Hi Momistj, good to have you back. My condolences for your grandfather, and I hope your grandmother is doing well.
How are you feeling four months after your surgery? Can you touch your neck without tenderness? I was told to knead my scar (twiddle it between your fingers in all directions) to help break down the scar tissue. It's somewhat painful initially, but it does work. By 10 months, my neck was smooth and the scar was completely flat.
Now, about nodule recurrences...the articles I was able to find on the web were mostly journal theses with small study groups of patients. Their findings were somewhat inconsistent (23-45% recurrence, depending upon the type of surgery and the patient's post-surgery blood levels), but many promoted the idea of post-surgery thyroid meds for a short time as a therapy to suppress the TSH and minimize nodule recurrence.
Some docs proclaim this to be an archaic treatment, and there is a movement to only provide thyroid medication post-surgery to patients with elevated TSH (or other indications of hypothyroidism). They also argue that the previous studies of nodule recurrence were uncontrolled and their results unreliable. It is more common now to stop post-operative thyroid meds once a patient is no longer hypothyroid, and let the patient's body do its job.
By the way, it seems that the percentage of recurrence appears to be the lowest for your type of surgery (unilateral lobectomy), as opposed to those who had surgery on both lobes.
I don't recall, are you on any meds right now? I think the best way to start is to have a discussion with your Endo about his/her experience with post-surgery nodule patients and what he/she feels would be your best treatment options. Careful monitoring of your blood levels (every 2-3 months) is probably a good idea, and watch for hypothyroid symptoms.
If you want to read through some of the technical documents I mentioned, type in "partial thyroidectomy nodule recurrence" in a search engine like Google, and look for the links that do not mention cancer.<p>[This message has been edited by ArtfulD (edited 01-16-2002).]