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Removal of Thyroid
Old 01-18-2011, 05:11 PM   #1
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Removal of Thyroid

Well, I'm going to have my entire thyroid removed next month. I have a goiter on one side and several small nodules on the other side. I had a needle biopsy a couple of years ago, on one nodule, and that one was ok. Anyone have any pointers on what to expect?

From what I've read, getting the thyroid med regulated after the surgery can be a little tricky. I can just see myself gaining 20 pounds just before my daughter's wedding and being so tired not being able to enjoy myself.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
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From what I've read, getting the thyroid med regulated after the surgery can be a little tricky. I can just see myself gaining 20 pounds just before my daughter's wedding and being so tired not being able to enjoy myself.
Rich_in_Tampa would be the best person to address your concerns. I'm just a pediatrician, but any kid I was involved with who needed thyroid replacement was a breeze.

Best of luck with your surgery!
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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Well, I'm going to have my entire thyroid removed next month. I have a goiter on one side and several small nodules on the other side. I had a needle biopsy a couple of years ago, on one nodule, and that one was ok.
Glad to hear this news!

Ha
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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I've heard that if thou hast difficulty with thy roid, thou shouldst begin with Preparation H.



Seriously, best of luck with that.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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Like Meadbh, I am also a clinician but I agree Rich_in_Tampa is the best person to answer your question.

Take care

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Rich_in_Tampa would be the best person to address your concerns.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:54 PM   #6
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No sweat, most of the time. It's not a slam dunk, though. Usually there is a estimated starting dose of levothyroxine, then a blood test 6 weeks later (TSH test), a dose adjustment, and then repeat. For some patients there are symptoms even when the test appears normal, and vice versa (no symptoms even when the tests are way abnormal). But with good clinical judgment it all works out.

Tip to discuss with your doctor: levothyroxine is very cheap as a generic despite what the makers of Synthroid might say. Just make sure you get the same generic each time -- if you change brands a follow up TSH is a good idea.

Good luck with the surgery.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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If you are having it totally remove, regulation is easy, which I recommend, so you don't have to go through this again. In my case, tests afterwards showed I had cancer. I had to have radioactive iodine treatments to kill any leftover thyroid cells. I stop taking pains the day after, having a drain attach for 3 days wasn't much fun, but other than that, it's not that bad.
TJ
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:13 PM   #8
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Make sure that ASAP (now) you "donate" to yourself a pint of blood, in case you need a transfusion during surgery--so that you get your own blood, not someone else's. Ask your physician about doing this. I have someone close that had his/her entire thyroid removed about ten years ago, or so they thought. Turns out that some residual thyroid tissue must have remained somewhere, because after the surgery, and after a series of periodic blood tests, the patient never needed ANY replacement hormone at all (the residue was producing sufficient hormones) and has been "cured" ever since. No medication and no follow-ups for over eight years now. I hope the same will be true for you. (Some weight gain did happen, however. But that was to be expected after years and years and years of hyperthyroidism and its effects.)
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:16 PM   #9
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No blood transfusions are required.
TJ
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:18 PM   #10
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No blood transfusions are required.
TJ
Unless you lose too much blood during surgery. It can happen. There are some intricate veins in and around the thyroid, and a goiter only adds to the complications.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:19 PM   #11
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If you are having it totally remove, regulation is easy, which I recommend, so you don't have to go through this again.
TJ
Not always, TJ. Usually.

Also, how much to remove is not a patient preference usually -- they remove as much as necessary, no more and no less. The parathyroid glands lie nestled in the thyroid and need to be spared. The nerve supplying the vocal chords need to be isolated and spared, so the less you remove the better. In experienced hands this is a very safe and successful surgery.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:52 PM   #12
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Well, I'm going to have my entire thyroid removed next month. I have a goiter on one side and several small nodules on the other side. I had a needle biopsy a couple of years ago, on one nodule, and that one was ok. Anyone have any pointers on what to expect?

From what I've read, getting the thyroid med regulated after the surgery can be a little tricky. I can just see myself gaining 20 pounds just before my daughter's wedding and being so tired not being able to enjoy myself.
Oh geez. Please know I'm pulling for you babe. I've had thyroid problems for years that have been regulated by meds. But surgery would sure be a different level of worry. Please chill though because I know the success rates are really good.
I did gain some weight, but have been successfull in losing quite a bit recently. Mainly though eating healty and stepping up my activity a bit. No big deal really.

The main thing is to feel good and be healthy. Don't worry about anything other than that right now. Keep the faith baby and keep us posted.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:33 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your advise. I'm a little concerned about my little parathyroids since those little buggers control calcium and I'm already at the osteopenia stage. I think I have a good surgeon, he removed my gall bladder a few years ago with no complications.

The timing is really weird...January and early Feb. I will be on my cruise. Come home, have my surgery in Feb then the wedding in March. With everything going on, I won't have time to feel sorry for myself.

You all have made me feel much better, especially about the ease of adjusting the meds.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for your advise. I'm a little concerned about my little parathyroids since those little buggers control calcium and I'm already at the osteopenia stage. I think I have a good surgeon, he removed my gall bladder a few years ago with no complications.
Same surgeon
My thyroid was done by ENT specialist, and my gall bladder was done by another who specialized in lower abdominal surgeries.
I ask my ENT if blood was required, he said flatly "not unless I make a mistake".
TJ
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for your advise. I'm a little concerned about my little parathyroids since those little buggers control calcium and I'm already at the osteopenia stage. I think I have a good surgeon, he removed my gall bladder a few years ago with no complications.

The timing is really weird...January and early Feb. I will be on my cruise. Come home, have my surgery in Feb then the wedding in March. With everything going on, I won't have time to feel sorry for myself.

You all have made me feel much better, especially about the ease of adjusting the meds.
Ideal is a guy who does thyroid surgery all day long, and these do exist in most big cities.

Ha
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:50 PM   #16
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Same surgeon
My thyroid was done by ENT specialist, and my gall bladder was done by another who specialized in lower abdominal surgeries.
I ask my ENT if blood was required, he said flatly "not unless I make a mistake".
TJ
In the community, many general surgeons do thyroids, along with ENTs and endocrine surgeons (mostly in referral centers). This is not unusual at all, and with experience the outcomes should be comparable.

I have never seen routine thyroid surgery require transfusions.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:57 PM   #17
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I'm in a fairly small city and my surgeon is Chinese...I trust him. Thanks Rich for the confidence booster. At this point I'm not too concerned with the actual surgery...more concerned with the meds for the rest of my life and how tired I will be for the wedding. I think things will be fine.

I was a little concerned about my parathyroids and my surgeon said that he hasn't injured one yet... Just gotta have some faith.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:50 PM   #18
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I had a total thyroidectomy in 2006 after being hypothyroid for more than 30 years, and under control for about 29-1/2 years. In my case, I developed a goiter and two large nodules, one of which was pushing on my vocal chords, making my voice increasingly hoarse. I did not have cancer, but the surgeon was concerned about damaging the parathyroid glands given the size and location of the growths.

I went to the most experienced ENT surgeon around and my surgery went fine. Today I can barely make out my scar as it is very fine at the base of my neck.

Since my surgery, I have been very careful about monitoring my Synthroid dosage, as it has been adjusted several times.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:34 PM   #19
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Good luck to you Happytoberetired. Thyroid problems run in my family. My twin sister had severe Graves/hyperthryoid and had her thryoid "killed" instead of surgery. She had a difficult time of it as I believe she went into thyroid storm...with her thyroid releasing all the hormone rather quickly...and faster than the doctor thought would happen. With medication and eating right she did not gain any significant weight). She has times when she doesn't feel optimal but don't we all. I'm subclinical hyper and hypo.. Meaning I have Graves antibodies that have leveled off and some hypo antibodies but both are below clinical threshold. Am not on medication but am on a 6 month watch and have been for over 3 years.
Sandra
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #20
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Thank you both for sharing. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for next months surgery. The thyroid appears to be quite an independent organ, having a mind of it's own, that can affect people any many ways. Hoping for the best but right now I'm packing for my cruise and not gonna worry about it at all. When I get back from my cruise, I will stock up on easy to prepare food and buy lots of junky magazines...oh and I'm gonna board my dog....no doggy momma for at least a week.
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