Thyroid Disorders Community
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Normal Life after a total benign thyroidectomy?

I'm absolutely terrified!  I was very cool with my decision to have my entire thyroid removed as I have a 5.5 centimeter non-malignant nodule on the right side and three 1.3 centermeter non-malignant nodules on the left.  I was resigned to the fact that I could live without a thyroid with the proper hormone replacement.  I made the mistake of telling a very over dramatic friend of mine and she of course informed me that  EVERYONE she knew that ever had a total thyroidectomy got cancer soon after!  I keep reading about people with these weird symptoms of chronic fatigue, massive weight gain, massive weight loss, its too much!  Has anyone had a total thyroidectomy and lead a normal life afterwards?  Please let me know.
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Avatar universal
I posted almost the exact same question three months ago.  I had a TT on April 12 for a multinodular goiter (no Graves, Hashimoto's or other issues).  9 weeks later it's as if the surgery never happened.  My throat feels a little funny, the scar hasn't faded, and that's about it.  No weight gain (or loss, boo hoo), no hair loss, no cancer.  

On a side note, how do you "get cancer" from a thyroidectomy?  Sheesh!  "Everyone" your friend knows probably already had cancer, but of course, not all of us running around with no thyroid had or have cancer.  Good grief!

For what it's worth, my sister had her thyroid removed 7 years ago.  She has never had any problems either.  

Good luck!

Avatar universal
Yes. I had one done back in 1993 (23yrs old). Still work, a lead a NORMAL life...
I was tricked into letting them rip out my healthy gland. From the instant I woke up, I knew life would never be okay again. To this day, I wish they had killed me instead.
I had a full thyroidectomy in 2008 and am doing fine. Went through some adjustments with meds as Synthroid and the generic did not work well at all for me. Found Armour Thyroid and doing great since.  Sometimes T3 level spikes and that seems to affect pressure/ringing in ears but all is sorted out when medication adjusted. Very easy to live a normal life if you stay very pro-active and listen to your body. Good luck!
219241 tn?1413541365
Unfortunately like any forum dedicated to disease, you may not find people who have success stories posting often. Totie above is an exception. Many here who post here are like you, then after time move on, as they get better.
  There are horror stories, for sure, but they aren't the norm.

It is a fact; nothing can ever perform better than the original organ. No medication is going to be the magic wand. Only by learning about your own body and knowing what all the medical terms mean, not focusing too heavily on symptoms,(unless of course, they are very obvious and concern you) and staying positive will you succeed through the thyroidectomy.

I never got cancer immediately after my surgery, I never gained weight, lost weight in great bounds, I never had chronic fatigue.....BUT I have to say, for most of the people without a thyroid it IS a balancing act. I can't lie and say it was all roses and sunshine for me, it wasn't. It still isn't. But that is just me, I have other issues that are interfering with my recovery. My sister-in-law had hers out pretty much at the same time as I did. She has no problems what so ever. Even had a baby with no issues! It really is an individual thing. You are doing the right thing and asking, educating yourself is the best way of appeasing your mind!
  Oh and by the way....don't listen to friends who had friends who knew someone who had their thyroid out...most people love drama and honestly we could all quote horror stories on any illness! You never hear someone say, 'Oh, I know someone who went to hospital and bounced right out of there 2 hours after having a herniated appendectomy followed by a lobotomy!' LOL!
Avatar universal
I had RAI then total TT (2008) and am back working and loving every minute of it.
Not everyone has 'horror stories' and there are many success stories.
Redhead is right though about some of the success stories 'moving on'.

I stayed....to help others who are just beginning the journey of thyroid issues.
Avatar universal
Had mine 3 years ago for cancer followed by RAI and I'm fine. It took awhile to get adjusted to the meds but all and all I would say I qualify as a success story!
929504 tn?1332589534
I had a TT in Dec 2010...I am still on the road to a balance life however it's getting better slowly but surely...I too had benign nodules that were large, it can be challenging when trying to figure out "what the heck is happening to my body" but once you educate yourself on the symptoms of being "hypo" and make sure that you stay on top of them and be very persistent with you endo...you will be fine. I still have extreme exhaustion, however, i'm not leveled out yet but i am active and work out daily to control my weight and it is helping me alot. Stay positive and take one day at a time.
Avatar universal
That makes me feel so much better.  Like I said before I was cool with my decision when I left the doctor's office until everyone else started "talking".  I figured the aftermath of the hormones would be a rollercoaster ride at first but get better later.  I'm just going to forge ahead and do what needs to be done.  I work out every day anyway so I was never fearful of gaining weight. My family however is very fearful of my upcoming mood swings! :)  I'm looking forward to them actually!  Anyway, thanks to everyone for your reassurance. I'll check back after surgery to let you know how all goes.
393685 tn?1425816122
Well it sounds like many still here posting are successful and others are finding it very soon. I am right there with you. I may not of had the knife removal but RAI took my gland down to a pair of limp panty-hose hanging wet on a coat hanger - ( nothing but a string left to function)

and I am tip-top shape now after a lang haul of finding my right dose.
1263014 tn?1318036297
I had my TT just 22 days ago 6/1/10......I feel pretty good.  The only complication I am dealing with right now is my voice.  Most people I have talked to say give it five weeks to recover.  Other than that I notice a big difference getting my diseased Hashimotos gland out of my body as synthetic hormones feel much better.  I had horrible joint pain prior to surgery that was gone the minute I woke up and has not returned.  I do have some tingling at times from low calcium but I have had better luck with Caltrate D Plus chewables 600mg over the Tums.  I take two twice daily.  I am still resting at home and have not gone back to work.  Give it time and rest, but you wont feel that bad.  Oh and no one has mentioned the surgery even though where it is, is really not that painful.  No more than Tylenol, if that.  I had some pain meds in recovery initially and two tylenol in the hospital.  I wish you the best of luck, but please don't listen to all the horror stories.  Any surgery has its risks, but this one really isnt that bad.  I was home from the hospital the next day.  Best wishes, Kim
Avatar universal
I was looking for forums found this one, I had total tr just three days ago, but had a couple minor complications during surgery so it's a little more painful recovery, but doing well, doc had to dig around some old very large scar tissue from a previous cspine surgery said whole area was almost closed off between the "grapefruit" on the thyroid and the scar tissue had hard time getting around vocal chord to avoid damage surgery took 3 and a half not two hours,but I woke up with a hoarse but useable voice so happy there, pain getting better, but more localized now, I can feel where he had to "dig" things out, already seeing improvement in some other areas though, getting more air when i sleep, I'm guess my sleep apnea is not as bad,can eat most real foods in small portions, my biggest irritation seems to be keeping things from rubbing on the incision which is about 3 inches, so here's hoping it continues to get better , felt ok but pretty sore first two days, tired today.. diaphram sore, and breast bone area still pretty bruised, but otherwise ok... I wish you all luck and would love to come back by and see any updates... thanks for the info everyone posted it was a great help.
Avatar universal
Hi Kimmy! Am happy for you and continue to wish you well.  i
I just like to ask what made you decide for Thyroidectomy? Thanks, botging22
Avatar universal
I had my TT surgery one year ago and I feel fine. I was diagnosed with a severe form of Graves’s disease but no cancer. I elected to have the surgery over the Iodine due to my thyroid growing larger by the day and the fact that iodine treatment can cause fertility issues. I do not know how long I had the disease before I was diagnosed. I am currently on Levothroxine .150 mg. Synthroid did not work for me for some reason. It gave me symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, light headed, foggy ect. I basically felt like I had a hangover without the barfing. There are days that I forget to take my medication and I can definitely feel it the next day when my hangover symptoms come back.

Since I had such a positive experience from the surgery I do recommend it as an option to others.  Before my surgery I was barely able to get out of bed. I could not stand up long enough to even take a shower. When I was resting my heart was beating so fast it was as if I had just run a marathon. If I did any kind of activity (cooking, cleaning, and taking out the trash) I would break into a cold sweat that would saturate my clothes literally. I was all messed up. Now as long as I take my meds every day I feel 90% normal. I still have minor fatigue but I really cannot complain.

To all who are considering going through the surgery my best advice would weigh your pros to the risks. Yes if you can have complications. Surgery can leave your vocal cords destroyed and your parathyroid as well. Yes, it can take years for you to try different medications and dosage to find the right balance for you. To me it was worth it because at least now I can get out of bed. I also chose the best surgeon in my state (still paying him off though :-).
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