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thyroid surgery
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thyroid surgery

I recently had a biopsy on a 1.3 cm complex nodule on my left lobe, and yesterday the doctor told me that because the cells were follicular they could not tell if it was benign or malignant.  I have to have the left lobe removed.  If during the surgery, the cells look bad they will remove my entire thyroid.  I am concerned because I am only 26, I have NEVER had surgery or been in the hospital before and I really do not know what to expect with any of this.  Any thoughts??
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my entire thyroid removed when I was 23. Depending what how much they take out will depend if you will need medication for life or not.

The surgery and recovery went well.You can't even tell I have a scar. Just make sure you make a list of questions to ask your surgeon before your surgery or your doctor if you can. You need to have your mind at ease before going into any surgery.

Do not be afraid to ask. You are the one having the surgery. Write down all your questions, you can even post them here and a lot who have gone through it will give you their experience. As I said, I did not have any issues with the surgery (other issues, but not related to surgery or recovery time).
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for that advice.  Just out of curiousity, did it end up being cancer for you?  I guess that's pretty much my biggest concern...
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Avatar_f_tn
Nope. But I had graves/hyper/goiter and had hit two thyroid storms, that is why they did the surgery. They tried the RAI, but it did not work. I was 88 lbs and had the neck of a football lineman.

I have however in the past 9 months had to have a tumor removed (laparotomy) that was under neath my aorta (lower back) and a complex cyst along with my ovary because they could not tell all those things were cancer or not.

Not being a smart a$$ , but even if it is thyroid cancer, it is the best kind to have. It is very easily treated with surgery and other procedures.

I have also had a mass removed that was attached to my submandibular gland along with two enlarged lymph nodes that had increased in size. (All in 9 months).

They did at first think it was cancer because I had lost weight and get night sweats.

Everything removed came out as NOT CANCER....:))

Just talk to your surgeon and doctor, there IS NO stupid question...
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks a lot, and I am very glad to hear all turned out okay with you! (although I'm sorry you have been through so much! thanks again :)
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168348_tn?1379360675
I had similar .. 2 larger nodules atypical follicular cells and had 1/2 thyroid removed and during frozen biopsy all looked ok so only partial.  Upon final biopsy all still was fully ok with the 2 larger nodules but they found 2 very tiny tumors that were papillary cancer but incidental findings.

You could get a 2nd opinion on the slides from the biopsy if you'd like.  They will send them out elsewhere.   You could get a repeat biopsy in a few mos as an option, too, if your doc says it's ok to wait.

Just some thoughts.

How did they find you had the nodule?

What symtpoms?

20% of those who have a partial end up on meds since the other side does not regain proper function.  (like me)

C~
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Avatar_n_tn
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.  I'm looking at surgery next month for the same reasons.  I haven't posted here very often but I've gotten a lot of great advice from members here.  One of the best pieces I've seen is to locate a surgeon with a lot of experience. I am a school teacher and I'm nervous about my vocal cords being damaged and the best way to avoid that is good experienced doctor.  I've been asking around for a while and I found a few in my area.  I made an appointment with one and felt he wasn't listening to me so I'm seeing another one on Tuesday. Also try and remember that most nodules aren't cancerous (I try to remind myself of that fact every day :) !)Good luck!  I'm sure that we'll both do fine with the surgery and remember you're not alone.  I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
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Avatar_n_tn
well for the past year I had gotten so sick... every 2-3 weeks I was sick in bed and I went to the dr. who refused to run blood tests. Then I began to sweat a lot, I got the worst muscle aches and I was always exhausted so I found a new dr. and he ran all kinds of test and found that my thyroid was not functioning properly so he sent me for an ultrasound which is where the found the nodule.  My thyroid is already underactive so I am taking synthroid now and my endo said they will probably have to increase the dose after the surgery.    Cynlynne, I too am a teacher and am very worried about damage to my vocal chords.  I am a music teacher, and I teach elementary general so singing is a must!  Does it commonly happen that vocal chords are damaged??  I am seeing the surgeon that my endo reccommended.  I too am trying to remember that most nodules are not cancerous... the thought is still hard!  thanks again for both of your responses, and best of luck to you both
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Avatar_n_tn
From what I've researched there are two common complication with thyroid surgery.  One being damage to the vocal cords and the other being problems with calcium levels (this seems to occur when the parathyroid are damaged or go into shock). The more experienced your surgeon is the less chance you have of these complications. You definitely want to find a doctor who does this surgery a lot -- the more they preform this type of surgery the better off you are. I'm personally having an otolaryngologist do my surgery. I was lucky to have a friend who works in the medical field and was able to recommend a few doctors who specialize in throat surgery and deal with thyroid all the time.  Don't be afraid to ask your surgeon how often they do this type of surgery. I might get corrected on this but I think if they do this less than 75 (it might be more, I can't remember) times a year you might want to look for someone different.  There might be someone here who might be able to recommend a good surgeon in your area.  Best of luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you very much.  I meet with my surgeon on Monday so I will be sure to ask that question.  Good luck to you also
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