroid worries 9 years after right lobe removed
Glad I found this board. I am quite a hypochondriac and am basically looking for reassurance. 9 years ago, when I was 15 (I'm 24 now for those of you who hate math), I had half my thyroid (the right lobe) removed due to a single hot nodule about .75 inches in diameter. The nodule was producing thyroid hormone and my "real" gland had shut down. My thyroid levels were basically normal, but the nodule wasn't supposed to be there so they took it and my right lobe out. The nodule was found to be totally benign: that is, not cancerous or precancerous.
My left lobe "woke up" after the surgery and blood tests indicated that it is now producing a normal amount of thyroid hormone. I have been totally euthyroid and symptom free since the surgery: no hyper- or hypo- symptoms at all. That's good!
The thing that worries me is that my neck does not seem symmetrical. I know I had half a gland removed, but the thyroid is supposed to be fairly small when normal. I have read that sometimes the remaining lobe will enlarge somewhat in order to produce the required level of hormone, and I think that this may have happened. I swear I can actually feel my left lobe! It is soft and smooth and doesn't have any nodules I can feel. It is the exact shape of a normal thyroid lobe, but slightly larger. I am very thin (this is normal for me, I have a very small frame) so I'm wondering if I am just worrying for no reason -- I've heard that sometimes thin people can feel their thyroid even if they are perfectly normal.
I guess I'm sort of afraid to go get it checked because I don't want them to take it out simply because it's slightly enlarged. It is pretty much impossible to see unless I am holding my neck funny and the lighting is right and you are looking for it in the first place! I don't want to have to take thyroid hormone for the rest of my life. My left lobe is functioning perfectly; it just seems silly to remove it because it has enlarged to provide the hormone my body needs.
I have a bad habit of poking at my neck all the time. There is definitely more "stuff" on the left side, whether it be thyroid tissue, muscle, or just plain fatty tissue. Is this normal?