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Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...

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Old 05-17-2005, 05:20 AM   #1
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Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...


I'm scheduled for surgery this Friday to remove a 4 cm cold nodule. I just learned that 1/2 of the thyroid is removed along with it (is this standard practice?). The doctor said I will not require medication since it's only half, but I'm concerned of how this will affect me (will there be weight gain, hair loss, etc.?).

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Old 05-17-2005, 06:14 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
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linda115 HB User
Re: Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...

I had my left thyroid (with a 3 cm nodule) removed in February. 4 weeks blood tests showed that my TSH rose from .51 to 1.839 (range .35-5.5). My T4 dropped from 1.47 to 1.14 (range .61-1.76) So there's room to improve. No medication. Will go back for blood tests this Saturday. Ultrasound in August.

Before surgery, I had chronic constipation, indigestion, heart palpitation, weight gain, elevated blood pressure etc. Everything seems to have subsided to the norm. One thing I notice a big change is my basal temperature. It used to be below 96.9. I chart it every day since surgery. It's consistently in the 97.5-98.1 range. The only thing that still bothers me is the sweating. Not too much chills. After surgery, there were times when I woke up soaking wet, much like when a fever breaks. Doctor said it's normal because my body is adjusting to the surgery. It was very bad after surgery. Now it's less severe and the frequency is less too.

My face even looks less puffy, especially my eyes. I took Norvasc before surgery. My blood pressure was under control sometimes. After surgery, it's consistently in the range of 110/70. I also chart this every morning so I get familiar with my progress.

As for weight, I lost 2-3 lbs., not much. However, I am not gaining. That's good.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Old 05-17-2005, 04:23 PM   #3
Herniated Ernie
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Herniated Ernie HB User
Re: Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...

That's good to know...

Last edited by Herniated Ernie; 05-17-2005 at 04:24 PM.

Old 05-17-2005, 04:29 PM   #4
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Re: Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...

Thanks for the information Linda! I'm glad everything worked out so well for you. It sounds like you had a lot more symptoms than I do (although I do currently wake up soaking wet). Other than its size, I wouldn't even know the nodule was there.

So, were you able to talk in your normal voice after surgery? I understand that there is a risk have the vocal cords damaged during surgery, but I'm not sure if it's temporary or how rare it is....

Finally, how long did your surgery take? My doctor said it's about 1 hour....I hope so!

Best wishes, Elaine

Old 05-17-2005, 05:14 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2005
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linda115 HB User
Re: Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...

I had no trouble talking but felt weak. So my sentences were short and brief. I was able to talk more and more each day. My voice was not affected at all. Right now, I talk no different from before surgery. However, I do want to add that I feel tired if I talk to my mom on the phone for an hour. I never had trouble like that before. I just feel tired. Maybe it's age.

My surgery actually lasted for three hours. My surgeon explained to me prior to surgery that he will definitely remove the left lobe with the large nodule. Then he will do a biopsy and wait for the results while I am still under anesthesia. If the results are not good, he will proceed to remove the other side.

After the surgery, I was told that the test results were good and my surgeon did not remove my right thyroid.

Some surgeons prefer to remove all to avoid any cancer growth. Some surgeons prefer to remove one thyroid and then run detailed pathological tests afterwards and send you home. If the results come back bad, then a second surgery will be scheduled.

My surgeon belongs to the third group that will remove one thyroid, run the tests (which are not as detailed) and then decide what to do with the other side. I went back one week after surgery. He checked my incision (by the way, it was glued together!). 4 weeks after the surgery, I went back again and he told me that my test results were good. My antibodies were normal. I presume he was talking about the detailed test being run after I left the hospital.

Am I confusing you? You may want to discuss with your doctor and see which method he uses.


Old 05-17-2005, 05:23 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Lynnwood, WA USA
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fromos5 HB User
Re: Effects of having 1/2 thyroid removed...

I had a little over half of mine removed back in the 80's. Cold nodule (adenoma)... same type of deal. You won't need medication, true, IF your thyroid is otherwise healthy. The thyroid is kind of like kidneys. You don't absolutely need both of your kidneys and can survive just fine with 1, as long as it's healthy.

They will do a biopsy of the nodule and the rest of your thyroid tissue after the surgery. If it appears that the tissue shows evidence of lymphocyte infiltration, it will mean you have autoimmune disease and WILL require medication, generally best if it's started right away, even when thyroid levels appear mid to high normal. If that's the case & the doc you're seeing doesn't think you need any meds right away, umm... get a 2nd opinion from an endo. Autoimmune disease means your thyroid is being destroyed by your immune system and it won't stop after surgery, but rather continue to do so. The dose would need to be adjusted accordingly and blood tests done at least twice a year (although some will same more or less frequently).

If you're lucky (crossing my fingers for you), the biopsy will show that the rest of your tissue appears fine. If that's the case, then, yes, you can live without meds :-)

Hashi 16+ years / Partial Thyroidectomy 1989
Type 1 Diabetes (autoimmune, insulin-dep.)

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