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  • Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

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    Old 04-05-2009, 07:55 AM   #1
    veryberry1
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    Question Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

    My endocrinologist has recommended that I have a TT because of a 3.6 cm nodule on one side (inconclusive FNA, good blood flow to nodule so it's live tissue) and a 0.5 cm nodule on the other side. I am told that removing it is the only way to be sure it's not cancer, although there's only a very small chance that it is cancer. My endo says it's better to be safe than sorry. My ENT says even if it is cancer, I could live with it for years and it wouldn't bother me. So, even though the surgery is scheduled, I'm seriously on the fence about whether I'm going through with it.

    Both the endo and ENT assure me that I'll be just fine after surgery . . . and I won't gain weight . . . and it's so easy just to take a pill every day for the rest of my life . . . blah, blah, blah. But doing my research online, I've read maybe two posts where people say they feel fine afterwards. Everyone else seems to have gained 30 pounds, is constantly tired, has hair that is falling out in clumps and is depressed.

    Should I cancel this surgery now? It seems to me that having ultrasounds and FNAs every three to six months is preferrable to the post-thyroidectomy misery.

     
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    Old 04-05-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
    Reece
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    Re: Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

    That's a pretty big nodule, and if it is cancer, it's possible it already spread to the other side of the thyroid, as you have a nodule there too. Can you walk around wondering if you have cancer?

    And if it is indeed cancer, can you feel good about keeping it in your body? It does spread, and depending upon the type, it might not be a big deal, or it might spread to your bones and lungs over time.

    I had a 2.5cm nodule, it was cancerous, and it had already adhered to the muscle in front of it, which required hire doses of RAI to destroy. If I would have found the nodule earlier, I would have been happier.

    I have not gained any weight, I'm not fat, and I feel fine, I'm very well managed by a good doctor. I'm not depressed. My surgery was a breeze. I question a surgeon that thinks it's fine to leave for years. If you aren't feeling that 3.6cm nodule (it's the same size as your thyroid lobe) now, you will.....I found my nodule because it was hurting when it invaded the muscle.

     
    Old 04-05-2009, 09:51 AM   #3
    midwest1
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    Re: Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

    Reece has been around the block with thyroid cancer; I haven't. That said, I'd get it out yesterday if it were my gland.

    People who have awful problems after thyroidectomy are those whose MDs aren't good at thyroid replacement... and there are boatloads of them floating around, believe me. Reece obviously has optimum thyroid replacement. So do I, even though my gland has not been removed. That's the key... A really great MD who understands not just "normal" thyroid levels, but optimal thyroid levels.

    Bottom line is... If you don't feel well on the thyroid replacement you're to be given, speak up, loud and clear! Don't accept the standard "Your level is 'normal'." speech if you don't feel "normal". You can definitely be your old self again without a thyroid, if your MD is skilled enough at replacing the hormone.

    Best of luck to you!

    Edited to add: Don't be swayed by message boards that have a preponderance of folks with replacement issues. That's what boards are designed for... People with problems. People who feel normal and are doing great on their replacement don't usually write in to say so.

    Last edited by midwest1; 04-05-2009 at 09:54 AM.

     
    Old 04-05-2009, 10:39 AM   #4
    famnd
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    Re: Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

    I haven't had my thyroid removed yet but may in the future. Are you a surgical risk at all? Are you having any pressure symptoms from the larger nodule?

    I worry more about the calcium issue if the parathyroids are destroyed. Having to take large replacement doses of calcium can be a problem for the kidneys, stomach, etc. My daughter has to be on an antihypertensive now to protect her kidneys from the calcium.
    This is a problem because her b/p tends to be low already. She wishes she had only had one lobe removed.

    You have to look at the big picture in making a decision. Weigh the pro's & con's including your age. That's what I have done. I'm not a good surgical risk so I've opted not to have surgery for now. Plus my goiter nodules are smaller & I'm in my sixties.

    My younger daughter is probably going to have surgery because she can't stand the worry. My older daughter had thyroid cancer. Fam

    Last edited by famnd; 04-05-2009 at 10:40 AM.

     
    Old 04-05-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
    loralei
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    Re: Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

    I am doing pretty well. The people who are miserable are more likely to make posts, so it seems like there are more of them. In real life all 4 ladies I know who had thyroid cancer/thyroidecotomies are doing great. Yeah you might have some bad side effects, but oftentimes they go away or can be fixed. Trust me, it's better than having cancer or a huge lump that u are always wondering about. Even if it is slow growing, it's still cancer.

    Of course I felt like crap BEFORE surgery --even though every doctor will say thyroid cancer has no symptoms. I feel a million times better than I did prior to surgery. That being said my tumor was .9 cm, papillary, and I did not need RAI. So my case was less extreme than most.

    Have another FNA done or have your slides sent to another pathologist. It's worth it to be certain before you have sugery. I had a very experienced endo who did my FNA- she took a bunch of samples to make sure it did not come back inconclusive. It's worth another shot. Mine was deemed suspicious - 80% chance of cancer at first, but a second pathologist said positive for papillary carcinoma.

     
    Old 04-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #6
    DR37
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    Re: Thyroidectomy - anyone not miserable afterwards?

    I'm going to give you my very biased opinion: get it out! My three largest growths were 4.3, 3.6 and 2.5 cm before I even had a biopsy. In my case, it WAS cancer. Because my growths were so large, the cancer was in lymph nodes and, even after a double dose of radiation, it is STILL in my body. My Dr. hopes it's still in lymph nodes in my neck but we're still trying to figure that out. I wish over and over that I had been persistent with my Dr. when my thyroid levels looked "fine" years ago. They may say you don't have symptoms, but I certainly did. The TT was relatively easy and the RAI wasn't that bad, either. But now, if it's still in lymph nodes, I'm going to have a lymphectomy and possibly even more radiation. I just wouldn't want someone having to go through all of that if it's avoidable, much better to nip it in the bud. Best of luck w/ your decision, and keep us posted!
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