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Old 01-26-2006, 11:47 AM   #1
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My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

About 2 years ago my GP noticed that the right side of my thyroid was enlarged. I myself had not even noticed. Looking back I remembered being horse for a few days a couple of months back, but not being sick. Maybe the thyroid was the cause???

Well my doc did some blood work which I was told came back normal. He also sent me to see a surgeon. The surgeon examined me and recommended that I have the right lobe removed. Well, I thought that's his job why wouldn't he want me to. I said I was reluctant to do so if there was no cancer and the thyroid was functioning normally.

He sent me for an ultra-sound to determine the size so he could monitor any changes. 6 months later I had another ultra sound and a needle biopsy as well. The nodule had increased slightly, but the biopsy can back benign. I also had some thinning of my hair in front. I requested that more blood work be done. I thought maybe my thyroid actually was out of wack and there was a reason for the nodule. Well, whatever tests they did came back okay.

Six months later another ultra sound - slightly larger.

Another six months another ultra sound and repeat needle biopsy. Still slowly growing, but no indication of cancer, but the surgeon still wanted me to have surgery. I was still reluctant. Why fix something that wasn't broke, just enlarged.

I decided to see an endo to ask about what would happen if I had the right portion removed. She reviewed my records including the ultra sounds, biospies and previous blood work. She explained that I might not need replacement hormones initially, but most people will need them within 5 years of the removal of half the thyroid. She also said it could not be guaranteed, but it was most likely not cancer and if it was not cancer now it wouldn't become cancer later. If they removed half the thyroid and found cancer it would have been there all along.

Well, it has been another six months an it is still enlarging. I am considering actaully having the surgery, but am still not sure. I have no real symptoms of hyper or hypo. My blood work is normal. The needle biopsies indicate beneign. It is not so large that people stare at me. What the heck caused the nodule???? Everything seems okay.

Well, what would be you advise??? Have half removed or just keep watch?

 
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
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Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

How do you feel about it? Is it something that worries you or not? Even if your lab work is normal and you feel fine, does it bother you, such as having compression in your neck and/or trouble swallowing?

The truth is that fine needle aspiration has it's limitations it all depends how you feel living everyday with that enlarged thyroid. I was first told that I had a larger than normal thyroid when I was 20. Now, at 38, after a pregnancy one of my lobes suddenly got very enlarged. I too had normal bloodwork. FNA was suspicious, surgery revealed it was benign but it is now off my mind. The chances are overwhelmingly in your favor that it is in fact benign if the FNA says so. It's therefore a personal decision. I don't agree with what your doctor says as far as if it's not cancerous now it won't be later. No one can have a guarantee that they will never develop cancer. I guess what she means is that you having that nodule doesn't put you at a higher risk.

What I can say is that if it would make you fell more comfortable to have it out, then get it done. It is a relatively easy surgery to get over and if not knowing and having all the tests stress you out because something may go wrong at some point, the stress is no better for you.

To answer your other question, they mostly don't know what causes nodules, they also don't know what causes thyroid cancer. Aside for people that had neck irradiation.

That is the best advice I can give you. Take care,
Lyse

 
Old 01-26-2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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merrillin HB User
Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

A good possibility is that you have hashi's and that caused your nodule. Has anyone bothered to test you for that? Thinning hair is a symptom of hashi's I think you need the antibody testing done.

Also, did you get a copy of your biopsies for yourself? Don't just let them say "Oh, it's benign" you need to know what kinds of cells are in your nodule. If you have follicular cells than your nodule needs to come out! Also they cannot be sure they are benign til it is out and it can turn cancerous if the cells change over time.

I had my entire thyroid removed because of 2 nodules that continued to grow and I too had normal bloodwork. Only elevated antibodies.

It is good to know if you have hashi's because a really skilled surgeon will tell you it is much better to get the whole thyroid out because hashi's will keep on progressing if you leave any thyroid tissue in.

I had no problems after my surgery, had dr's very skilled in replacing thyroid meds.

Keep us posted and do yourself a huge favor, get a copy of your ultrasounds..........your biopsies and all your lab work......dr's are notorious for saying things are :"normal" when in fact they are not.

Feel free to post all your results here, many of us do and gain mounds of wisdom from those of us who have been through this and have learned how to really read all these tests.

Karen

 
Old 01-26-2006, 12:58 PM   #4
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Red Maple HB UserRed Maple HB User
Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

How do you feel? You mentioned that you do not yet have symptoms of hypo or hyper. Be cautious if you are not yet suffering any symptoms. I had the right side of my thyroid removed due to a suspicious nodule 2+ years ago. It it was the very early stages of cancer according to the needle biopsy. I have had problems with hypo symptoms and getting my meds regulated ever since. However, I am not sorry I had the surgery. I chose to live with the hypo symptoms that could result from surgery; rather than a wait and see approach with a potential malignancy and end up with a very serious situation, or even dead. But yours does not seem to be a problem yet. I would ask the docs WHY they want to do the surgery now, rather than wait and see. If YOU feel there is a valid reason, then proceed. However, it could be just for the doc's convienience at this point, and a wait and see approach would suit your needs better. Don't jump into it. Get as many facts as you can, it doesn't seem to be an urgent problem for now. Make as an informed decision as possible, then be prepared to live with the consequences whatever you decide. There is no good answer. Once a part of your gland is removed, it will never be the same--you can't put it back. Or you could end up miserable by allowing it to continue to enlarge. The consequences of surgery may be better health, not necessarily worse. But be as sure as possible that it's the best for you, not best for the doc.

Last edited by Red Maple; 02-09-2006 at 08:50 AM.

 
Old 01-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

lisman,

If you are feeling that bad due to only a partial T than you have got to just be undermedicated. I had a TT 5 months ago and not one hypo symptom. In fact unless you have a dr who doesn't know how to replace meds, there is no reason at all to feel bad just from having a partial or total T. It is all in the med replacement and a dr who is not afraid of t3.

Karen

 
Old 01-26-2006, 06:56 PM   #6
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Red Maple HB UserRed Maple HB User
Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

thanks kant. My symptoms were very mild for the first few months after my surgery. I thought they would go away completely with time as I adjusted to the replacement hormone. But in my case that has not happened and symptoms have become progressively worse, even with dosage adjustments. I also have hashi's.

To make a very long story short...I have been seeing an ENT who specializes in thyroid cancer and neck surgery, on the recommendation of my PCP who I trust whole heartedly. However, there has been no further evidence of any possilbe cancer development. I feel I no longer need a thyroid cancer specialist (though I would not hesitate to go back to him should I need further thyroid surgery in the future). I think it's time to have a full evaluation by an endo for my on-going thyroid "maintenance". I have an appointment with an endo in March, and I'm hoping for some positive changes in my symptoms.

Last edited by Red Maple; 01-26-2006 at 11:34 PM.

 
Old 01-27-2006, 09:50 AM   #7
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merrillin HB User
Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

Also, keep in mind...........no matter what dose you end up on or what your labs show if you have hashi's you can feel like poo no matter what because it is an autoimmune disease.

I am not sure why some dr's leave any of the thyroid in with hashi's. I mean you only fix one side............the other side is in there still being attacked. I don't know, my surgeon said that with hashi's you take the whole thing out no matter what otherwise you set the patient up to feel worse most of the time and the disease is still there and the destruction goes on..............

My right lobe was fine...........it had a slight enlargement but he said no way would he leave it in because my disease would just progress to that lobe. I had the whole thing out and have never been sorry and I believe he is correct in saying it is much easier to get a person stabilized on meds with no thyroid than it is when you have your own hormone spitting out as well.

Best of luck,
Karen

 
Old 01-28-2006, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: My Dr. wants to remove the right side of my thyroid

Kant- again thanks for the reply. My doc removed only the part of my thyroid that had the cancerous growth. I was concentrating on the cancer issue then. Since it was so small and still in the very early stages of malignancy, he choose to remove only part of the thyroid and take a wait and see approach to the remaining portion of the gland. The Hashi's was found in the complete pathology work done following the surgery. It was the cancer after all that I sought out this specialist for. I can't fault the doctor for focusing on the cancer issue that I asked him to, rather than looking for hashi's. He is a cancer surgeon, not an endo. As no further indications of cancer are present after more than two years, I am now seeking further help from an endo. for the hashi's and to continue working to get my meds at a better level to get me feeling really good again. Hopefully, very soon, I will be feeling back to 100% again like you!

Last edited by Red Maple; 02-09-2006 at 09:10 AM. Reason: spelling

 
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