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Old 09-18-2003, 03:46 PM   #1
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Post I need thyroid surgery and I am scared to death! Please help!

Hi everyone,
My name is Carolyn. I have had hypothyroidism for 7 years. recently I started feeling a tightening around my neck all the time and my blood was coming up that my thyroid was fine. I thought it was anxiety so my doctor put me on Paxil and Xanax which seemed to help some of the time. Anyway, I decided since its been 4 years since I had tests done I should go for a sonogram and neck x-ray just to be sure. Well the results came back that I had a multinodule goiter that was pressing on my trachea. My doctor advised I get the entire thyroid removed due to the fact that this may be a recurring problem with WORSE problems in the future. I am going tomorrow to see the surgeon and see what he recommends. I have heard about alternative options such as radiactive iodine treatments?? I dont know anything about these treatments. can anyone ofer me some advice, someone who may have had the same problem and what they did for it. I have a very bad anxiety/panic disorder and I am driving myself crazy with worry. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Carolyn

 
Old 09-18-2003, 04:45 PM   #2
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Hi Carolyn...I'm sorry about your condition (big hugs). I went through an easy surgery for my thyroid as most people who have thyroid surgery did. It was not bad at all. The recovery was pretty fast. The scar is healing fast. The only thing that takes time to adjust is living without my thyroid and having to deal with unhelpful doctors and nurses. After the surgery, my sore throat was more bothersome than the cut on my neck .

Radioactive iodine is used to kill part or all your thyroid. You can get a second or third opinions if you're not sure about the surgery yet. Ask if you can have a referral to an endocronolgist or an ENT specialist. You may also seek an alternative medicine. I don't know if you believe in those kind of medicines (like acupuncture, herbal, etc). But it doesn't hurt to hear their opinions.

Take care!

 
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Old 09-18-2003, 06:31 PM   #3
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my advise is to go for the surgery.
It's the fastest and safest way and with the best results you can get in a short period of time...let's say a week..
IMO dont even bother to try the radioactive iodine.
As for your anxiety ... i know how it feels...i suffer from the same prob too.Anxiety may come (it usually comes) with any thyroid dissorder and if it preexists it grows so much that it may ruin your everyday life and change it to a living hell..
I feel the same way you feel..though i m at the starting point of hashis/hypo.
I was anxious and nervous as a person my whole life ...but the last year was true hell...
but there's always hope...dont be scared and stay strong


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Old 09-19-2003, 12:35 PM   #4
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Hi guys, thanks so much for your responses to my post. I went to the ENT today and he said he does not feel that I should have surgery. He said if I am not having a problem swallowing or eating then he sees no reason to have to operate. He is sending my for a needle biopsy just to be on the safe side and I will see an endo next week. I am just worried because the goiter grew 2 cm in 4 years and i am so worried that it will continue to groe. Does anyone know if there is a way to stop the growth of the gioter?
these are the measurements..right lobe 6.9 x 2.0 x 2.0 and the left is 4.3 x 1.3 x 1.9.
Are these measurements very large? I have no idea what is considered dangerously large and what is considered "okay" size.
Also what is the needle biopsy consist of? Is it painful? Thanks for all the help!
Carolyn

 
Old 09-19-2003, 01:20 PM   #5
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Carey,

Why don't you try taking selenium supplements. In july I felt my thyroid getting bigger so I started taking the selenium and within a few days I felt back to normal. You can take 200mcgs safely. It will help you convert your t4 into t3. When you take it you also need to take vitamin E and zinc as these 3 work together. I take 400 i.u. of vit E, and 30 mgs of zinc. It really has helped me tremendously, and if you search this board you will see that other people also swear by it. I only learned of it through the people here. Thank God we have each other.

The fine needle biopsy isn't exactly pain free, you will feel pressure. I opted not to have the lanocane as I felt 3 needles was enough to stick into my neck. The lanocane is only a placebo (that is what the surgeon told me) Your throat will feel funny for a few days. The day I had mine done I had soup for lunch and an omlet for dinner. The next day I ate like normal. Also, it hurt to raise my voice, but that didn't last too long either. Good luck and I'm hoping for the best for you.



[This message has been edited by girlygirly (edited 09-19-2003).]

 
Old 09-19-2003, 02:36 PM   #6
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When I had an FNB, the nurse who prep'd me said taking anestesia is more painful than the biopsi itself.

She's right. It didn't hurt for me. It just felt like a pressure. Imagining it is pretty scary, but the person who did it on me was good. She did it so carefully and always tell me when not to swallow or speak, what she's going to do, etc. She also talked to me to distract my attention. It was a quick procedure.

They will have you lay down on your back. They will clean your throat with iodine, assuming you aren't allergic to iodine. Then they tell you exactly what to expect in the procedure. After all done, they will clean up your throat and you can leave to go to work or what ever you need to do. I didn't feel any blood came out and I could barely see the needle marks on my neck after the procedure. A day prior to this procedure they will tell you to stop any medication that has a blood thinner in it. For example aspirin.

At the end of the procedure, you neck muscle would feel sore like you've been working out. It lasted 3 days for me, I think.

Good luck!

 
Old 09-19-2003, 03:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies!!
I am very confused about my radiology report. I am sitting here trying to understand it. It states the measurements of both my left and right lobes as i posted above but does not state the size of the nodules. Shouldnt the size of the nodules be stated on this report? And if there is no indication on this report of the nodules locations, how will they know where to stick the needle??

Oh and where would get those supplements you were referring to? A health and vitamin store? Thanks!!
Carolyn

[This message has been edited by CareyG (edited 09-19-2003).]

 
Old 09-19-2003, 07:41 PM   #8
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I think the size is important and you also need to find out if they are hot or cold, I think....good luck.

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Old 09-20-2003, 11:47 PM   #9
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Before I let them cut on me I would get a fine neddle biopsy. It is not that bad. And the numbing is just like when you get stiches or have something done on your teeth. It is not bad at all. But no way would I let them take it out of it is not cancer. I dont see a need for that. Most thryoid tumors are slow growing. Radioactive Iodione theariy is done usually afer you have been diagnoised with cancer of the thryoid. Because your tyroid absords the iodione fast it will go to any thryoid tissue and zap it. This kind of cancer spreads through the lymph system and sometimes in the lungs. However it can be picked up on scan because it is thyroid tissue it absords it and can also be treated easy. But it does have its draw backs. After iodione thearpy you can not sleep in the same bed as another person. You have to use seperate bathrooms and flush twice after each use. You have to be 1 arms length away from people at all times. You can not prepare food eat off plastic without taking it outside of the house right after eating and paper plates the same way. There are also other restictions. And these things need to be done for at least 16 days after each treatment. It is becasue it is radioactive. It can be given to others in the household so you dont want them contaminated.
I only know this becasue I am having my thyroid taken out on October 7th due to cancer. Just found out about it a few weeks ago. I am going to have the iodine thearpy done after they take out my thryoid. So I have done tons of research on it. Plus I just got back from seeing my surgeon so I have everthing fresh in my head.
Hope this helps.
Melinda

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I am 35 years old. I have had two liver transplants and a kidney transplant.
I am married for 16 years now. We have one son who died at birth.
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I am 35 years old. I have had two liver transplants and a kidney transplant.
Just diagnoised with thyroid cancer.
Married for 16 years.
One son deceased now.

 
Old 09-21-2003, 08:36 AM   #10
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as for the large thyroid ...and the dangers of the enlargement..
An enlarged thyroid can produce presure to other vital organs that are in the same area of the thyroid...so the enlargement should be dangerous if for example carotids and jugulars are under pressure ..so that brain is not getting enough blood.
Another example is pressure on nerves such as the laryngean nerve which produces voice alteration...and of course pressure on the trachea which can cause breathing probs.
Occasions and probs like these are often encountered with too big thyroid sizes(you can clearly see your thyroid swollen like coming out of your neck)
As long as the enlargement doesnt produce probs with your speaking breathing swallowing hearing etc ...i guess the goiter can stay as it is...but of you have probs like these usually the goiter has to be removed.
As for your sizes...i guess it's no big deal...
My goiter grow in size just in 3 months not in years as yours.
Thyroid medication such as levothyroxine ..armour etc help the goiter shrink and return to normal size.
I wouldnt worry about the goiter though ...i think you need to see what's going on with those nodules.
Best ofluck to you.


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Old 09-21-2003, 08:42 AM   #11
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BTW have you had a RAIU to see if the multinodular goiter is a toxic one or a non toxic one?...because if it's a non toxic i dont see a reason to take RAI ..as long as you said that you were hypo...

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Old 09-21-2003, 12:22 PM   #12
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Hi everyone thanks for all the replies. I am actually very confused about all of whats going on. Maybe someone can help me. As I stated earlier it all began with a tightness on my neck that was getting to be come a nuisance and trigger panic attacks. So i went to get tested because i thought maybe my thyroid medicine had to be adjusted,my doctor sent me for the neck x-ray and sonogram mostly to ease my mind because my blood work came up normal, he thought is was all anxiety. Anyway, when the test results come back that the goiter had enlarged about 2cm since my last sonogram 4 years ago he told me I would need surgery. He was not sure if I would need partial or total thyroidectomy. So this when I went to the ENT and he said absolutely not, He does not recommend surgery for me at this time, it is not necessary. He looked down my throat with that tube thingie they put up your nose, UGH!!! He saw a clear pasage through my windpipe which reconfirmed his original decision to NOT do the surgery. All 3 doctors that had looked at these tests results are not at all concerned about cancer or the multi nodules for some reason. they said they are benign. The ENT asked me If I would like to go for a needle biopsy just to feel better. I said yes! But Now I think I will wait to see what my endo says about all this, as I have not even been able to see him since this all started and I fnally have an app next Thursday with him.
I have a very important question for all of and I hope someone has an answer for me.
I was diagnosed 7 years ago with Hypo and put on Synthroid 112mcg. I had the goiter from way back then, dont know the sizes but will find out!, If I have been on this nedicine for 7 yaers why in the world did this goiter grow?? From what I understand when you are hypo and take thyroid meds it kind of stops the goiter in its tracks. I am so afraid now that this will continue to grow and grow until surgery is inevitable. PLease help!! Thanks
Carolyn

 
Old 09-21-2003, 01:25 PM   #13
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You can get the supplements at a health food store. Just make sure than that they don't contain soy. I have found brands that don't, that is why I am suggesting a health food store.

I would have the biopsy just to rule out cancer, I don't know how your doctor can just "tell", that to me is crazy. Remember 95% is not cancerous. Good luck to you.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 03:15 PM   #14
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You have probably had Hashimoto's not just hypo ever since the beginning. The meds can help take the stress off your thyroid, so it still functions normally. Your goiter is getting bigger because your thyroid is finding it harder to fight the hashi's. Your blood tests will eventually change as your thyroid dies. I felt my first lump and a tightness in my throat about a year and a half ago I guess. I had normal blood tests and had not been on any thyroid meds previously. I was put on Levoxyl to shrink the goiter but to no avail. Alas, I had to have the whole thing removed so it wouldn't grow back. I was having some annoyances with swallowing towards the end. One of the dangers I haven't heard people talk about, is that the thyroid nodules can suddenly hemorrage. This can be particularly dangerous if you are asleep as you may not be able to breathe well. I don't know how common this is but It sure scared me. I have felt great since my surgery and do not regret it one bit.
Since you have been on meds for quite a while, I don't see your gland getting smaller, just bigger. One thing to think about is that your scar will probably be smaller if you get your thyroid taken out while it's just beginning to get large.

Nodi

 
Old 09-22-2003, 04:53 PM   #15
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Hey! I had a partial thyroidectomy on September 10, 2003. Initially, I was doing great. I left the hospital w/ a slightly sore throat. I had no voice. Today, I'm not really sure what I'm feeling. I'm going to start from the beginning so you will understand. For the past 2 years, I've undergone counseling for anxiety/panic disorder. My last major attack was in March of this year. I am currently taking paxil for that condition & still in counseling but on a as needed basis. I was a party when my friend noticed a lump in the front of my neck. I just started crying. The first thing I thought about was cancer. Well, I went to my primary car doctor who said I had a nodule on my thyroid gland. He told my my blood work was normal but he refd me to have a thyroid uptake scan. The scan showed I had a cold nodule on the left lobe of my thyroid gland. He then refds me to a endo. The endo did a fine needle biopsy which didnt hurt at all. I had a little tenderness afterwards but I didnt even realize he had stuck me w/ the needle. My results from that showed that it was benign but the nodule was 3cm. He recommended I have the left lobe of the gland removed. He informed me that there was a possibility that he would remove the entire gland but would determine that during surgery. Needless to say pathology confirmed again no signs of cancer so my endo only removed the left lobe. The surgery went very well. I had no complications. Thank God. I still don't have a voice. I noticed that I sweat all the time. I am always hot. Also, I'm starting to feel nervous & anxious again. I plan to contact my doctor tomorrow. I can't really tell you what to do in your situation. If you elect to have surgery be sure to research your doctor. I f you are afraid. Let him know your fears. My endo was very patient & supportive. His support & understanding made me less nervous about the procedure. I do have a scar. It's in the crease of my neck. So it probably won't be noticable. I just started taking a multi vitamin. I am currently not taking any thyroid medicine. Good luck! I hope my story helps you in some way. Best wishes! K

 
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