Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
Thyroidectomy and Post-Op
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Thyroidectomy and Post-Op

About 2 years ago, I was diagnosed with a multinodular nontoxic goiter. Usually, I'll get an ultrasound every year and the doctor tells me to take the "lets watch and see". Well within the past 6 months, my nodules have grown from 1.7 cm to 3.5 on the right side and 1.4 cm to 2.9 on the left side along with a cyst. My doctor tells me my entire thyroid  needs to be removed because it's gotten larger. I have total thyroidectomy scheduled next month. I've been reading a lot forums about post-op and having to take the medications. I'm extremely terrified about the weight gain. Is it bound to happen? I'm already overweight and the last thing I want is to gain an addition 10+ lbs. It seems like from many of the stories I've read are people saying they've gained weight from Synthroid. I've heard that is what most doctors recommend. Can I suggest another alternative to my doctor? Please help....any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks
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I would focus more on the indication for surgery rather than the possible weight gain after surgery.  In this case, it seems that you have a multinodular goiter that has grown fairly significantly, doubling the size of the dominant bilateral nodules.  Typically we repeat biopsies at this point and consider, based on growth pattern and biopsy results as well as your symptoms, a total thyroidectomy.

After surgery, you would need Synthroid or similar medications.  The role of Synthroid replacement therapy is to optimize the thyroid hormone levels so that you do not have any additional trouble with weight (we all recognize that nearly 70% of Americans are overweight and this is not due to thyroid).  
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
Sarasota, FL
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