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Old 06-16-2009, 09:03 AM   #1
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Lobectomy, what to expect?

I'm scheduled for a right side thyroid lobectomy this coming Monday. I would like to get an idea of what to expect from people who have actually had it done. The Dr says it will feel like whiplash, but I have no idea what that even feels like. I know everyone is different, but about how long does the healing process last? When can I expect to resume my exercize program? Play with, or lift my children? Work, which will envolve tilting my head, bending over, stooping down, etc? Drive? How about the scar, is there anthing you can put on it to minimize scarring? I think mine is going to be up high rather than down low...ugh. I realize that should be the least of my worries, but I've never had great skin, so just another flaw to try and cover...lol.

I suspect I have a "hot" nodule due to my TSH and having some hyperthyroid symptoms. I'm concerned my enercy level will go down, or my digestive will become sluggish, and periods heavy. I realize these things are individual and synthroid would come into play if needed. I just wanted to hear others experience w/ this surgery.

Another thing, shots. The form they had me fill out asked if I'd had tetnus, hepetitus, pnemonia, shots. Are these something I should have done beforehand? I'm sure I've had them at some point, but it's been years ago.

Last edited by inski; 06-16-2009 at 09:04 AM.

 
Old 06-16-2009, 09:53 AM   #2
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect?

I hadn't had shots in a hundred years, I don't think it matters at all. Just routine paperwork.

Every one heals different, so you'll have to ask your surgeon about those things such as exercise and lifting. You can't snap your head front and back, but make sure to move it from side to side, or you'll get very stiff, and that will make things worse.

Most people do well---I had other procedures in my life, and I found this the easiest. I have pretty much no scar---even my new ENT didn't notice it, everyone scars different. After everything heals, you can use nexcare scar tapes or mederma, but you'll see, this area seems to heal pretty well for most, and it hides itself in neck creases if you have them.

 
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect?

Do you think this lobectomy will effect me physically? Again, I realize everyone is different, but wanting a general idea of some of the physical side effects of just having one side of your thyroid removed. Anyone?

Also, I was looking at scars online and every single surgery is performed at the base of the neck. My surgeon mentioned doing it higher up towards the middle closer to the nodule. But if they are removing the whole lobe shouldn't they be able to do it lower? I don't want to tell him how to do his job, but I'd rather not have a scar smack dab in the middle of my neck.

Last edited by inski; 06-18-2009 at 09:52 PM.

 
Old 06-19-2009, 04:35 AM   #4
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect?

If your doctor is experienced with thyroids, don't worry about it. Before my surgery, I looked on the internet, and all I saw were these horrific frankensteinien scars, low down, from ear to ear--they were outdated, from Europe----mine isn't much longer than 1-2 inches, it's not at the base, and it's not in the center---it's wherever my thyroid was---and he took the whole lobe, I guess it depends upon technique---there are even surgeons that do this laprascopically --- with one little hole! Just make sure you have a good surgeon that you trust, and then trust him/her---if you don't trust this surgeon's experience, see another one.

If you are just taking one suspicious lobe, make sure you tell the doctor if there is a high suspicion of cancer---or sees nodules on the other side when he's in there you want the whole thing out---two surgeries isn't fun.

You can live with one lobe, it usually picks up all the slack, but you have to monitor your levels over time, sometimes it takes time to kick in. You will also have side effects of anesthesia too---lethargy for a couple of days, sometimes nausea immediately after surgery, usually more discomfort than pain.

 
Old 06-19-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reece View Post
If you are just taking one suspicious lobe, make sure you tell the doctor if there is a high suspicion of cancer---or sees nodules on the other side when he's in there you want the whole thing out---two surgeries isn't fun.
I do have other nodules on the opposite side, but they are 1cm or smaller. My nodule isn't necessarily suspicious for cancer, but rather suspicious for a follicular neoplasm and within that category are both benign and malignant tumors. I don't even have a definate follicular neoplasm at this point, therefore he said he would not take out both sides in this surgery. Would he be able to tell just by looking at the nodule in surgery if there was cancer present? Maybe a thyroid scan would have given a better indication of how my thyroid is operating and suggest wether there are cancerous nodules or not?? Sort of wish I got a scan even though a 3.1 cm nodule should come out anyway.

I had a pre-op meeting w/ the DR already, but still have questions poping into my head that I didn't think of then. Surgery is THIS Monday...yikes!

Last edited by inski; 06-19-2009 at 08:39 AM.

 
Old 06-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #6
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect? UPDATE

Just wanted to update that I had my surgery today. I'm already home and on the computer... lol...can't keep me away from my computer for long. They told me it would be an outpatent surgery. They almost kept me because I kept getting sick afterward. But that cleared up and I was able to keep things down. I feel fine, just sore in the neck area of course. It was an interesting experience for me since I had never had surgery or anesthsia before. Everything went well. I haven't taken off the bandages yet, afraid to look. Now I just have to wait for the results of my "BIG" biospy~~~~praying~~~

ETA: One thing I notice is I have a little soreness/heavyness in the chest. I wonder if it's from the breathing tube? I've been doing my deep breathing and that's when I notice it most. Coughing is not fun either.

Last edited by inski; 06-23-2009 at 04:26 AM.

 
Old 06-23-2009, 05:56 AM   #7
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect?

Glad your surgery went well! Make sure they keep checking your calcium levels (that's why many people stay overnight for monitoring), and the chest thing, could be from anesthesia, make sure you breath in and out strong for exercising your lungs, if it continues, call your doctor.

 
Old 06-23-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reece View Post
Glad your surgery went well! Make sure they keep checking your calcium levels (that's why many people stay overnight for monitoring), and the chest thing, could be from anesthesia, make sure you breath in and out strong for exercising your lungs, if it continues, call your doctor.
I don't think they have checked my calcium. They did BEFORE the operation, but I don't recall them doing it afterwards. I go back for a follow up on Monday. I took off my bandage and was depressed by my scar, it looks like it's 3" and right smack dab in the middle at the base. I was surprised it was so large for a one-sided lobectomy...oh well..

Last edited by inski; 06-24-2009 at 07:30 AM.

 
Old 07-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: Lobectomy, what to expect? UPDATE

Just wanted to update. I am one week post-op and doing just fine. The results of my "BIG" biopsy came back "no evidency of malignancy, " so I'm very happy about that. For now I get to keep the other half of my thyroid. I do have very small nodules on that side that will have to be monitored. My TSH and calcium levels came back normal as well, but I don't have the specific numbers yet. One thing it did say was, "background tissue shows signs of multinodular goiter." Now what is goiter exactly and why would I have it if I don't have thryoid disease? My TSH is close to the hyper/supressed side, but still normal. I always associated goiter w/ people who have graves or some other thyroid condition.

For me this was a farely easy operation. I'm posting this in case anyone wants to know what it's like to have this procedure done. This is how it was for me, although everyone is different. I had minimal dicomfort, as a matter of fact, I had a sore throat this winter that was more painful than this. After two days I was no longer taking pain meds. The first couple days there was discomfort when swallowing, but nothing terrible. The back of my neck was bugging me more than anything, stiff and achy like I'd been studying a book all night long. I do have a good size incision/scar. Right now it is almost 3" across the front of my neck, still red and a little puffy. They left a little pouch on top and the nurse says they do this to avoid an indentation later when swelling settles. Have any of you noticed this to be true? Does your scar fall a little lower after it heals? The incision doesn't really hurt, but rather feels a little tight. Overall, an easy procedure IMO.

Last edited by inski; 07-01-2009 at 08:44 AM.

 
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