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  • Those that have had a Total Thyroidectomy, Questions!

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    Old 04-03-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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    Those that have had a Total Thyroidectomy, Questions!

    Ultrasound showed 2 solid masses FNA benign. Dr scheduled Total Thyroidectomy in 2 weeks. He discussed with me that I will have to begin thyroid replacement meds.
    However after reading online at websites i am questioning will I also have to begin Radioactive Iodine or is that only for patients whose growth is found to be cancerous?

    I had FNA last month, was benign. Had ultrasound in 2004 which showed a cystic "lesion" in left lobe measuring 1.46 cm. I had another ultrasound last month now shows two "solid masses". One measuring 2.9 cm with internal vascularity( which I have no idea what that means). the other mass measuring 2.8 cm.

    have been trying to find out from dr actual date I can return to work, they cannot give a specific date. My employer needs documentation of exact date I need to be out of work for surgery and the day I expect to come back.
    They say could be 1 to 2 weeks, or more depending on how surgery goes. Is that because they think they may find cancer? and don't know what treatment would be needed?

    I have read online that FNA can not always
    accurately find the cancer and sometimes it's not found until removing the thyroid.

    When I return to work I need to be fully able to perform duties. I do some lifting and carrying of computers and I cannot go back to work only to tell my job I need to be off for dr appts, lacking in my duties or calling out because I am tired from the Meds or treatment.

    For those that have had a TT, did they start you on the thyroid replacements in the hospital, do they give you a presciption for them?

    When did you go back to the doctor for follow-up?

    Did you really have what Dr say is a drain in your neck?

    Did you have to have the scar covered, do the sutures dissolve on own?

    My dr did discuss with me. however I would like input from those who have had this experience.

    Sorry for the long post, just have a lot of questions

    Deirdre Palowski

    Last edited by deirdre8256; 04-03-2009 at 10:13 PM.

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    Old 04-03-2009, 10:26 PM   #2
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    Re: Those that have had a Total Thyroidectomy, Questions!

    Everyone is different with surgery and recovery, i am 8 weeks post tt and doing well. I was off a few weeks but had problems with weakness due to not being able to eat properly due to the hashi's and swelling in the neck area. I feel so much better after surgery. No drain, inside sutures and neck was glued shut. The surgery was just fine and i worried way to much before, which is normal with anyone facing surgery. They started me on replacement thyroid meds the next day and wrote a perscription to be filled when i got home. Slow down and take a deep breath, you have had a lot on your shoulders in a short time but everything will be just fine.
    Good luck and hang in there,

    PS: Inside sutures dissolved on there own and had steri-strips covering the incision. Doctors office removed steri-strips in 10 days and i kept scar open to air per doctor order. Everythng was fine and it looks great

    Last edited by RUFUS100; 04-03-2009 at 10:35 PM. Reason: addendum

    Old 04-04-2009, 07:21 AM   #3
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    Re: Those that have had a Total Thyroidectomy, Questions!

    I had FNA for nodule that didnt specifically show cancer. I had a TT in Dec 08 and that showed cancer. I was out of work for 3 weeks and I have an office job. The pain associated w/ this is not as bad as I had thought, the 1st week the worst. I had RAI in Jan and I was very tired so I went back to work after surgery & had to go back out for a week for the RAI. Luckily my employer was understanding because I was worried too about the time off. I was not put on meds until the RAI was started and I am still getting that regulated. It has been a long hall and can be overwhelming. I had so many questions that people answered here so ask away this board is great. I did keep the incision covered a couple weeks until the sutures were out. My first post op visit was 1 week later and then again the following week. It is hard to give exact return to work dates because everyone responds differently. I am still very tired & have trouble concentrating at work. Its so hard to explain to others what its like when your thyroid isnt working or gone. People dont understand how much the thyroid regulates in your body. Good luck to you.

    Last edited by REE43; 04-04-2009 at 07:26 AM.

    Old 04-04-2009, 07:01 PM   #4
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    Re: Those that have had a Total Thyroidectomy, Questions!

    You only get RAI if you have cancer. Nowdays thyrogen is approved for treatment, so you won't have to feel discomfort of no meds prior to treatment, but if it is cancerous, you would need about a week after treatment off, and this would be several weeks after surgery.

    Because your job requires lifting you will have to have the surgeon tell you when you will be ready (there are internal sutures to consider, etc.). I was up and about immediately after surgery, and I worked from home so was ready quickly---but since you work in a physical environment, you may need 2 weeks, but discuss with your surgeon.

    In my time, 4 years ago, thyrogen for thyroid cancer wasn't fda approved for RAI treatment---only scans, so after my surgery (I knew I had cancer) I didn't have any thyroid meds, I went without until my RAI. But I should have been given cytomel in the meantime, which was a bit of a mix up.

    It takes about 2 weeks for your existing hormone to leave your body, so you won't feel the affects of not having a thyroid without meds immediately---but you might feel tired from the anesthesia.

    I had a drain the first night, keeps swelling down and helps them check that there's no bleeding, they took it out in the morning, no biggie. I had regular stitches that the surgeon removed a week later, and virtually no scar.

    Old 04-04-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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    Re: Those that have had a Total Thyroidectomy, Questions!

    I haven't had the surgery but may in the future so I have been gathering info. My daughter did. She didn't fair so well mainly because her parathyroids which regular calcium were all destroyed. This creates a multitude of problems. Surgeons are not always able to save the parathyroids because they are so tiny & sometimes in odd places. It takes awhile to get calcium levels back up to normal with supplements which cause problems too. You are wise to do your homework. Expect the best & prepare for the worst is always my motto!!! Fam

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