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Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

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Old 05-05-2006, 08:08 PM   #1
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Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

I was dianosed with Hashimoto's disease one year ago. I had been feeling under the weather for some time, but it was the discovery of a large lump on the side of my throat that first sent me to the doctor's office. During this time I've had 2 ultra sounds. It appears that the lumpy thyroid has not grown in the last year. My new and improved endocronologist (who I really like) ordered me to have a FNA 2 weeks ago. He called yesterday and said that the results were benign. Yeah! His only concern, is that the size of the nodule is 3 1/2 X 2 1/2. He wanted to be completely honest with me, in regards to there still being a slight chance that cancer could be hiding in an area that the biospy didn't get. He's not overly concerned, but told me if I like, he will refer me to a surgeon to discuss the matter with them. He then chuckled and told me, that they would want to do surgery. You ladies have a wealth of knowledge amongst you. Do you have any advice for me? Thanks! -Trish

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Old 05-06-2006, 09:53 AM   #2
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

I shouldn't be answering you on this question, because nodules aren't something I've had to deal with. I will just say that, from what I've read on the subject, I would want one as large as yours out of my neck pronto... And I say so while being the worst wimp on the planet about surgery! There really is no way to know whether there are cancerous cells inside it without a full, open biopsy.

That's just my opinion... But this response will bump your thread to the top, where hopefully, someone who has experience will chime in.
Good luck with the decision.

Old 05-06-2006, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

I had an egg-sized nodule on the right side and a marble on the left. FNA suspicious. Total thyroidectomy...benign. November 5th 2005.
A couple of months ago Mom noticed something on her thyroid. 3cm nodule. FNA inconclusive. Removed right lobe April 20th. Frozen section during surgery...benign. Next day pathology said follicular cancer. Left lobe removed April 25th.
I think it is much better to be sure. If it stays there in your body, won't you always be paranoid it may be cancer? It would drive me nuts! I would always wonder. That's why I went for the total thyroidectomy.

Please get at least two opinions before making a big decision like surgery!

Best to you!


Old 05-07-2006, 06:32 AM   #4
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

I'm in agreement with the others. There's no emergency here, but you should discuss this with a good surgeon. It's probably benign, but these things can grow out of control, and become uncomfortable, and can even turn to cancer in the future.

Old 05-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

As long as you are feeling good and not suffering from the hashis I'd say take your time on the decision. There is absolutely no need to rush.

My follicular cancer worked away undetected for a decade or more--never caused any problems unless the difficulty in losing weight was one. (Weight was creeping up throughout while food intake was decreasing.) It finally reared its ugly head when a rib fractured for no good reason (I just bent over and felt it snap).

You don't mention your age and general health; both should be considered as part of the equation.

Good luck.

Old 05-07-2006, 07:43 AM   #6
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

My mistake - asking a SURGEON if I needed surgery. They are going to want to do surgery - that's what they do - get another opinion, if you want one, from another Endo. As Archie & Reece said -take your time to make the decision. IF it is cancer, which it probably isn't, it is usually very slow growing and curable. If you decide to have surgery, find a surgeon who does primarily thyroids and has a good reputation. Interview more than one, as tawnyjade said, check them out, ask all the questions.

I have mixed feelings - they couldn't tell if I had cancer or not and one surgeon said take 1/2 - the other said all. I went with all out - didn't want that 2nd surgery if it was. However, after having the surgery, which was REALLY easy, I would probably go for the 1/2 out and take my chances on cnacer and another surgery. My reasoning is I know people who have half and don't need meds, aren't hypo. About 50/50 needing meds. Of course, you have hashi's, which complicates the situation. Getting the right meds for me afterwards is still going on and probably always will.
This is all just my experience and MY OPINION for me - Your situation is different from mine.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:09 PM   #7
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

Thanks, for everyone's input. My age is 52 and I'm in good health. Since I've been taking thyroid medication AND Vitamin B-12 subligually (for Pernicious Anemia) all of my symptoms are gone. I actually feel great. I worry about having a surgery and then feeling bad again. When a person has their thyroid removed, is it any different from just taking medication everyday for the rest of your life? Thats about what I expect to do now with Hashi's. -Trish

Old 05-08-2006, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?


I am in the "wait & watch" group. My dr had multiple nodules herself. Over the years they have shrunk. She is now down to one. She says she only gets concerned if a nodule continues to grow. She uses this same approach with her patients.

I also took into account that in the last year my sister was told she had abnormalities to her liver. The dr said nothing to worry about the body creates spots and cysts on every body part for unknown reasons. Most resolve themselves. "Nothing to worry about unless they are causing problems". That's what her dr said. My mother's dr said the same thing about cysts on her kidneys. They are doing a watch and see approach.

When I found out I had a cystic nodule on my thyroid, my dr said the same thing. I will have my third sonogram next month. So far there have been no changes.

So it all depends on you. It is your body. Is it causing problems? Things you have to decide for yourself. I just wanted to give a little more info on the flip side of things.

Best wishes,
Hyperthyroidism 11/05
Confirmed Graves Dx 1/06
Adrenal fatigue Dx 8/06
Fibromyalgia Dx 1/08
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Dx 1/08

Old 05-08-2006, 08:15 PM   #9
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Re: Advice Needed - Would you have surgery?

I've recently been referred to a surgeon (for an fna - benign) and although I have 3 somewhat large nodules, he isn't pushing surgery. He wants to keep up with the ultrasounds and only if they keep growing does he even want to discuss surgery. I guess my point is, not all surgeons will push surgery on you. It certainly can't hurt to get a 2nd (or 3rd) opinion.

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