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Old 08-23-2004, 08:38 AM   #1
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AprilPow HB User
Thumbs up Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Just wondering what people got to treat their hyperthyroid "problem".

I am supposed to get an uptake test done thursday...then the secretary scheduled an appt for friday to get the radioactive treatment done to treat graves disease if I am positive for it. Although I never said that is what I wanted.

Just wondering what treatments people out there have had and if there were any negative or positive thoughts or reactions to the treatment chosen.

It seems like now this is all coming so quick!

Thanks everyone!

April

 
Old 08-23-2004, 09:12 AM   #2
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Hi April,

I know it is very easy to get overwhelmed when things happen quickly but hang in there. I don't know much about treatment for hyper T but I know the sooner the diagnosis is confirmed the sooner you will feel better.

Many on these boards have struggled to get the proper dx and even more, struggled to get treatment to feel better when they had a dx.

Your feeling of being overwhelmed will deminish with time. However, permanent damamge from going undiagnosed may not, so take 3 deep breaths, seek peace of mind from God or whatever higher power you believe in, and get the tests out of the way.

May God Bless You
Patience 50

 
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Old 08-23-2004, 12:03 PM   #3
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilPow
Just wondering what people got to treat their hyperthyroid "problem".

I am supposed to get an uptake test done thursday...then the secretary scheduled an appt for friday to get the radioactive treatment done to treat graves disease if I am positive for it. Although I never said that is what I wanted.

Just wondering what treatments people out there have had and if there were any negative or positive thoughts or reactions to the treatment chosen.

It seems like now this is all coming so quick!

Thanks everyone!

April
OHMY Please talk to K9smom before you do this. I was told that I had a hyperthyroid not too long ago and don't want them to even do the radioactive scan to test, K9sMom helped with much information, particularly regarding the TSI test to test for Grave's disease. I'm new to this but don't know that I'd let them kill part or all of my thyroid.. I mean.. its gotta be there for something?

 
Old 08-23-2004, 12:24 PM   #4
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Yeah I know K9 is pretty informative.
I was just wondering about anyone else out there...

I know to they can just use a blood test to confirm I have it.
I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing. I think though I'd rather get surgery than the radioactive iodine.

It sure is there for a reason...so WAS my appendix ;-)

Seriously though...I just want it taken care of and was wondering what people opted to do!

Thanks!

 
Old 08-23-2004, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

You have a tough decision to make, April, and I wish you the wisdom to make the right choice.
I'm not hyper, but I can tell you that if I were, I would heed K9Mom's advice not to rush into any treatment that would permanently kill my gland. And I surely wouldn't let a secretary make that decision without even consulting me about it! (I'm very blockheaded that way, in case you hadn't noticed. )

I would give anti-thyroid meds an extended, fair trial before deciding to do anything permanent.
BTW, I think I've read in several places that RAI is the treatment of choice in the US because it's cheaper and faster than surgery... Some insurances don't even cover T-ectomy for Graves', only RAI.

 
Old 08-23-2004, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

hey from my experince i would have to to say surgery if indeed you are hyper i was and i had two rai 's and thwey both failed so inturn i had the surgery anyway. it just takes so long after the rai to find out if it even worked with surgery it out gone eliminated . good luck

 
Old 08-23-2004, 01:10 PM   #7
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Thats kinda how I feel about surgery. Its done...move on. The other 2 options it seems sometimes you are just delaying the inevitable.
Too with with iodine radiation I believe you are supposed to be careful around children (I'm a stay at home mom) and I would hate for something to happen to them, even if it is just the slightest risk.

Well, I will keep reading- and thinking.... keep you guys posted as to what all comes of this. THey might scan me and it not be graves! Just thyroiditis.
But I want to prepare myself - in case it isn't. Then I at least considered what to do!

Thanks everyone!

 
Old 08-23-2004, 08:00 PM   #8
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

I don't understand why radioiodine and surgery are your only two options. What about medication? Have you been diagnosed with a goiter? If so, have you been checked for nodules or had a fine needle biopsy done? To me, surgery & radioiodine only need to be discussed this early in treatment if you are found to have cancerous nodules or cold nodules. If you are unable to be regulated with medication after 6 months to a year, MAYBE look into radioiodine or surgery, but they are both VERY drastic measures when medication is a very non-invasive choice.

 
Old 08-24-2004, 06:10 AM   #9
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Medication is my 3rd option. My thyroid is enlarged. I go for the uptake test thursday. Honestly- I just want it taken care of...I dont want to deal with medicine to see if it works or not. The doc explained all 3 options to me...no, I dont HAVE to do any of them right now.

It seems if it is graves that eventually this is the road most people end up taking.

I just thought I would see what people have gotten done and just give myself more to think about ! Thats all...

Thanks!

 
Old 08-24-2004, 06:25 AM   #10
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Not to scare you away as I think many people take the RAI and things are fine, but for me, I gained a lot of weight, my blood pressure went up, I lost loads of hair, my hair and skin lost all luster, I developed panic attacks, became depressed, didn't have the energy to complete even the most mundane of tasks. These problems are because I went Hypo and actually quiet quickly. I had RAI done in November of 2002 and I've yet to have a "normal" lab reading. I take medicine everyday (Levoxyl 1x day and Cytomel 2xday) to treat my hypothyroidism. It's one of the unfortunate things about a thyroid disorder. No matter which way you go, medicine will most likely have to be used. I guess I urge you to try the medicine because I wish I would have -- hindsight is 20/20. I'm not saying to NEVER do RAI, but I just don't think it should be something that is rushed into (like I did at my doctors urging).
K9Mom is a great example that sometimes Graves goes into remission. If you have destroyed your thyroid w/ RAI or surgery it doesn't get a chance to go into remission.

 
Old 08-24-2004, 07:00 AM   #11
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Thanks for the info.

The whole radiation thing doesn't settle too well. I have a 6 month old baby and 2 small children and just the thought even if it's slight, that I could make them sick makes me worry.

I'm still not sure what I will do.

I will keep everyone posted...

April

 
Old 08-24-2004, 09:31 AM   #12
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

I donít know anything about your history, but reading that you have a 6 month old baby, there is a good chance what you are experiencing is postpartum thyroiditis. Also, my thyroid problem first surfaced years ago with a hyperthyroid result but it turned out that my bloodwork happened to catch me in the middle of a thyroiditis attack Ė I am actually hypothyroid. Best of luck with your scan.

 
Old 08-24-2004, 05:45 PM   #13
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

Hello everyone! I'm new to this board and I thought I would put my 2 cents in as I've done a lot of research on this subject since I was diagnosed hyperthyroid about 3 yrs ago. I had Radioactive Iodine treatment last month.
Everyone is putting in very good input. I would look at all your results first. It could be that it is postpartum thyroiditis a KBranden pointed out.
The questions to ask yourself are:
How long have you had Hyperthyroid? If it's recent, it could be temporary. (I've had low TSH for 3 yrs, my T3 and T4 were upper range of normal until recently and they jumped rather high)
Did you have a thyroid sonogram as well as the Uptake and scan? The sonogram is the best way to find "hot spots".
Is your thyroid affecting your heart rate? (My resting pulse was 94 and upwards to 135 with mimimal activity for years)
Medications can take a long time to take affect and my Endo thought with my heartrate so fast, we shouldn't spare the time.
I opted for the RI because more times than not, it works the first time and with no risks. Surgery always has risks as well as a recoup time that I didn't want to go through as well as a hospitalization. RI is just taking a pill.
The radiation can "contaminate" others, but only for about a week or so. I used all paper and plastic eating and drinking utensils and just didn't get too close to people. The risk with babies is that their thyroids aren't fully developed yet. Do a search on Radioactive Iodine therapy and judge for yourself and take your concerns to your doctor.
Please ask your doctor to order a sonogram.

I know this was a lot of information, but I just had to post to this!
BTW, my pulse is down to 84 now, but I'm hopeful. ( I have other med problems that may be involved)
Best wishes to you
Pat

 
Old 08-24-2004, 08:17 PM   #14
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

You have to do what feels right to you...but you should also give yourself time to fully absorb the information you need to make an informed decision.

MythPat, a thyroid sonogram cannot tell if the thyroid has a "hot spot" at all. Only the radioactive uptake and scan test can tell if there are any "hot" or "cold" nodules.

A thyroid sonogram/ultrasound can investigate any nodules to see if they are suspicious for cancer....then requiring a FNA/biopsy.

Regarding medications, I have to disagree with your doctor. A high heart rate can be controlled by the very first dose of a beta blocker....mine was, and beta blockers are routinely prescribed for hyperthyroid patients to protect the heart.

April, regardless of which of the 3 treatments you choose, you will have to take medication every day. The major difference is that with antithyroid meds you can perhaps one day achieve remission and be medication free. With RAI and surgery you will be made HYPO and dependent on thyroid hormone replacement medication to live as you cannot survive without thyroid hormone. If any doctor tells you that they can give you just the right amount of RAI to make you normal - without any replacement hormone - they are lying to you.

Doctors will tell patients that there is a very small chance of achieving remission with antithyroid meds...but I do not believe this. When a patient is in the hands of a capable physician who has experience medicating patients with antithyroid meds, the remission rate is much higher. I met 12 ladies from a Graves disease board this summer and of the 12 of us, 6 of us are in remission currently, 3 had RAI and are hypo and on replacement hormone, and the other 3 are currently taking antithyroid meds.

Best of luck to you.
__________________
Dx Graves 4/99, tx w/Tapazole & Atenolol - Remission 7/03; Relapse 1/06, back on Tapazole, remission & off meds again 11/06.

Last edited by K9Mom; 08-24-2004 at 08:21 PM.

 
Old 08-25-2004, 11:19 AM   #15
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Re: Radioactive Iodine vs. Surgery?

How big is the scar with surgery?


 
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