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What to ask on Monday

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Old 10-24-2006, 04:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA
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phat1 HB User
What to ask on Monday

Ok I have an appointment on Monday to follow up with the FNA's from this past Monday. Everything I have read has dealt with one nodule and not the several that I had checked-- all eleven of them... ooowww! I know that the chances of cancer are very low but what do I need to ask the doctor. I am afraid I will forget something and if there was a check list someplace or if anyone knows some good web sites that are easy to use. You know those "I wish I would have known" are always helpful. All I know is that my levels are off track and the FNA are suspious and I need to know what to ask. Any help would be great. Thankx

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Old 10-24-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: What to ask on Monday

Is this doctor a surgeon, or an endo? I think you should ask whatever puzzles you either way.

If it were an endo, I'd want a referral to a great surgeon who does tons of thyroids, and if it were a surgeon, I guess I'd ask surgical types of questions (ie, timing, how long in hospital etc.). If I had a suspicious FNA, and experienced poor thyroid levels, personally I'd want to ask the surgeon if s/he thinks the whole thing should be removed, experience with cases like yours, etc.

You probably don't have thyroid cancer, but your thyroid with many nodules and low function doesn't sound very healthy.

Old 10-24-2006, 07:14 PM   #3
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Re: What to ask on Monday

Someone had a check list for surgery? LisaBob was it you? Someone posted one not too long ago and it was good. I remember seeing it when I thought I was having surgery.

And Reece is right it depends on the type of Doctor. I mistakenly thought my Endo was doing the surgery and after it was all agreed on and planned I found out I STILL had to meet the surgeon. Entire new appointment, more tests and so on.

Also my Endo wanted to take my right lobe out and do a biopsy of the left and said there was a huge chance that they would have to go back in and take the rest so................... you have to weigh that out if you want them to take it all out while in there or possibly have to go back in........Make sure you are clear with what their plan is while they are in there. Frozen section biopsies do not tell you the entire story. The entire story is when all the biopsies come back after the surgery is over...........

Hope something in this helps you............. Oleander

Old 10-24-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: What to ask on Monday

Yup, Oleander, that was me. I had one list that was every symptom *I* have. I compiled that one from "Hypothyroidism symptoms" search results sites.

The second one was for my surgeon. This was also compiled from web search results and what my husband and I came up with. I faxed it to my surgeon the day before my visit and he'd hand written a response to each of my questions that we went over during my pre-op.

Here it is:
1. How many thyroidectomies do you complete each week/month/year?
2. What is your personal complication rate?
3. What are some of the complications that may occur during or after surgery?
4. How long should my surgery take and what are the various stages/steps in the process?
5. Do you perform a Frozen Section Biopsy during surgery? If so, and it reveals (or doesn't reveal) abnormal cells, how would this change my operation?
6. Is muscle division necessary for my surgery? If so, how does it affect my healing?
7. What should I expect if it is necessary to relocate or remove one or more of my parathyroid glands?
8. Under what circumstances would you biopsy or remove a lymph node?
9. What do you do during surgery to locate, trace and avoid the laryngeal nerve?
10. What type of anesthesia do you use? Will you insert a breathing tube during the surgery?
11. Do you typically give intravenous pain medication and antibiotics during the surgery? Do you prescribe antibiotics prophylactically?
12. What type of incision(s) do you make?
13. What is your closing material (stitches, tape, glue)?
14. What should I expect after surgery? (pain, sore throat from breathing tube, side effects from anesthesia such as nausea, etc.)
15. How do you monitor calcium levels post-operatively and for how long?
16. What is the expected recovery time?
17. What sort of pain treatment should I expect in the hospital and after discharge?
18. What should I expect from Post-Operative treatment? (pain medication, suture removal, follow-up exam, etc.)
19. Is it possible to take something the morning of the surgery to help with nerves (okay, panic)?
20. How do we balance Synthroid/Cytomel levels post-op?

Hope this is what you wanted. I hope it helps!


Old 10-25-2006, 03:30 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA
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phat1 HB User
Re: What to ask on Monday

I just wanted to thank you for the list... The appointment is with the Endo and then the surgeon--- we multitask here at the Beach. Really it is because of serious work schedules for the docs and myself. I have been doing some research and I am leaning towards the surgery but who knew that so many people had issues with this there are four people where I or my husband work that have either hypo or hyper--- I wish I would have gotten checked years ago. I will let you know about the appts I am sure I will have a ton of questions then.

Old 10-25-2006, 04:26 PM   #6
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Re: What to ask on Monday

It is pretty standard anywhere to see the Endo and then the ENT Surgeon. Endocrinologists rarely do their own surgery. Same day appointments to see both are rare but I had mine set up that way. Frankly if I had my Doctor shopping to do over I would have skipped the 2 Endocrinologists I went to and gone straight to a surgeon for consultation. They make the final decision.
I myself ended up with a Vascular surgeon not an ENT.

Some advice if you do not mind. No food before your ENT appointment in case he wants to do the up the nose down the throat exam with the "little Camera"? The vocal cord visualization? I myself could not tolerate it and the ENT got mad, we got crossways and next thing you know the surgery was called off . He was not nice at all...........I was so thrown when the ENT wanted to do this to me right after I ate lunch between my Endo and ENT appts.I walked in there thinking it was just a Formality meeting him before the surgery? He said if I did not cooperate then he would not do my surgery...???? I knew then and there I did not want this guy cutting my neck open. He was a jerk. It was a very unpleasant experience. And this was a highly recommended Doctor HAH!!!!! Legend in his own mind maybe....

So be prepared because even though you Endo says you need the surgery the Surgeon has a lot of say about more testing and so on.

But all things happen for a reason and I ended up at a Doctor I like and trust and I still have my thyroid for now.


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