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I need a thyroidectomy.....please help with questions.

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Old 08-24-2006, 12:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 15
rolos_girl HB User
Question I need a thyroidectomy.....please help with questions.

Hello everyone,

I am hoping I can meet some people with a similar situation that I am in. I would love to support others with my experience, and get support by hearing other peopl's stories.

I had a benign adenoma removed, along with the right lode of my
thyyroid, when I was 14. The surgeon was excellent, and the left lobe
and isthmus were left. I did not need any replacement meds.......I was
lucky and the remaining thyroid tissue has been functioning normally.

I have routine follow up every year. In 2/2006, another nodule was
found on my left lobe. They found 3 nodules, 2 of which seem normal
to the docs, only one that is concerning. I was told the standard is
to watch it for 6 mos, and repeat the u/s. If there is any growth in
the nodule in 6 mos, a needle biopsy will be performed. So, I had the
repeat u/s, and there was no growth (yah). But, they did a fine needle
biopsy a few weeks ago anyway, and that came back suspiscious......
microfollicular lesion. There is a 10-15% chance that his can be
malignant. so, because of the risk, they recommend I have the rest of
my thyroid removed, so they can officially biopsy it and diagnose me. So, I m essensially haveing a total thyroidectomy.

I am freaking out about everything........the surgery, the
possibility of cancer, needing meds for the rest of my life, weight
gain, and list can go on. I became engaged (yah), then found out 5
days later about the biopsy results and the need for surgery. I have
been a wreck since. I am angry because this should be a happy time,
and I am a weeping, nervous wreck!! I am angry because I was told
that a biopsy would only be done if there was growth to the nodule.
There was no growth, but a needle biopsy was still done (the nodule is
smaller than 1 cm- about 8-9mm, and I was told that it is difficult to
biopsy a nodule that small.....yet it was done anyway.) I am angry
because my endocrinologist said, "why don't we do the biopsy, so we
can reassure you all is will be normal I am sure" She had
me convinced to expect normal biopsy results, so I was devastated and
upset when it came back suspiscious and she told me I needed
surgery!!!! I have to get past the anger and fear, and have the
surgery. I am having the remaining part of my thyroid removed next
wednesday, august 30th. I have so many questions, and I am hoping you
all can help me.

How was your surgery? Were you concerned you might not wake up from
the anesthesia? Is this normal fear, or am I losing it? Will I start
meds right away? What are the side effects? How quickly will my
incision heal? I am getting married in 1 year....can I expect it to
be mostly or totally healed by then? Will I gain weight after losing
my thyroid? What about all of this adrenal insufficiency I have been
reading about? And the synthetic hormones vs natural thyroid? I am worried about symptoms........I am not experiencing any symtoms now, because my thyroid works functions normally. I am worried about the symptoms after surgery!!! Fatigue, pain, weight gain, etc.....

I am sorry for all of the questions. Whatever info you can share
would be very helpful. I am feeling very lost. I do not feel my
endocrinologist has been very helpful, and did not prepare me for any
of this.

Thanks and I look forward to getting to know all of you and hearing
your stories,


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Old 08-25-2006, 07:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 17
Re: I need a thyroidectomy.....please help with questions.

Hi Melissa;
I am going through a similiar experience.
I had a partial thyroidectomy 18 years ago.
The remaining part of my thyroid developed nodules and I had a
biopsy done this past February, The result was "suspicious"
I have hurthle cells.
These can be either benign of malignant. The only way to know for sure is
to remove the remainder of my thyroid.
I have been to four surgeons , 2 Endocrinologists, and
have been told that the thyroid should come out.
It has taken me 6 months to reach a decision as to have the thyroid removed.
After much praying and seeking professonal opinions, I will be having
my surgery next Tuesday.
The way I see it the nodules will probably continue to grow unless I am suppressed with thyroid meds so either way I will be on thyroid medicaton the rest of my life.
I do not know if this was much help.
You need to decide what is best for you.
It is nice to talk with other people experiencing thyroid problems.
Good luck !

Old 08-25-2006, 08:05 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: NY
Posts: 3,804
Reece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB UserReece HB User
Re: I need a thyroidectomy.....please help with questions.

It can still be benign, but even if it's not, you can live a long healthy happy life after a thyroidectomy, and even after thyroid cancer, because of all cancers, it's the easiest to treat, and curable.

It's very normal to be afraid of surgery. Your fear and anger are normal. The situation is scary. My surgery was really no big deal. I was home the following day, and I went to my neice's party for an hour or so the day after that. I was driving by day 4, but my neck was stiff for a few weeks, and my throat was a little sore.

The only time I felt yuck was when I went hypo for too long to prep for my RAI treatment because my nodule was cancerous.

Now, I'm on synthroid only, and thank god, everything is fine. I'm not fat, I'm not tired, I have no adrenal "insufficiency", my medication is monitored to prevent a recurrence.

Alot of the problems on this board are due to Hashimotos and graves, which not only make pp. hypo, but the antibodies can make them feel sick.

Take your anger and fear, and transfer it into strength. Fortify yourself, and you can get thru. this so easily. Next year, this will be a distant memory and you'll barely remember it---just like you probably don't remember much about this when you were 14.

BTW, my friend had a TT in Columbia Presb. hospital, and her surgeon usually does this without anesthesia!

Old 08-25-2006, 08:37 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 15
rolos_girl HB User
Re: I need a thyroidectomy.....please help with questions.

Thank you both for you advice. Reece- you are right, I have to transfer my anger to strength. I know I will get through this, but I have never been more scared in my life!!!! The thought of cancer, although highly curable, is a huge eye opener to my mortality. Not that I thought I was invincible like when I was 14, but I never thought I would be faced with possible cancer until I was much older. I will be getting married and cannot wait to have kids!! I have all of that to look forward to, so I will put more energy into being positive and more anger!!

KTC- Our situations are almost identical. I too have hurthle cell changes, and FNA was supiscious. Although I am upset that the bipsy was done, and the results being "indeterminate", I know the only way to know if it is cancerous is to take it out. I would much rather have it out, benign or not, and know and take meds. I would be a wreck wondering "what if it is cancerous". I am just want to know. The unknown is what is getting to me, and turning me mentally crazy!!! Once I know, I will be able to do whatever I need to!!

Thanks again for all your thoughts and advice. Look forward to chatting with you all throughout this process!!


Old 08-26-2006, 08:45 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 633
Archie343 HB User
Re: I need a thyroidectomy.....please help with questions.

My story illustrates what might happen if your nodules had not been found.

I lived with undiagnosed follicular cancer for many years, long enough for it to metastasize to a rib. The rib lesion eventually weakened the bone to the point where it cracked when I bent over one day. The xray done was not set up properly so the crack in the rib was not seen and I continued undiagnosed for another 14 months.

Throughout the years the only problem I had was a slow losing battle with weight. I always considered my health to be excellent and annual physicals supported that. I have no way of knowing when the cancer started but I suspect it was there a decade or two, maybe more.

You could choose to ignore the nodules and still expect many years of good health, but sooner or later you will have to face the music.

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