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Thread: Mild hyperthyroidism with two thyroid nodules

  
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    Help Balloon Mild hyperthyroidism with two thyroid nodules

    Hi! I'm (obviously) new to the forum and never knew much about thyroid until recently. After complaining of symptoms of hyperthyroidism (which my mother has), tests were run and a nodule was found. After referral to an endocrinologist, the test results came back normal, but a second nodule was found. After biopsies on both, results were "suspicious" and "on the serious side" though not technically cancer. I'm scheduled to meet with a surgeon in 2 weeks and am terrified and confused. I'm only 27 and have normal thyroid function. If I had cancer wouldn't the thyroid function be impaired? The endocrinologist said he wants the entire thyroid taken out. This seems unnecessary. Can't they just take the nodules out and biopsy them further? Thoughts? Feeling on the matter?

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    Hello @The_Jess_Mess sorry to hear about your nodules. It's quite funny some people's thyroid is all normal and these unwanted nodules come into scene for no reason and others keep fighting with their grave's disease.

    Your doctor is partially right. It's there is a danger of cancer being spread then they will take the whole of thyroid out. It is possible to do operation and remove thyroid partially or the affected areas. How successful operations are....I am not quite sure....plus you get a scar on your neck which is unlikley to go away.

    I had RAI treatment and it destroyed thyroid completely. Just would like to say that life is unlikely to get any better after partial or full removal of thyroid gland.

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    Hi @The_Jess_Mess

    Thyroids are a funny thing when you do partial surgery and it's hard to predict what difference it will or will not make, and the surgery is somewhat risky due to being so near to voicebox and major veins and arteries.. they don't like doing it more than once. Surgery is often avoided now in illnesses where the thyroid is posing no other risk (risks such as oversizing due to disease causing breathing probems, or growths) and people with other conditions tend to have different treatments like drugs to totally shutdown the throid and replace it's function with meds, or to enable it to work partially (that's what I'm on now), or the RAI Mike mentioned (which kills off the thyroid where it is) as the results are more predictable. The thing about total thyroidectomy is that the result is predictable and the consequences are treatable without further surgeries and so on, so it is more straightforward (which is one of the reasons RAI is popular as it has the same effect as removal but without surgery to the neck).

    The next bit it guesswork.
    I havent experienced nodules, I do have a goitre but it is not causing any problems at the moment. I suspect the reason they want to remove your whole thyroid, like Mike is saying, is because of potential further growths and risk of cancer. Also because a second growth has been found already they will be worried the malfunction has spread (undetectably at this stage) through the thyroid. So firstly you might need repeat surgery which is another risk taken all over again and or you might allow the spread of malfunctioning tissues leading to cancer. But if you want to know this really you need to ask the experts, as we're just able to guess based on experiences (so it would be good if anyone with closer experience can answer this too).. so..

    This bit is a tip. Contact your endo's secretary or the clinic you went to and tell them you want more informaton about what is going on and why you are being advised to have this surgery so you can be better informed. They may have nurses who discuss this kind of thing with patients and if not you can ask to speak to your consultant or another expert if you prefer. You don;t have to wait for your next clinic appointment or your pre-op appointment. Make a list of questions to take to the surgeon. At the end of the day an endo is not a surgeon so I'm thinking the final recommendation will come from your surgeon?

    Also - they do need your permission to do the surgery, so when you have all of the information, if you don't want the surgery they are suggesting you have a right to refuse it. You can ask for alternative treatment (I'm an RAI refuser - and actually these days my thyroid is much easier to control than it used to be, which I would never have known had I had the RAI - but I don;t have the potential cancer risk you do) but I don;t know what realistic alternatives they can offer and if they would offer a surgery on nodules only. These are the kind of questions you can ask them.

    It is so frustrating in the early stages of disease.. information always seems thin and when you have just been diagnosed with a serious condition it can be hard to take it in or even know what questions to ask, it needs to sink in first. I remember when I was diagnosed it was all over in five minutes and I was sent home with tablets and a follow up in a couple of weeks.. but actually didnt really have a clue what I had been diagnosed with or what damage it had done or what the consequesnces were. just a bit of writing on an a5 leaflet folded into three naming my disease saying what sort of disease it is. and that was about it.

    Have they explained that if they remove your thyroid you will be left with Hypothyroidism for the rest of your life? I am guessing that's why you are wondering about partial surgeries? The good news about it is it's supposed to be 'usually' easier to stop hypothyroidism getting out of control and doing lots of damage when they know it is going to hapen (eg when causing it deliberately) because the treatm,ent starts as soon as the hypothyroidism does, unlike patients who have the disease awhile before they realise they are ill. Or at least that's what they told me when discussing RAI. I chose not to take that risk anyway and I can relate to your position in part, as someone who has made the active choice to live and take my chances with the disease I already have instead of them causing another one in the name of a 'cure'. but my disease is very different to yours. Only you can decide what is best for you.

    Good luck getting more info - do chase it up with your own docs if you can as medical information is very individual and therre are allsorts of things they have to consider when deciding a course of treatment which is apropriate for the individual. DOn;t feel nervous, it's pretty normal practice and you have a right to know what is going on with your body, especially when someone wants to remove a piece of it!

    Dennis
    Last edited by Dennis; 25th March 2012 at 09:18 PM.

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    Thank you both so much! I'm going to call tomorrow (Monday) and try to set up an appt to go over the pathology results more thoroughly and learn more about potential treatment plans.

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    Thumbs up

    That's a great plan. Crossing fingers for you Jess that they can see you soon hope you get to find out everything you need to know. Sometimes I put my questions on a list as I'm great at remembering only half of them! Wishing you the best of luck and let us know how it goes

    Dennis
    Last edited by Dennis; 27th March 2012 at 08:27 PM.

 

 

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