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Old 11-11-2010, 04:33 PM   #1
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What size benign thyroid nodule should be surgically removed?

I have a 4x4x2 cm benign thyroid nodule on one side of my thyroid and a 1.5 cm nodule on the other side. The surgeon has recommended removing my entire thyroid due to the size of both nodules after doing a needle biopsy and ultrasound. Is this the best alternative, or should I consider just a partial removal of my thyroid on the side with the large nodule? He also said I could wait and have another ultrasound in 6 mos to see if there has been any change, but said with the larger one, it should come out before it causes any damage to my windpipe, etc.

 
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:48 AM   #2
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Re: What size benign thyroid nodule should be surgically removed?

Absolutely, the surgeon is correct, an I truly believe both must come out. A typical thyroid lobe is 4cm, your nodule/mass is 4 cm! It's like having a thumb growing on your thumb, but it's internal, and there's only so much room for it to smush in there---it can start growing down your windpipe, wrap around it and make it hard to breath---it can also grow down into your chest.

If the 4 cm one grew like crazy, you don't know what will happen to the other one---1.5cm isn't small, it can take off to grown, and then you would need another surgery. It's even possible that the big one is benign, and the other one is cancer. An fna will not get enough cells to determine what those are. They can be benign, but you really won't know until they are removed. Even if benign, the cells in there could mutate in the future, that's always a risk in a tumor.

My suggestion is to get a really great surgeon with tons of thyroid experience---that thing isn't going to be so simple to remove. But for you, it will be easy to get it out now. Then you need to get a great endo. to manage your meds so that you feel well for the future.

I didn't find the surgery tough at all (easier than other procedures), and I live without a thyroid (mine worked great) and my life is no different before than after. Hopefully all will go great for you!

 
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: What size benign thyroid nodule should be surgically removed?

Thanks so much for your response. From what I'm reading it seems like surgery and total removal of the thyroid is what is recommended. To avoid having to take meds the rest of my life I was hoping just the nodules could be removed, leaving the thyroid (or at least partial thyroid). It does scare me somewhat reading on other sites what people have said about surgery and recovery. I have no idea how long these have been there. They were just discovered when I went to a new PCP for my first visit. Sooo glad I went when I did. I just don't like the idea of something that large that shouldn't be there "being there". Surgeon I was referred to is the top thyroid doc in my state, but I wanted to get other feedback about whether the whole thyroid really needed to come out, or if drs just preferred to remove everything because it's easier.

 
Old 12-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #4
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Re: What size benign thyroid nodule should be surgically removed?

I have a 22 mm mass of left thyroid seen on MRI. Is that big?

 
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