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Do I need Goiter Surgery?
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Do I need Goiter Surgery?

How do I determine if I need goiter surgery? What questions do I ask my doctor to determine if I need goiter surgery?

I have developed a goiter (I think its large, but I don't know what makes a large goiter.) I went to the hospital today and the doctor said I need surgery to remove it, but I don't want to jump into surgery if I don't need it. I am an American living in Croatia temporarily. I don't speak Croatian, so communication with the doctor is very limited. We have some translation help, but it is limited and doctors here aren't as patient friendly as in the US. The communication barrier is leaving me very worried. We have no insurance in the US, so it doesn't make since to go home for it because we couldn't afford it.

Here is what I know about the goiter and the situation: There is a swelling at the base of my neck that looks like a goiter so I went to have it checked out. I have no symptoms of discomfort. Today I had an ultrasound and blood test. The only information I was given from the ultrasound is that I should have the goiter removed because it is big. They said I would get blood test results on April 6 when I will also have a biopsy. Tomorrow I am going back for what I think is a thyroid scan, but due to the language barrier I am not positive that is what it is.

How do I know if I need surgery? How do I make sure it isn't Graves disease or Hyperthyroidism? What specific questions should I ask? Can I just watch it for a few years since it isn't painful? THANK YOU.
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Avatar_f_tn
Get a TSI test done for Graves to start with.
The % of uptake will tell the Doc whether the thyroid needs removing.Usually with a large goiter, there is a 'choking sensation' yet you say you have no discomfort.
Also get an FT3 and FT4 and TSH test done.

If you have Graves antibodies, your FT3 and FT4 will come back high and TSH low.
You  may just have hyperthyroidism and no antibodies.
Dont let anyone remove it until these blood tests have been done.
Usually if the uptake scan (they put a small amount of iodine dye in your arm or a tablet (depending on the country) and it shows on the scan how hungry the thyroid is.

But it is the TSI antibodies test that determines Graves 100%.
Let us know how you go :o)
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929504_tn?1332589534
I had the same problem before i started my venture w/ sonograms and fna's....


The doc must refer you to have extended testing. First, bloodwork of the thyroid to detect any diseases such as "hypothyroid" hyperthyroid" or Grave's:

Then a: sonogram, scan and fna (fine needle biopsy). These test's will indicate the size, the activity and the type of cells if any that are in the goiter (that's if there are any nodules).

Either way, you will be fine.

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Avatar_n_tn
I had my goiter for a few years before I finally had it removed.  I could not breath properly anymore nor could I swallow because the goiter have my trachea looking like the pipes under the sink!   My Dr. also did a LOT of tests before the final surgery to try and determine if it was cancerous or not.  All of my tests were inconclusive.  With all of my symptoms and the extensive work up my dr. did (which included 2 fine needle biopsies, 2 ultrasounds, a cat scan and a radioactive thyroid uptake test) I finallhy agreed to the surgery and I'm happy I did.  I have some issues as a result of not having my thyroid and the surgery, but I'm alive and I can breath and swallow again without restrictions.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the responses everyone! The only new information I have been given (in somewhat reliable broken English) is that my goiter is 5.5 cm in size (on my right side) and there is just one, not a cluster.
left side thyroid size: 4.5 x 1.2 x 1 cm
right side thyroid size: 9.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 cm
Hopefully I will know more on April 6.

Thanks again!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello I have a goitre measuring 4.3 cm right side nodules and 5.5 on left side.
I have been told to wait 4months to see if it will grow again. strange that it grew 2 cm in 1 year and before that had not moved very much. I think maybe these nodules are due to stress as the last year has been full on.

I am now seeking help from a herblist and homeopath as i want to support the cause and not just cutting away of nodules every time they grow. I will be taking this up from next week and will let you all know how I get along.

Maria
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Maria, I am wondering how that worked out for you? Did the goiter shrink at all working with the homeopath?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I was wondering what issues you have after removing your thyroid. I am at a point that like you, the goiter is creating other symptoms relating to my swallowing and breathing.
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