It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Thyroid Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-30-2006, 08:21 PM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pompano Beach, FL, USA
Posts: 120
countrycarole HB User
Question Questions to ask surgeon???

My endo recommended surgery for my large non-toxic multinodular goiter and I have finally gotten up the courage to actually make an appointment with the surgeon he recommended.

I would appreciate for all of you who have been there, if there are any specific questions I need to ask the surgeon when I see him. I know I will be so frightened that I am afraid I will forget to ask important questions.

I appreciate any advice you could offer. Thanks.

Carole

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-30-2006, 09:03 PM   #2
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 198
MatthewsMom HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Hi Carole,

I just had the surgery 10 days ago so it is still fresh in my mind. I'm using the masculine for litterary purposes, I'm sure there are excellent female surgeons.

I would ask the following:

- Ask him to take a pen and draw on your neck the incision he will make, it's nice to see it and know what to expect.

- What kind of stitches does he use, internal ones that dissolve? Mine used internal and the last one is external, he removed the external one 6 days later and I didn't feel it. I was surprised that the actual incision (what scabbed over) was as fine as a hair. The scab already fell off.

- Some say that if a surgeon uses a drain his method is outdated. I can only speak for myself, but my surgeon has been at it for 25 years, he used a drain, my incision is barely three inches and it never seeped or bled. The drain was removed painlessly 24 hours after surgery.

- Ask him to explain what the possible complications are (such as Injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, Hypoparathyroidism etc.).

- Ask if he will start you on replacement meds the very next day, this is very important.

- How many thyroidectomies does he perform a week?

- I used a vascular surgeon, the thyroid is highly vascular organ and these guys are the best.

I would recommend my surgeon to anyone. He was great, I wish he could be my primary care physician.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff, but it's a good start. Anyone else?

Take care,
Lyse

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 01-31-2006, 07:07 AM   #3
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,093
merrillin HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Lyse,..............great tips. I would not add anything but to comment that I too used a vascular surgeon and wouldn't use anyone else. Like Lyse said the thyroid is highly vascular and most nodules are as well............it is good to have someone who is highly experienced in bleeding emergencies. Do not use and ENT surgeon....but try to get in with a vascular one instead.

Let us know what you find out!

 
Old 01-31-2006, 07:52 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 755
illmakeit HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Here are some of the questions I asked and some I DIDN’T and wish I had.
I am trying not to duplicate Lyse’s questions.

Should I get a 2nd opinion before surgery? (if he says no, ask your questions and then run to another surgeon -they should be comfortable with a 2nd opinion)
How many operations have you performed on the thyroid in the last month? In the last year? How long have you been performing thyroidechtomy’s? (Vascular surgeons should have more experience.)
How many of the patients have had complications from surgery?
Which complications?
i.e. Out of all your surgeries how many problems have you encountered with loss of voice etc.?
Have you had any problems with short-term calcium issues? Would I need to stay in the hospital longer if I have a calcium issue?
How much calcium should I take before surgery? What kind? (mine had me on 1800mg a day – NOT all at one time – your intestines only processes about 600mg well at a time) I found calcium info on Washington.edu website under courses. I did a search for calcium. EVERYBODY is selling it and their calcium is always better than anyone else’s.)
What kind (carbonate (take with food) or citrate(costs more-no food required) –but it is really a matter of preference) and how much calcium will you have me on after surgery? You want to have it on hand. Trips to the store and pharmacy are the last thing you want to do on the way home.
How long will I have to stay in the hospital if Calcium, temperature and everything else is ok?
Have you had any problems with long-term calcium issues or Congestive Heart Failure(VERY rare)?
What do you use to close (other people have mentioned all of these)?
dissolving stitches with an outside glue/steri strips
internal stitches so they can just dissolve as the incision heals
staples
something else?
Mine were like Lyse’s - Doc assistant took them out when he took the drain out the next day. He was VERY gentle. Didn’t hurt at all. TELL them if they are hurting you – make them go slow and careful. Some docs just don’t care.
Will I have a catheter? (they told me yes and then they didn’t use one)
Do you use the same surgical nurse(s) all the time? Some doctors do. Just nice to know.
WHO will assist you? When will I meet them?
Who will see me in the hospital? When? How often? (Never saw my surgeon except after surgery. I was at a learning hospital and all kinds of docs wanted to listen to my heart (two at 3 a.m.). Surgeons student ( a doctor) that saw me in the office and took my history was the one in charge after surgery. He was GREAT! Even listened to my classical music and didn’t complain!
Can I get the prescriptions before surgery so I don’t have to stop on the way home to get them? Or at least the day of so my support person can take them to the pharmacy that day. (The hospital probably wants you to get them there – ok if your insurance has copays but the calcium will be over the counter and may be higher than you can get it for at your local discount drug store.)
When can I expect to return to work after surgery?
What restrictions will I be on? (i.e. don’t lift over 5lbs (gallon of milk) – I won’t lift, push or pull over 5 lbs – from previous experiences – showers – driving (for me it is until I see surgeon Wednesday (TT was last Thursday))
For the people with you: About how long will the surgery last? About how long will I be in recovery?

I have fibromyalgia (or whatever else you may be dealing with). Will this complicate my condition?
My blood pressure is normally a little low/high. How will this affect the surgery/anesthesia?
When will I meet with Hospital – anesthesiologist? (I never saw my anesthesiologist - just the Internist Doctor assisting him/her.

I would WANT a drain after my surgeon explained to me what could happen without one!
Make your lists in a word doc and make two copies. Hand one to the surgeon. Take a pen and write down answers. Take someone with you. Four ears are better than two and they may have questions you haven’t thought of.
I wanted to know everything but wasn’t aware of what questions to ask. Sorry i got so long winded! Hope I didn't repeat anything.

Keep us posted on what happens with your interview of the surgeon.
__________________
"I'll make it"
Jewel TT 1/26/06 -Levothyroxine 75-88

 
Old 01-31-2006, 08:49 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 755
illmakeit HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

ALSO: YOU are interviewing them for a job - not them interviewing you. Sure, they have to ask questions, but YOU have to decide who is going to be YOUR employee!
Oh, I almost forgot. Be sure and prepare for before going to the hospital. I gave some suggestions on 1/29 - after my surgery - things I SHOULD have done prior to surgery!
jewel
__________________
"I'll make it"
Jewel TT 1/26/06 -Levothyroxine 75-88

 
Old 01-31-2006, 09:20 AM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 296
marissamm HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

those are great questions, like i said before on this board, my doctor wasn't experienced, i had a large goiter as bad as kants but larger she went thru her surgery great. (hope u don't mind me saying so kant?) me on the other hand my doctor messed up my vocal cords i couldnt talk,cough, drink or breathe good for 3 months, even when i whispered took a lot of breath i could whisper 2 words at a time,they almost put in a trach a week after surgery.i refused it. i couldnt do housework or walk it was real bad,do to breathing diffuculties, he put 15 staples for 10 days on my 8 inch incision. my calcium was fine afterwards,go figure, but thank God after 3 months my voice came back and i became better my scar has faded despite the staples its a thin line. i also had a drain put in for 24 hours,but had i done my research on the surgeon i would of realized he wasnt experianced with tt's just lap band procedures. but i still have effects from the surgery i have a severe breathing impairment with a lung function of 40 % i am now on numerous lung medicines, i think it had to do with my surgeons lack of experiance when i asked him a week after my surgery why all these problems he told me well some people are on a cliff and surgery pushes people off and your some people. but on the other hand i smoke but who knows i will never know. but please do your homework all these woman are very smart and all had surgeries and did great i found this board after my surgery, good luck

 
Old 01-31-2006, 09:29 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 609
Red Maple HB UserRed Maple HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

I used an ENT for my surgery and was very pleased with his care. The surgery went very well and I was up and back to work within a few days. He specializes in thyroid surgery and I found him to be great. I have not been pleased though with his office's follow up care for my on-going thyroid maintenance of meds. But I would use him again, and recommend him to others for surgery if needed.

 
Old 01-31-2006, 11:26 AM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 755
illmakeit HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Hey Marissamm,

Sorry you are having problems. I smoke too. TT 1/26 and No problems. My first surgeon(didn't use) wanted to take 1/2-went for 2nd opionion - Very glad I didn't use 1st as he does maybe 6 a year and I think never takes more than 1/2 which is easier. My surgeon (vascular) said the 1st wouldn't take out the other 1/2 if it is malignant (find out tomorrow). Too complicted.

Going to Endocrinologist for followup. If cancer........I'll have to search around.
__________________
"I'll make it"
Jewel TT 1/26/06 -Levothyroxine 75-88

 
Old 01-31-2006, 07:57 PM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pompano Beach, FL, USA
Posts: 120
countrycarole HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice you posted. I now feel more confident meeting the surgeon knowing what to ask him and what to look for.
And if I don't feel he's the right one, I will definitely get a second opinion. After all, it is "my neck" not his...

Is there anyway of checking (aside from asking the surgeon) if he is a vascular surgeon? I mean, is there any degree that would be listed after his name such as MD is for a doctor?

Marissamm - I am very sorry that you had so much trouble after your surgery.Hope things will get better for you soon.

I am going to print out all of your wonderful replies so that I do not forget what to ask. Thanks again and I will keep everyone posted after my 2/13/06 appt. I am so nervous just meeting the surgeon I cannot imagine how I will be when I actually go for the surgery!!!!

Carole

 
Old 01-31-2006, 09:05 PM   #10
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 198
MatthewsMom HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Carole,

My vascular surgeon has M.D., F.A.C.S. after his name. Fellow, American College of Surgeons. I don't think there are specific letters for surgical specialization.

Lyse

 
Old 01-31-2006, 09:24 PM   #11
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pompano Beach, FL, USA
Posts: 120
countrycarole HB User
Re: Questions to ask surgeon???

Hi Lyse:

The surgeon I have the appointment with has M.D., F.S.S.O and F.A.C.S. next to his name.

He is listed as Diplomate, American Board of Surgery Fellow, Society of Surgical Oncology Oncologic, Laparoscopic, Head & Neck, General Surgery.

I hope with all these titles next to him he is good....

Thanks!

Carole

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
New To The Board & Have Some Questions ABout Spine Fusion? hazelnut Back Problems 9 03-12-2010 05:18 AM
Seeing Surgeon Today... Need Questions to ask? sookiepooka Back Problems 10 12-30-2009 11:42 AM
Orgnathic surgery questions... Goofyboy84 TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 20 08-04-2009 09:30 PM
Questions to ask Dr. regarding fusion brendaks1 Back Problems 12 05-18-2009 04:52 PM
Newbie, my story, my questions, my support Hope4U2 Pain Management 4 08-18-2006 10:33 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:19 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.com™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!