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Old 05-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #1
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Question Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

About 5 years ago my OB-GYN started me on synthroid because my TSH levels were off. Then about 3 years ago my General Doc found a nodule. He did the ultrasound thing on it and it was slightly over 1 cm so they did a needle biopsy. It came back with finding consistant with a goiter...no big deal right? Just need to check it once a year to make sure there are no changes.

Last year it had not grown any when they did the ultrasound (or whatever they call that machine). THIS year though it was now slightly over 2 cm! He wanted to do another needle biopsy but I opted to go to the endo as I am scared at this point.

The endo was very nice and looked at my history and said normally my chance of cancer would be 1 in 20, but MINE was 1 in 10 because of the exposure I had at Camp LeJeune in utero and the first year of my life (good to know our government takes such wonderful care of their military personnel, right?...thanks USMC). Anyway I digress, she said I could have it out or wait 6 months and check it again. After hearing my statistics, I was ready to have surgery then and there. But she said I really needed to do the biospy so they would know whether to take all or just half out. Since she was backed up at her office she sent me directly to the place where they read the results to have it done there. Even with 7 sticks it came back that there was not enough to make a determination. Took 2.5 agonizing weeks to get that result! So she decided to repeat it herself. Her RN calls me last Friday to say that there is no sign of cancer and the cells are normal size (? whatever that means)
Well, now I've had time to read up on the internet and discover I should have been having my T4 and T3 checks too; no one has done this on me yet. So now I'm wondering if the nodule is just because I am not being properly treated for my hypo...I still have symptoms so this make since, right? I have VERY dry skin, still yawn because I feel like I need the oxygen, and continue to gain weight at an alarming rate (over 75 pounds total now), and my menstral cycle is still off as well.
So I tell the RN what I have read and inquire about these levels. She says they always do them at their office but a review of my chart indicates I am correct, no one has done them on me...Ob and general doc apparently did not know better and since I came here only for a biopsy, they had not done it either.
...and here are THOSE results:
final pathologic diagnosis:
"rare follicular cells and abundant blood, insufficient for further evaluation"
Microscopic description:
"a few rare follicular epithelial cells are present. The cells contain round to oval nuclei. Abundant fragments of blood are also noted."

Last week I go see the thorasic (sp?) surgeon. He says they will make an incision as if they were taking the whole thyroid out. He will remove the right side and will preserve all the para thyroid (apparently there are two on each side). He told me that they will do an emergency frozen section to determine if there is cancer...if not they will sew me back up. If so, they will remove the other half as well. He said the surgery is done at the hospital and I will stay the night to assure there are no problem. I inquired how many surgeries he does on thyroid a week and he said about one (for the last 20 years).

Soooo, according to what I see, the 2nd biopsy this year still can not say if cancer is present (there are not enough cells to determine)...I had not one but 2 specialists to do these biopsies and both, despite over 6 sticks a piece, were able to get enough cells. Whereas the nodule was not vascular before, this time each time she stuck the needle in, it filled with blood. So the way I see it, they will not be able to get a good biopsy later this year either, right? If this were ANYWHERE else on my body I would have it cut out without a second thought. But the idea of someone cutting on my THROAT so close to my artery is terrifying to me.

What do you all think? What would YOU do if it were you?

 
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

so sorry about your ordeal. i dont know what i can offer you except some encouragement. I had disc replacement surgery several years ago and they went in the front! Oh my i felt like i was being strangled for a week at least. but now i have a multi nodule goiter and its pressing on my treacha. I am scared of surgery as well just o tthink about the constriction on my neck.. but what i do know is if your tests have been inconclusive and you are in any way at risk for cancer have it taken if they want. i went thru cancer with my 22 yr old son a couple of years ago and would have given anything to keep him from it. CAncer is ugly and shows no mercy to ANYONE.. I wouldnt take the chance if i were you. I have a bio tomorrow on 2 of them one on each side and probably will have surgery because of the treacha thing, so maybe we can do this together?

 
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

I am so sorry for your ordeal as well. I am seriously scared. I plan just for my own info to call my endo to see if she thinks not being properly treated for my hypo could be the reason for my nodule. Sadly I expect not. My next call is to a former co-worker who had her thyroid out for cancer (I want to know who did hers). And finely to another former co-worker who now works in a cancer center, I want to know what she has heard about this surgeon.
I will schedule my surgery for most likely the end of June...I have car pool to do until school ends June 8th and my surgeon is taking two weeks about that time to spend with HIS kids when they get out of school...so I expect it will be the end of June or begining of July. Which is good because I too want to take a family vacation (at least a long weekend) to spend quality time with my son, you know, just in case.
When will your surgery be?

 
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:07 AM   #4
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

Your post sounds familiar---have you posted this before? I would not optimally use a surgeon that does 1 thyroid surgery a week and is a thoracic specialist. I would use an ontorongology---ENT surgeon, because they can do many a week, and you want to minimize the chance of vocal chord damage. If you use the right surgeon, you should have a very minimal scar and should be up and about soon in most situations.

I think I would talk to the endo (or your regular doctor) and make sure your thyroid levels will be monitored once this thyroid is out. If not, wait to take it out until you find a good doctor, because the surgeon will not be managing this.

 
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:46 AM   #5
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

kinda looks like the middle to end of june as well. i actually dont go back for scheduling until the 31st so i will have a date then. Good luck i will pray

 
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:25 PM   #6
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

ha, yes I believe I did, sorry. Funny you said about the ENT, I have had sinus surgery before but when I called to see if my ENT did thyroid surgery I was told, no. However, someone in his practice does. I have a friend who used him for her dtr's sinus, adnoids and tonselectomy as well as tubes (x2)...he was great. But I know no one who has used him for the thyroid and when I asked their receptionist if he did these surgeries frequently, she had no idea. Guess it couldn't hurt to get a second surgeon's opinion...do that do that?

 
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

Yes, get another opinion for sure. You have the time---I called the ontorongology department of the university hospital near me to find my amazing surgeon.

 
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Re: Please help me decide thyroid surgery or not?

Cagannon:
When is your surgery scheduled?

 
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