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Surgery or Radioactive Iodine Treatment?


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Old 03-27-2014, 06:52 AM   #1
Kiss94
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Question Surgery or Radioactive Iodine Treatment?

Hey everyone, I've never posted in forums before so please bear with me if I'm doing this wrong.
In september amidst some other health problems my doctor noticed I had a lump on my thyroid. Since then I've been doing tests and trying to figure out what it is. We've finally gotten to a point where they're 98% sure it isn't cancerous, and my blood tests show I'm very slightly hyperthyroid.
My doctor has left the next step in my hands, saying the lump is big enough that I should either have the half of my thyroid with the nodule surgically removed or shrunk with Radioactive Iodine treatments.
The way I'm understanding it, the treatment seems like just one more option before surgery. The only downfall of surgery seems to be a higher chance of having to be on medication. He said the treatment could end up killing my thyroid so I'd have to be on medication anyway.
I'm not really scared of surgery or anything, I just don't really understand it all, and if anyone has any experience with anything I've mentioned I would love to hear about it.
Hope to hear from some of you soon!

 
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:27 AM   #2
Reece
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Re: Surgery or Radioactive Iodine Treatment?

How large is the nodule? You might just be able to wait and watch if it's not very large, and if it grows/changes, get it out then.

What are you trying to treat, the hyperthyroid condition, or the nodule? If it's the hyper, you can try medication instead to treat it. If it's the nodule itself, it's another story.

Unless you are elderly/ill, and not a good candidate for surgery, surgery is a better option than radioiodine. Radioiodine sometimes works for graves disease, but there is little control in terms of how much of the working thyroid tissue is destroyed over time. You may end up with a non-functioning thyroid, or still be hyperthyroid and have to have another treatment. Medication is a better option.

If in the end the nodule was really cancer (sometimes surgery is the best way to really know for sure), and you have the radioiodine instead of surgery, you will never know and be able to take care of it properly. With surgery, if they just remove one side, it's possible you may never need medication. No guarantees either way, but surgery for an otherwise healthy person may be a better bet. Radioiodine is extremely unpredictable, and there are many who suffer long term and never get their hormone levels stabilized because of it.

Good luck with your decision!

 
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:49 PM   #3
Kiss94
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Re: Surgery or Radioactive Iodine Treatment?

My endocrinologist says it's fairly large. I mean, I think it is but I have nothing to compare with, I believe it's about 4cm by 3cm. He also said that I'm really not hyperthyroid, just very very borderline. He seems more concerned about the nodule itself.
Thank you so much for responding, I appreciate it so much!

 
Old 03-27-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
Reece
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Re: Surgery or Radioactive Iodine Treatment?

Oh my, that's on the large side (as large as a thyroid lobe itself) I would get it out, and find a great surgeon to do it, someone who does many thyroids each week....

 
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hyperthyroid, hyperthyroidism, radioactive iodine, thyroid, thyroid surgery



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