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Old 08-23-2008, 04:32 AM   #1
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Thyroid Surgery Tuesday...any advice?...Please Help..

Hi,
I'm new at this and was hoping you guys could help calm my anxiety. I have thyroid surgery coming up on Tues. I've tried desperately to educate myself and prepare myself for this. I still have a few unanswered questions....I'm going in to have a "suspicious" cold solid nodule removed (right lobectomy) if it's cancer (they'll biopsy it while I'm in surgery) they'll do a TT. I currently have no other Thyroid problems (I'm neither Hypo or Hyper) Here a a couple questions....1. Am I for sure going to gain weight? 2. Am I going to go into depression? 3. Am I going to be exhausted forever? I think I can handle if it's cancer since it's so curable. I'm deathly afraid of depression and weight gain won't help either! Depression is a disease in my family (severely) and I've so far at 38 I've avoided it. 4. Has anyone been successful at LOSING weight after this type of surgery? 5. When will I feel back to normal? 6. Is the surgery really bad? I have more questions but I don't want to over stay my welcome right now. Please help.....

Last edited by Knox99; 08-23-2008 at 04:41 AM.

 
Old 08-23-2008, 05:07 AM   #2
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Re: Thyroid Surgery Tuesday...any advice?...Please Help..

My daughter had a TT in Jan for Thyroid cancer of one nodule. The other lobe turned out to be negative. She had two surgeries as they went back in & removed the 2nd lobe after the nodule was confirmed to be cancer. Her nodule was 1.5 cm. We have no history of thyroid cancer in the family although we have thyroid issues.

She regrets having the other lobe removed because all her parathyroid glands were destroyed in the process of surgery. She has major problems with calcium issues now plus getting regulated on Synthyroid. She would have prefered monitoring the 2nd lobe via Ultrasound. She did not have any voice problems.

A lot depends on your history: radiation exposure, family history (cancer), size of nodule etc., symptoms.

I find writing the pro's & cons down on paper helps crystalize the situation in my minds so all the thoughts aren't flowing around & getting out of control. I may have to have a TT in the fall if my UA shows growth of my nodules. Fam

 
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:09 AM   #3
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Re: Thyroid Surgery Tuesday...any advice?...Please Help..

Best to just post all your questions so others will have time to answer before your surgeries. You are wise to prepare as it will help you decrease stress in the end.

BTW there are people who just breeze through a TT or have minor problems. Fam

 
Old 08-23-2008, 05:09 PM   #4
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Re: Surgery Tuesday...any advice...help?

Hi Knox,
Welcome, and you can ask as many questions as you need to, I will be happy to answer if and when I can. I had a TT one year ago, a nodule that had grown. Never had ANY thyroid issues before that, and levels were good. First off, I haven't gained any weight, but I haven't lost, either. It sure would be nice to lose 20 lbs!!! No such luck. No depression, here!! I was concerned about that because you read so much about it, and I am sure glad I didn't experience any, I was not thrilled about any of this, bummed out, but no depression. My energy is OK....I had an accident several years ago, and that contributes to my issues, so hard to tell, but I feel decent energy most days. I felt better after starting the Levothyroxine as I was so hypo before the RA-I, it took a few weeks to feel the full effect of the medicine. Surgery, IMO, was not bad, I had only one other surgery which was a c-section with my third child, and that was MUCH harder on me to recuperate from. My neck was swollen and sore for a while, but Motrin helped that. You need to come home and just rest, which was easier for me that my kiddos are teens, they were helpful. Friends and family are usually happy to help out, too, if you have any near you. Good luck to you, I hope you have great results, and I wish you the best.
Lori

 
Old 08-23-2008, 05:40 PM   #5
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Re: Surgery Tuesday...any advice...help?

Hi Knox, I had the same thing you have 6 years ago. I had a suspicious nodule and did a right thyroidectomy just like you are having. My biopsy showed a lot of 'type A' pre-cancerous cells, follicular architecture, but no definate malignancy. My doc translated that to 'the cells were most likely to be in process of mutating to a cancerous state, but had not completed a full mutation yet'. At any rate I have had no recurrance in 6 years. I have had regular ultrasounds and nothing to worry about.

The surgery is not pleasant, as any surgery is not fun. However, I can honestly say I was just fine. I actually loved the demerol shot they gave me afterwards for pain. I just 'floated' around and was in such a comfortable place. I was sorry when it wore off and I had to go home. The worst part about it for me was they woke me up every few hours to do blood tests. If being woken up is the worst part, then it must be pretty easy.

Recovery was also quick for me. My surgery was on Friday before Labor Day, out of hospital on Saturday, and back to work the following Tuesday. I did do a lighter work schedule (just did 5-6 hours a day rather than a full day) the first week after surgery. I did not have a depression problem afterwards, nor did I gain weight. I still weigh the same now as I did prior to the thyroid problems, I'm 5'4" and 120 lbs. However, it is impossible to know how your body will react. If you have some depression in your family, you may be suseptible to depression whether you have thyroid problems or not. Fortunately you are aware of the symptoms of depression, and can get help should you need it. I started taking celexa, a common depression medication, a few years after my surgery, but it is to help with the mood swings of menopause (I'm 55), and to my knowledge unrelated to the thyroid problems.

It's hard to say if you will gain weight or not. With proper thyroid hormone replacement, weight gain "should not" be a problem. Be sure to eat a sensible diet, and get plenty of exercise. There are other concerns associated with hypothyroidism. Some people get muscle aches and stiffness. My shoulders are sucespable to this, and gentle stretching exercise helps a lot.

Are you already on thyroid meds? After surgery, it may take a while until you get just the right medication and dosage for your individual body. You are more likely to have some challenges with not feeling so good until you find your optimal medication dosage. Tiredness may be a problem until meds are optimized. Unfortunately, trial and error is the only way to find that optimal place on meds. and sometimes that takes a while to do. There are many 'board experts' here who can give great advise on medications when the time comes down the road.

At any rate... please be assured that you are doing the best thing for your health by having this surgery. You will likely be up and around very soon afterwards, feeling well enough to function in your normal daily activities, and on your thyroid disorder journey as many of us have done. Best of luck to you. Hope to see you around the board with great news about your health!

Last edited by Red Maple; 08-23-2008 at 05:50 PM. Reason: clumsy finger syndrome

 
Old 08-23-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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Re: Surgery Tuesday...any advice...help?

I had a tt 3.5 years ago for thyroid cancer. I'm not fat, and I'm not depressed

Good luck, my surgery had no complications---hope yours is as easy!

 
Old 08-24-2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Surgery Tuesday...any advice...help?

Best wishes to you for your surgery. I hope all goes well and that your recovery is speedy.

My best advice to you is to you make sure you rest lots when you get home...it is so easy to overdo. Also, not for sure if anyone said this yet, but laying down in bed can be tricky for some after the surgery, at least it was for me, I found that reclining back in a recliner felt so much better to sleep. It was something I had not even thought of.

Let us know how it goes...
Rhonda

 
Old 08-24-2008, 05:21 PM   #8
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Re: Thyroid Surgery Tuesday...any advice?...Please Help..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knox99 View Post
Hi,
I'm new at this and was hoping you guys could help calm my anxiety. I have thyroid surgery coming up on Tues. I've tried desperately to educate myself and prepare myself for this. I still have a few unanswered questions....I'm going in to have a "suspicious" cold solid nodule removed (right lobectomy) if it's cancer (they'll biopsy it while I'm in surgery) they'll do a TT. I currently have no other Thyroid problems (I'm neither Hypo or Hyper) Here a a couple questions....1. Am I for sure going to gain weight? 2. Am I going to go into depression? 3. Am I going to be exhausted forever? I think I can handle if it's cancer since it's so curable. I'm deathly afraid of depression and weight gain won't help either! Depression is a disease in my family (severely) and I've so far at 38 I've avoided it. 4. Has anyone been successful at LOSING weight after this type of surgery? 5. When will I feel back to normal? 6. Is the surgery really bad? I have more questions but I don't want to over stay my welcome right now. Please help.....
Hello,
I had a the right portion of my thyroid removed 2 and 1/2 weeks about due to a large hot nodule. I, like you, was very scared of the surgery. The initial pain and discomfort after the surgery was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I really never experienced true pain, but more of an uncomfortable feeling that worsened over the night while I was in the hospital and continued for about 4-7 days after. I'm not sure if you'll have a drain or not, but I did and that was the most uncomfortable part. I couldn't wait to have it taken out in the morning. It didn't hurt it was just a very strange feeling. It also didn't hurt when they took it out, as the nurse in the hospital mentioned it probably would, but it didn't. To be very honest the recovery at home was worse than I thought it would be. I am a few years shy of 30 and very healthy otherwise, but the first few days were very hard on me. My neck was very uncomfortable, again, it didn't really hurt, it was just very comfortable, hard to explain. My best advice is to try to keep your neck in it's normal position and try to move it as you can. I made the mistake of thinking I couldn't move my neck because of my incision and it got very stiff and sore when I finally did try to move it regularly. When I went back to see the surgeon he said I should have been moving it all along, wish he would of told me that in the hospital! The first four days I did nothing but sit in our recliner and rest. I wasn't able to do much of anything besides walk to the restroom and to bed or maybe to get a drink in the kitchen. I was able to sleep in bed with my head on several pillows. I was suprised I was actually able to sleep very well. I had some stomach issues as well while I was recovering but it was most likely because of the medication I took for the discomfort (tylenol 3 with codine). I've slowly regained my strenghth and energy. I still get tired very easily and often feel light headed even almost 3 weeks after the surgery. I went back to work last Wednesday, but only for half days. I talk a lot for my job and my neck would get very sore and tight. I was also exhausted after just a half day of work. Tomorrow is my first full day back...we'll see how it goes. It's hard to say if I'm tired because of my surgery or because I'm still waiting to see if the left side of my thyroid will function normally. I couldn't see going back to work full time after a week (no way!) and obviously for me even after 2 weeks I couldn't last the entire day. I know all people are different, but I'm very active and in really good health and relatively young and I'm still not fully recovered (back to my normal activity). For instance, today I was exhausted after doing some housework yesterday and slept for 2 1/2 hours. My best advice is to rest, even if you don't feel like you need to because you will crash if you don't. In terms of depression I actually feel more "happy" or energized emotionally now than I did before my surgery. I lost about 5lbs after the surgery because I wasn't able to eat very well (something else that is uncomfortable after the surgery...have lots of squishy foods around to eat.) All in all, I was way more scared than I needed to be. The first 4 days or so were hard and uncomfortable, but it gets better everyday after that. Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes.

 
Old 09-08-2008, 01:31 PM   #9
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Re: Thyroid Surgery Tuesday...any advice?...Please Help..

Knox-
I had a TT on May6th of this year. I was so scared. I had 3 nodules 1had Hurthel Cell in it. The largest was 3x4 to the smallest one being 1x2 which was on the isthmus (sp). I had one in each lode also. After watching them for a year and all of them grew my endo said gotta go. I was hyper by the way that is how they found the nodules.

I went in for surgery at 10am. I was so scared, I almost didn't make it to the hospital. I lost my sister to cancer in Novemer. She was 28 and I had the one nodule with urthle Cell so I knew it had to come out to see if it was cancer. So I told them I get really sick from anstheia (sp). They gave me lots of anti nausea medicine in surgery and when I woke up. When I got to recovery I had very little pain, they offered pain meds, but I turned it down. I had a 2-3 inch incision then a very small one under that for the drain tube. Which I agree with the other posters...feels weird, but doesn't hurt. I had it removed the next am with no problems. I didn't feel like eating though for a bout 3 days. I did have a sore throat for a few days, but from the time I woke in recovery I never even took tylenol. I laid around for 4 or 5 days days and let me husband baby me. Which was very nice. I did have to sleep sitting up for the first few days.

I had zero complications. Believe me the surgery was VERY easy and NO CANCER!!! So please let me know if there is anything I can help with. The worst part has been getting my medicine straight since surgery. They started me on 175mg lex. then 150mg then 112mg then 100mg, on the 100mg I start gaining weight fast and sleeped a lot! So i started the 112 mg again. Good luck with your surgery.

Hus-
Kerri

 
Old 09-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #10
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arizo01 HB User
Re: Thyroid Surgery Tuesday...any advice?...Please Help..

hi knox tomorrow is going to be a week since I had mine and let me tell you about my experience. My surgeon told me from my first apptmt to remove the whole thyroid, mine had 5 nodules, only one was biopsied and came back with some follicular cells, because of that they both agree, my surgeon and my endo, that it should be better to have it removed. It was difficult for me to come to the decision but I knew that it was for the best.
My surgery went normal, the only issue I had was getting sick from anesthesia in the recovery room and instead of being sent home the very next day as I was told by my doctor they had to keep me there because my calcium levels dropped, is something that happened, not very often but is fairly common they say and like the nurse explained to me when i was feeling depressed is that everybody reacts different to surgery. Luckily my parathoids decided to start working again 2 days later and I was finally sent home!
Today I feel much better, the only issue I have is not be able to lay down flat in bed because is uncomfortable for my incision, a couple of pillows do the trick but for me, is difficult to sleep since I usually sleep on my stomach or on my sides. I'm taking this week off work but I have all intention of going back to work next monday even though I'm not seeing my doctor till next wednesday. What I mean to say is a couple of days ago I felt pretty crappy but today I can tell I'm feeling much better, I'm only waiting to be able to lay down and be able to sleep, that's all.
I can't tell you don't be nervous because you are going to be as I was and I think everybody is when we face surgery but it'll be for the better and You'll see by this time next week you'll feel much better and happy that you did it.
Good luck and let us know how did it go!

 
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