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total thyroidectomy

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: jessup,pa
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spegs2 HB User
total thyroidectomy

hi. i am new here and am having a total thyroidectomy on july 31st. i have a goiter which they are now calling a nodule that is 6cm long and it is cold.i found out i had thyroid problems back in dec,2008 when i went for my pre-surgery exam for a hysterectomy.since then my levels have been good and bad. i go between being hyper and hypo. i was on synthroid but now am off and my endo talked about me having graves. i am also very vitamin d surgeon cleared time in his schedule to do this surgery. my thyroid and nodule are also crushing my vocal cords.needless to say i hit the internet to do research and found this site. i am so totally scared to death its not funny. the thought of cancer(70%chance) is killing me. i can't find any good news on here to make me feel better.yea i did give up after a couple of all thyroid removals bad? does anybody have any good experiences w/this surgery and its after effects?i could really use some good info about now. thanks.

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:32 AM   #2
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Re: total thyroidectomy

Your doctor said you have a thirty percent chance of that being cancer? Why? Did you have an fna biopsy that said it was cancer? I would think your chances were the opposite with nodules, that it's for some reason 70% likely benign. Keep in mind, everything on the internet turns to cancer, the worst case scenario so you will see a doctor. Stop researching. There are people here, if you look at old posts, with tremendous nodules, that were benign, so you never know!

Either way, get that big thing out of you, you should be happy/excited to be rid of it, you might even feel better living on synthroid, than living with something that shoots out too much hormone---see it as a new lease on life, another chance to get better!

Old 07-16-2009, 12:46 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 322
Lori123 HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

Good luck with the surgery. For me, personally, it was not bad at all. My throat was sore, as is to be expected. I didn't even need any pain med. I did have my calcium bottom out due to parathyroid damage, and I had to stay in the hospital for 4 days due to the calcium, but I was more than ready to go home. Keep in mind, it is normal to feel scared, I was scared at first, too. Once I got to the hospital I was calm, because you are not in control anymore, the surgeon is, and I had faith in my surgeon.
Good luck to you, you will be just fine!!
Take care,

Old 07-16-2009, 02:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 61
MyFourBlessings HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

If it helps.. my scan showed that I had hot and cold nodules.... I was told then that it was possible the cold could mean cancerous. I had my surgery 7/10 and just got back my pathology report that my thyroid was completely BENIGN. So just because you have some that are cold, that doesn't mean it will be... My surgeon had also told me that even if it was cancerous, thyroid cancer is one of the 'best' cancers to get because it rarely invades outside the gland.

I will not lie in saying the surgery was not fun.. I was scared before going in too.. I think this is normal to feel some fear because we just don't know what to expect you know? Couple that with the possibility of it being cancer, and it's quite frightening.

It's been 6 days since my surgery and I feel a little stronger every day. The first couple days were not pleasant.. I didn't have much pain from the incision itself, but I had terrible headaches.. the swelling and pressure in my throat is what bothered me beyond that. I cried when I seen the stitches because I was not expecting such a big incision. He said he had to go bigger than he normally does because the thyroid was larger from the all the nodules than he was expecting.. (I had 4 on the right/ 3 on the left.. in addition to an almost 4 cm cyst on the lower lobe)..

You should expect some hoarseness in your voice for a while afterwards.. ( I so did NOT expect that and wish I had read about it because it freaked me out).. But my voice is getting a bit stronger every day.. still can't holler or anything.. but not as weak as it was.

I agree with the above poster.. go with a surgeon that you trust and have faith in. Even then you will be nervous ( I know I was still) But knowing so many people went to the surgeon with no problems really helped ease my mind. Otherwise I am not sure I would have went at all. LOL!

I haven't been on this forum long at all, but I think most that have read my posts KNOW I was completely nervous to say the least! Just if try to keep your mind occupied with other things as much as possible so you don't get yourself too upset. I seen my surgeon on a Tuesday and had my surgery that same Friday and I am ever so grateful it happened FAST. I am a worry-er by nature! LOL!

Take care.. please update with how it goes!
Dx Grave's 10/2005 (High TSI level)
PTU Meds started 1/2007
Dx Toxic multinodular goiter 7/2009
Total Thyroidectomy 7/10/2009 (Benign)

Old 07-17-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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tuscansam6 HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

Hi Spegs2, I had a total thyroidectomy 8 months ago. I had multiple nodules...the majority on the left side was malignant. The surgery went well, the recovery was good also, it was not painful and I didn't even have a sore throat....I didn't take any pain meds although I was given a prescription for Percocet, which I still have. lol
My voice took a while to stabilize....I went from hoarse to strong to weak to a whisper. I had to learn to stop talking so much and let my vocal cords rest and recuperate. lol.
I'm on synthroid 0.175mcg and somedays I feel fine, and other days I feel like crap! I think I might have Graves disease because of the heart palpations that I'm experiencing again. Before the surgery, I was hyper-thyroid with an accelerated heart rate.
This thyroid business is a mess isn't it? Don't worry so much, if you have a great him/her and get well soon. best to you,

Old 07-23-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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kcmynatt HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

Hello. I wanted to let you know about my experience. Back in Nov 2006 they found two nodules in my thyroid. The follow up was an ultrasound and needle aspiration(sp). My blood work showed that I was hyper. Went for the ultrasound then the biopsy. The biopsy showed I had Hurthle Cell. SCARED! The only way to tell if it is cancer is to watch the growth (make sure it doesn't grow). So I was suppose to go back in 6 months for another ultrasound. I didn't.

My younger sister was fighting terminal cancer (cervical). She was only 27. She past away in Nov. 07. So in Jan 08 I decided to have the ultrasound because all of a sudden I could feel the lumps in my throat.

Went back the two nodules I had had grow over 1cm each and I had developed 1 more nodule on the isthmus(sp). So off to find a surgeon. I meet with three. Be sure to have lots of questions for your surgeon. I wanted to make sure I had the best. I went with a great one in Bellevue, WA. So we all knew the only why to make sure that mine was not cancer was to take it out. That is the only way to tell with Hurthle Cell. If it is encapsulated(sp) it is not cancer. Very rare thyroid cancer and I had just lost my younger sister to a very rare cervical cancer. I though......luck is not on my side. I had all the signs of Hurthle Cell cancer.

Surgery-I went in at 10:30am they were ready for me when I got there. Went back to surgery and was soooo scared! I didn't know how I was going to wake up. I knew what to complications were. I woke up in recovery zero pain! I had a 2 inch incision in the front of my throat and a very small incision under that where there was a drain tube coming out. Had no problems, went to my room. They keep coming in and asking if I did pain meds and I keep saying no. I never hurt. Well when I sat up I could feel the pain in my neck more soreness not sharp at all. Didn't sleep to much the first night everybody coming in. They were testing my calcium. Never had a problem with that. I had no problems, My throat wasn't even sore. I had a great surgeon! Went home about 11am the next morning and stayed off work for about 5 days and was just fine. I take a pill everyday now. But the best was NO CANCER!

Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you.


Old 07-23-2009, 05:02 PM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Flushing,MI,USA
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sammysmomma HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

I had a TT in January 2005. I had foliccular cells, and thought to have cancer. My vocal chords were compromised by the nodules. I did NOT have cancer, currently am on synthroid and very rarely have a raspy voice. I hope you have the same luck I had! Life is good!

Old 12-17-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Posts: 8
cbruington HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

Learn from what I'm going through - when your Endo says do the bloodwork - do it!! Stay on top of how much Synthroid (or whatever they have prescribed) your system needs! Because if you've had a thyroidectomy because of cancer, it is crucial to keep your tsh where the doc wants it. Your correct tsh level will keep any residual cancer cells (or thyroid tissue) from growing. I got really lax about this and have been through hormone hell since my thyroidectomy (papillary carcinoma) May of 08. Didn't get my bloods done in July like I should have. In October, I had my full body scan and from the bloodwork that was done after my Thyrogen shots, she could tell from my thyroglobulin levels that there was some residual thyroid tissue or thyroid cancer somewhere in my system - too small to see in the scan or ultrasound. I thought everything was PERFECT!!! So....we all have to stop being so confident about beating the cancer and really, REALLY stay on top of our tsh levels and never have cancer again!! By the way, it was getting on Estrogen (because without a thyroid gland estrogen levels drop too low) that caused my tsh level to change. If you are female and have to have a thyroidectomy, have a complete hormone workup done soon after surgery. Ask your Endo when it would be a good time to have it done. Chris in Colorado

Last edited by cbruington; 12-17-2009 at 11:17 AM.

Old 12-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #9
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spegs2 HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

i wish i could say that my TT was from thyroid cancer but i can't. i have a very rare cancer that is called malignant paraganglioma which decided to make its home in my thyroid.i have had 37 rounds of radiation because there is no chemo for this and hopefully it is all gone. i am currently on synthroid,125mcg.i started @175 right after surgery,then dropped to bloodwork came back that my levels were a tiny bit high i and i got dropped to's were my problems start.i was on synthroid before my surgery when we all thought what i had was a goiter not a huge tumor pretending to be a goiter.when i started taking it i was fine for about 2 weeks then i started feeling crappy.body aches,feeling tired all the the dosage would be changed. i am now feeling crappy again (on the 125) and we are just waiting for the bloodwork results.i want to go back on 150.i felt great.i slept,not tired,no pains,nothing.i have pain in both my arms that goes right to my fingertips.what do i do when my labs come back a "tiny bit to high"?listen to my doc becaue he knows best. my body is trying to tell me something.125 doesn't work.150 does.i have alot of faith in my docs but sometimes what the labs read and awhat your body needs are two different things.i want to feel better again and 150 will do that for me.i also have to take in to account that maybe there is something else going on w/my body.thats for my cancer doc though not this board.

Old 12-29-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: country
Posts: 8
cbruington HB User
Re: total thyroidectomy

So what is your tsh when you have taken 125's for 6 weeks?? And what is it when you are on 150's?? All I can think of is that your doc is keeping your tsh at a certain level to fight cancer cell regrowth. I just had to change to 175's in October and can see a fantastic difference in my energy level. My endo and I are striving to keep my tsh at like .030 and get my thyroglobulin level way lower. If your tsh is low, your thyroglobulin level should also be low. I hope you didn't have to go off your synthroid to do those 37 rounds of radiation!!! Did you do RAI (the PILL) or regular radiation treatments? Bless your heart - you have been through it!!
I do hope you are doing all your meds through an endocrinologist and not just through your MD - there are so many opinions about where your tsh should be and an endo knows best. Good luck with your cancer fight...Chris in Colorado

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