Thyroid Cancer - Share Your Surgery Experience

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Most thyroid cancers require surgery to remove the tumor. Two options are available and decisions as to which option to pursue depend upon the clinical situation.

  • Lobectomy: The thyroid has two lobes joined in the middle with a fibrous tissue bridge. If the tumor is confined to only a small area, the surgeon may just remove the affected lobe.
  • Thyroidectomy: This is the most common surgery for thyroid cancer and the goal is to completely remove the thyroid gland and hopefully ensure that the cancer will not recur.
  • Lymph node resection: Thyroid cancer can spread to local lymph nodes, and these nodes often are removed. Affected lymph nodes may only be recognized at the time of surgery.
  • Open biopsy: Sometimes, the cancerous nature of a thyroid nodule is unclear, even after fine needle aspiration. A surgeon may operate to remove the nodule and make the diagnosis of cancer.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Ken, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 06

My mother and sisters always had thyroid issues and I consistently had my thyroid levels checked and they were always fine, but I didn"t feel fine. I finally asked for an ultrasound and the doctor said there was no point unless my thyroid was not smooth. After feeling my thyroid, she sent me for an ultra sound. The results came in and she referred me to a surgeon. They did not do a biopsy since the largest nodule was 4.6cm and had to be removed. Surgery was fine and the biopsy took almost two weeks to get back. The endocrinologist said based on the size I likely had it for decades, so very fortunate it was non-invasive. There was debate on if it was cancer or not, but ultimately determined it was, so I took the radioactive iodine. It has been a year and all is good; adjusted medicine a few times and blood work still looks good. I wish I would have pushed to have ultrasound years earlier.

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Comment from: PN, 25-34 (Caregiver) Published: March 13

My cousin has had the fourth surgery as he has thyroid cancer. After almost two month he still cannot eat anything. The tongue cannot propel the chewed food into the throat, and if he by chance could swallow a small piece of food, he would suffer from the stomachache as the acid in his stomach is higher than the amount of food. He has got a kind of intestinal tube for feeding, but the problem of swallowing is still something that he suffers a lot from. His doctor says that it takes 6 months for him to recover since the nerves are not destroyed. I am wondering if there is any device or solution for making the swallowing act possible for him.

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