Thyroid Removal- Anyone Go Through This?

Updated on March 06, 2013
T.W. asks from Winter Park, FL
10 answers

A week ago, my endocrinologist told me I should have a thyroidectomy due to nodules. I had them all biopsied two years ago and they were benign. Now, one of the nodules has grown in size and seems "suspicious". She's willing to biopsy it again but really wants me to just have it out. I'm going to have it biopsied next week, but will probably end up just having it out this spring regardless of the results. The surgeon I'll go to is supposedly very good, he does 2 of these types of surgeries a week on average. They tell me the recovery will be quick, the scar won't be noticeable once healed, and I'll be back to normal quickly.

I'm just really really scared, I've never had surgery before. I'm worried about how I'm going to feel for the rest of my life. I've read terrible stories of how people become tired all the time, gain lots of weight, get depressed, lose hair, etc. I'm a mom of two preschoolers, have always been really active in running, hiking, skiing and just feel really good most of the time. I worry about not being able to do these things. I'm so scared about the medication not working for me or taking forever to get right. My doctor assures me she'll work with me. I've shared all my concerns with my doctor, she says I'll be fine but I can't stop worrying about it. I'm a mess because I wake up at night worrying about it, can't sleep.
*I asked to have another endocrinologist at the hospital look at the ultrasound, she agreed with my endocrinologist.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My friend had her thyroid removed due to cancer. She was in her early 30's. She is as thin and fit as ever and you can only see her scar if you are looking for it.
Sorry you are going through this. It must be very scary.

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answers from Chicago on

I had half of my thyroid removed about six years ago and I was a wreck! I discovered a huge lump on my thyroid one morning in the shower and made an appt that same day. My doctor felt the lump and sent me straight to the hospital for an ultrasound and later that day I was told to schedule a biopsy on the large nodule! The results were 'inconclusive' so it was recommended I have the surgery to have half of my thyroid removed (the half with the large nodule) and in the event it was determined to be cancerous I would need to have my entire thyroid removed. I did get a second opinion before having the surgery and both doctors were in agreement that surgery was necessary. Luckily it was benign so I still have half my thyroid. I have yearly labs done to check my levels and I've had no problems.

I'd recommend getting the biopsy for sure!

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answers from New York on

Do you want my opinion? There is no way on Gods green earth I would have it removed if all is benign. Why would you do that. I would get a second opinion before I ever agreed to an unnecessary surgery. Thyroid meds have to be adjusted regularly and yes, weight gain can be an issue
along with other issues. Please please go for another opinion. I had huge
Modules that were benign and my para thyroid was removed. My voice was being affected and I felt like I was choking. No meds necessary because it was parathyroid.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My nephew did due to cancer. He is a student and I think it has been 3 or 4 yrs now. He comes back to Chicago every few months for tests and medication. I cannot tell you about hair loss since he keeps his head shaved. But while he occassionally complains he is tired, he is also very active. He is finishing school, working 2 jobs, and a social life when he can. I have a coworker that takes thyroid meds and she complains she feels tired or "different" when she doesn't take it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Knoxville on

i had the left side of my thyriod removed back in 2009 because i had a tumor on it but it wasnt cancerous.. the surgery lasted about 45-60 minutes. i had to stay in the hostpitle over night just to stay on observasion and had to stay on an iv.. i really didnt have a lot of pain i was a little sore the day of the surgery and the next day but they give you medicine for the pain. oh and for the cut that they made it healed fine and isnt very notice able unless your looking for it. but if they do yours like they did mine you might want to know they put this white tape looking stuff on where they cut DONT TRY TO PEAL IT OFF because that is suppost to fall off on its own slowly i didnt know that and i tried to peal my off.. after the surgery they should give you a pill to take everyday and as long as you take that medicine your hair wont fall out and you shouldnt gain weight or anything like that.. but you have to take that medicine because if you dont it can cause a hormonal embalance and you can get the problems of gaining weight, etc..
just relax everything will be fine.. it not that bad of a surgery.. i freaked out before i ha mine and i didnt have anyone to talk to about it and i didnt know what to do or what to expect because it was my first surgery too. but if you have any more questions your more than welcome to write me and i will answer them if i can. just make sure you dont try to peal that tape stuff off and take that medicine every day after the surgery..
good luck and i hope your surgery and recovery and everything was just as easy as mine!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have a friend who did. She almost died, and owes her life to her surgeon. It was that bad. Without the surgery, she wouldn't be here today.

She has lived for many years without her thyroid. You can do this.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would get a second opinion prior to any surgery. I have had 2 friends who have had partial thyroid removal. 1 for cancer the other for nodules that were large, but benign.
The issue is they aren't going to get any smaller and eventually may get bigger and interfere with swallowing. Funny I am going to the Endocronologist tomorrow to find out if I have parathryroid or Hashimoto's/hypothyroid. The only cure for parathyroid (enlarged) is removal.
So I have already made peace with the fact that I may have no choice. Regardless, I plan on getting a second opion. Deal with the rest after you make the first at a time.



answers from Dallas on

i would definitely get a biopsy done. On what basis, does it look suspicious? There are 5 markers ( i believe) for thyroid cancer and blood tests that can indicate abnormal findings. On what basis do you think that it needs to be removed. I had a nodule, got a sonogram and then went to see an endocrinolgist for a biopsy. The blood tests were normal. The biopsy had some markers, but not all. The endocrinologists recommended i have my thyroid out. I called a major cancer hospital and did a self referral. They reviewed the slides from my biopsy (which insurance paid to send) and had me in for an appt. They see hundreds of thyroid biopsies (versus other labs that don't see as many). Based on a physical exam, another lengthy sonogram and their experience with reviewing slides, they said i did not need to have my thyroid out, but to continue to have annual check ups. That was 5 years ago. Definitely get a second opinion on your biopsy results.



answers from Portland on

My mother and her sisters had goiters and had their thyroids removed. They took medication for the rest of their lives and had no ill effects from having them out. It may take awhile to find the right dose of medication but once you do you'll be just fine.

One thing you want to consider is that once the nodules begin to grow and change your chances of developing cancer increases. You may not have cancer now but you may have it later.

My cousin had part of his intestines removed because of suspicious nodules. They kept part of the intestine to build a connection with his anus. He had to go in yearly to check for cancer. He skipped a year and he now as advanced melanoma. Melanoma is so fast growing that even if he'd gone in last year he may still have an advanced case.


answers from Chicago on

I'd definitely have it biopsied again before undergoing such a life altering surgery.

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