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Thread: Need Post-op information

  1. #1

    Need Post-op information


    My daughter-in-law will very soon have half her thyroid and nodes removed and, if a malignancy is found, then the other half will be removed.

    She has a 10-month old baby.

    I am going to them (I live in Canada and they live in the US) to help the family. I have lots of experience with cancer, but not thyroid conditions.

    Is there anyone who can help me out by letting me know what I can possibly expect after the operation, when she comes home, etc. so I can give the family the best possible support.

    My son is a General Manager in a restaurant and, as such, works irregular shifts. The baby is in daycare.

    What will my daughter-in-law need when she comes home?
    What will she not be able to do that I can help with?
    What can I tell my son about the long-term prognosis for his wife?

    That's the kind of information I need, practical, every day, long-term ...

    so much,


  2. #2
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    Re: Need Post-op information

    Hello Diane and

    Being a guy, I wouldnt be able to help you much but I can surely tell you my experience with thyroid.

    Bear in mind, all thyroid patient cases are different hence treatment for one, not necessarily will work for other in terms of exact dosage.

    I have been overactive for 5 years and then decided to go with Radioactive Iodine Therapy, which is not exactly surgery but the purpose is the same, removal of thyroid. RAI partially/completely destroys the thyroid gland. When it comes to surgery, normally doctors try to remove part of thyroid so patient will have little bit left to produce hormones but in cases of cancer, it is totally unlikely.

    Removal of thyroid will bring massive changes in the life, as person goes from being normal/overactive to Underactive (Hypothyroidism). This will be confirmed by your GP/Doctor who then will start your Daughter in Law on thyroid medication (Synthyroid or Levothyroxine - A Synthetic version of T4) The sooner she starts, better it will be.

    After removal of thyroid gland, the hormones levels do not drop suddenly but will keep dropping hence you will have to check the blood every often to make sure you are on right amount of thyroxine. You'll have to do a lot of study on how thyroid works and what are the hormones which are produced as things normally aint that simple as they look. A lot of people dont feel well on this synthetic brand of thyroxine because it doesnt contain all the necessary hormones produced by human gland, hence people prefer Armour Thyroid (Which is a natural version).

    I'll provide you a few links to read in your spare time and best of all, buy a book which will definitely help you a lot. Things may look complicated at start but once you have understood the whole function, you'll no longer be relying on books anymore.

    I'll leave it here for the time being but will come back with more detailed information soon.

    Hope things go smooth for you and your family

  3. #3
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    Re: Need Post-op information


    SiD gave you a good run down of post op expectations. I have heard of total removal patients getting RAI done afterward to kill off any remaining thyroid tissue but each case is different. Some also undergo chemo-therapy afterward to make sure any malignant cells are destroyed but your daughter may not be required this if the nodes sent off for analysis come back clear. If for some reason cancer is found, remember that thyroid type is the most highly successfully treated of all types with very low reoccurance.
    Her replacement hormone therapy after removal of half or all her thyroid, will be adjusted at the rate she loses her natural hormone. Some patients take several weeks to need replaced, others sooner or later and can take several months to get the dose at the adequate level and stable.
    A number of famous people in the US have had thyroid cancer removal including Rod Stewart and Joe Piscopo. Both had total cure and doing well many years later.
    (Avatar pic is of me & wife, 2008)



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