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Need Advice About Surgery

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Old 10-25-2006, 02:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
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aray827 HB User
Need Advice About Surgery

Hi everyone! I need your advice. I need to have a total thyroidectomy because of cancer. I met with one surgeon last week. He seemed very knowledgeable and came recommended. He got me in for an appointment right away and was able to schedule everything for me for the surgery while I was in his office. My husband and I were impressed with this so we set everything up. He was also very thorough and has been doing this for a long time. He is on the older side, which for some reason bothers me. He seems to do things very meticulously, which is good. Some things seemed old-fashioned.
Well, anyways after meeting with him and talking with my family I decided to meet with another surgeon, also recommended. I met with him last night. We had to wait awhile to meet with him. I believe this was because of the storm we just had and he was behind in his patients. So, when we did meet with him. He was also very knowledgeable and thorough. He had more modern equipment and had a lot of patients. The other doctor only had one other patient when I went in, but I assumed that was because he normally has surgery on that day of the week and he was just squeezing me in. So, after meeting with the second surgeon I decided to go with him. He told me to call today to set-up an appointment for surgery. So, when I did the nurse told me that she spoke with the doctor and he talked to her about me and said that he needs to move some things around to get me in in the next couple of weeks. She said she would talk to him again and then call me back. When I didn't hear from her I called her back and explained that I have a doctor's appt. on Friday that I would need to reschedule depending on when the surgery is. She said that I wouldn't hear today and that tomorrow was iffy as well.
My question is, should I stay with the original surgeon since he was able to get me in right away, even though he was older and I don't know anyone who had surgery by him. Or should I wait and see on the second surgeon even though it may interfere with my appointments because he did perform surgery on someone on know and was younger. This second surgeon also was rated one of the top 100 docs of 2006 by his peers.
Please give me any advice you can. This is a very difficult decision. Thank you!

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Old 10-25-2006, 02:46 PM   #2
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Re: Need Advice About Surgery

There is no rush for this surgery---go with the surgeon you feel good about---because I had a vacation, and my surgeon was booked, I waited a month, and my surgeon was so great, I was glad I did. My surgeon encouraged me to go on the vacation first, because he said there was no rush---and I knew before my surgery that I had pap. cancer.

Last edited by Reece; 10-25-2006 at 02:47 PM.

Old 10-25-2006, 03:05 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2006
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LisaBob HB User
Re: Need Advice About Surgery

I agree with Reece. Go with the doctor you feel most comfortable with - don't rush it. Did he answer all of your questions satisfactorily? Did your husband agree? Go with your instincts!


Old 10-25-2006, 03:10 PM   #4
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tdooders HB User
Re: Need Advice About Surgery

Im scheduled for a midline thyroid surgery in a week. My surgeon/doctor was great. He set everything up in his office for me. He answered all my questions. Hes on the younger side which I like. Makes me feel like he is up on all the new procedures and that. His staff was great also. I would go with the one youre comfortable with.

Old 10-25-2006, 04:49 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
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aray827 HB User
Re: Need Advice About Surgery

Thanks everyone! Your advice makes sense. I just didn't like when I called to schedule surgery with the second surgeon how it seemed that he was too busy for me even after I explained my situation. My gut does tell me that I'll feel better with the second surgeon. I just wish I knew when he could get me in. The waiting is hard and scheduling all this around work is a hassle as well. I also wanted to be better by Christmas and not radioactive since I have to wait at least 4 weeks after surgery to have the RAI. I also might need other treatments depending on the results of my PET/CT scan and how far my cancer has spread. Thanks for listening to me!
I did have one other question...Has anyone else on this board ever needed Radiation Therapy or Chemotherapy to treat there Thyroid Caner that had spread?

Old 10-25-2006, 05:00 PM   #6
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Re: Need Advice About Surgery

That is the kind of thing you have to get other opinions for, after your surgery. Didn't you have pappillary?

In my case, I had pappillary. There was no further testing until surgery. During surgery, they discovered there was vascular invasion, and pap. usually spreads in the neck. My docs. said that RAI usually works for pap. and follicular---no matter where it is. Of course there are rare situations where pp. are resistant to it. I have known pp. with hurthle cell who were successfully treated with RAI as well. So I had a Whole body scan with RAI tracer, they found thyroid tissue remnant in the neck, which is normal, and then I had RAI. My friend had pap. with spread to lymph nodes, and she had successful RAI as well. Archie on line here had follicular, and he had a spread to the rib. He's had RAI only.

If you have other types of thyroid cancer, they would use radiation etc, but if you find a well differentiated like follicular or papillary, they will probably try RAI, and it has a very high success rate. On the thyroid cancer website they talk about different stages, and pretty much all of them, no matter where it spread use surgery and RAI only.

That's why after your surgery you should work with an endo. that has a lot of thyroid cancer experience. Mine is young--so he reads studies and was involved with them during his residency so I'm comfortable with that. I'm not real sure why your endo is so confident that yours spread without biopsies, but hopefully your next tests will give you peace of mind.

Chemo doesn't usually work for well differentiated thyroid cancer and isn't usually used. RAI will probably be it for you----think positive!

Last edited by Reece; 10-25-2006 at 05:21 PM.

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