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Old 11-12-2003, 07:04 AM   #1
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pamelaAM HB User
Question Lump after thyroidectomy?

Hi all. It's now been 4 weeks since my total thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer. The incision is very good, much to my surprise, but I still have a rather large lump at the incision. Has anyone else had this and does it go away? How long does it take? I saw the endocrinologist the other day and she said to ask the surgeon about it. She was also pretty distressed that they are waiting so long to give me the RAI (surgery on October 14th, RAI scheduled for Dec 16th). They have me on a low iodine diet.

Another question. . .the endo doctor said that I will start to experience symptoms of Hypo pretty quickly now as I wait until Dec 16th for the RAI. What should I expect?

 
Old 11-12-2003, 02:56 PM   #2
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Pamela,
Don't worry about it being too long. I had my surgery in Nov of 2002 and RAI April of 2003. I'm fine, LOL. I had to wait due to being given a test with iodine. It took 4 months for it to leave my body. Scary. Are you on Cytomel now? I was on Thyroid replacement, and taken off it 6 weeks prior to RAI. I was given Cytomel for the first 4 weeks. This eased the transition, the last 2 weeks were tiring. Your TSH has to be over 35 to have RAI, and you may have all or no hypo symptoms. My biggest was fatigue. I could sleep all day if I could've. I also had bad muscle cramps, and generally felt like an old woman. I shuffled when I walked, and had problems remembering things. Write everything down!! I also prepared several low iodine meals ahead of time when I felt better, to eat on those days I felt yucky. Thank God I did that! Good luck to you, and I hope everything goes smoothly for you. BTW is your lump on the end of the incision? I had a bump on each end of the incision, that bothered me, but they went away, and now you can hardly see the incision, at least that's what I tell myself, LOL. Aimee

Last edited by Aimee8396; 11-12-2003 at 02:58 PM.

 
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Old 11-12-2003, 06:44 PM   #3
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I had a total thyroidectomy also and the bump did go away, I was bothered by it for what felt like forever but it eventually faded. They had to open me twice to get cancer that had spread to my parathyroids - I just thought that was where the bump came from. I'm glad to know that it is common. I think I was obsessed with it because I didn't want to look different than everyone else - truth be told, I don't think many people noticed it!! Worry not - it will eventually be less noticable!

 
Old 11-12-2003, 06:48 PM   #4
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pamelaAM HB User
Aimee:

Thank you so much for your response. Originally, they weren't going to put me on anything. In fact, the gal in nuclear medicine told me that I wouldn't even experience any of the effects of not having a thyroid because I still probably had a bit of tissue left until they actually did the RAI. She also told me that I didn't need to see my endo doc until after the RAI. It was just be coincidence that the endo doc called and definitely wanted to see me. She has now put me on Cytomel for 20 days and told me to stop taking it two weeks before the treatment. She was so upset that they were going to let me go without any medication.

Thanks for the tips on what to expect as well. I have already frozen a few meals for lunches etc since I'll be going back to work on Monday for at least the month before I have to go in for the RAI.

It's so nice to be able to "talk" with those of you that have already been through this. It is truly appreciated!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee8396
Pamela,
Don't worry about it being too long. I had my surgery in Nov of 2002 and RAI April of 2003. I'm fine, LOL. I had to wait due to being given a test with iodine. It took 4 months for it to leave my body. Scary. Are you on Cytomel now? I was on Thyroid replacement, and taken off it 6 weeks prior to RAI. I was given Cytomel for the first 4 weeks. This eased the transition, the last 2 weeks were tiring. Your TSH has to be over 35 to have RAI, and you may have all or no hypo symptoms. My biggest was fatigue. I could sleep all day if I could've. I also had bad muscle cramps, and generally felt like an old woman. I shuffled when I walked, and had problems remembering things. Write everything down!! I also prepared several low iodine meals ahead of time when I felt better, to eat on those days I felt yucky. Thank God I did that! Good luck to you, and I hope everything goes smoothly for you. BTW is your lump on the end of the incision? I had a bump on each end of the incision, that bothered me, but they went away, and now you can hardly see the incision, at least that's what I tell myself, LOL. Aimee

 
Old 11-12-2003, 06:51 PM   #5
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pamelaAM HB User
I saw the surgeon this afternoon and he said it would go away eventually. . .what in the heck does that mean? Hopefully it will be fairly soon. I'm sure no one can really see it, but I know that it is there and can definitely feel it when I try to sleep and move my neck. I'm just so happy that my scar is so small and doesn't really show up. He did a really good job. Sorry to hear that they had to open you up again. How are you doing now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micksterna
I had a total thyroidectomy also and the bump did go away, I was bothered by it for what felt like forever but it eventually faded. They had to open me twice to get cancer that had spread to my parathyroids - I just thought that was where the bump came from. I'm glad to know that it is common. I think I was obsessed with it because I didn't want to look different than everyone else - truth be told, I don't think many people noticed it!! Worry not - it will eventually be less noticable!

 
Old 11-12-2003, 07:06 PM   #6
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Micksterna HB User
I'm good now - I had the surgery when I was 12, that age was awkward enough, it just made me more self concious. I wish I could remember how long the bump lasted for you - I just know that at some point I stopped wearing high neck shirts & forgot about it! You'll forget about it before you know it. I think the shock of all that's going/gone on has to subside before you can focus on other things. Unfortunately, the scar is where you can see it everyday & it becomes a focal point for a while! Add the fact that doctors won't leave it alone!!! (I think I obsessed over it!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaAM
I saw the surgeon this afternoon and he said it would go away eventually. . .what in the heck does that mean? Hopefully it will be fairly soon. I'm sure no one can really see it, but I know that it is there and can definitely feel it when I try to sleep and move my neck. I'm just so happy that my scar is so small and doesn't really show up. He did a really good job. Sorry to hear that they had to open you up again. How are you doing now?

 
Old 11-12-2003, 09:53 PM   #7
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butterfly092303 HB User
My lump was semi-circle above the incension,had surgery 9/23 and just this week (7 wks later) the lump which was very firm has begun to shrink to a normal looking neck,my scar is down low on my neck about 6 inches long.I was very shock at the length of it the first time I saw it after surgery.But now I just don't look at it and wear shirts high enough to cover it so everyone does not see it.

 
Old 11-13-2003, 04:30 AM   #8
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Aimee8396 HB User
Just wanted to say I also had 2 sugeries, and yes the lump will go away. I'm sure no one but you notices it. I agree with Mickstra, it is in such a spot, where you can't help to look at it everytime you look in the mirror. I can't belive that they weren't going to give you anything, that is insane. Unless your surgeon did a horrible job, the little amount of tissue left isn't going to help at all. I hope your hypo symptoms are minimal. Good luck, Aimee

 
Old 11-13-2003, 06:46 AM   #9
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pamelaAM HB User
Mine is a large (maybe 2 1/2") round hardish spot surrounding the incision. The incision is only about 3" so I guess I am pretty lucky. Thanks for letting me know that this lump really WILL fo away :-) I'll let you all know if week #7 is the magical week!

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterfly092303
My lump was semi-circle above the incension,had surgery 9/23 and just this week (7 wks later) the lump which was very firm has begun to shrink to a normal looking neck,my scar is down low on my neck about 6 inches long.I was very shock at the length of it the first time I saw it after surgery.But now I just don't look at it and wear shirts high enough to cover it so everyone does not see it.

 
Old 11-13-2003, 06:49 AM   #10
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pamelaAM HB User
[COLOR=Blue]Yeah, the endocrinologist was quite horrified when she heard that the nuclear medicine lady was just going to let me go with nothing. But you know how they try really hard to NOT say bad things about colleagues. But she made it pretty obvious that she was upset. She came out and said that no one can go that long without meds and that there was no way that a little bit of tissue would be in any way effective.

It really is true that you have to be your own best advocate, and thank God for boards like this where you can glean the necessary info to do so. Thanks again to all of you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee8396
Just wanted to say I also had 2 sugeries, and yes the lump will go away. I'm sure no one but you notices it. I agree with Mickstra, it is in such a spot, where you can't help to look at it everytime you look in the mirror. I can't belive that they weren't going to give you anything, that is insane. Unless your surgeon did a horrible job, the little amount of tissue left isn't going to help at all. I hope your hypo symptoms are minimal. Good luck, Aimee

 
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