Why Is Thyroid Removal Surgery Performed
The main reasons a doctor may recommend thyroid removal surgery include:
- A nodule that could be thyroid cancer
- A diagnosis of thyroid cancer
- A nodule or goiter that is causing local symptoms
- Compression of the trachea
- Difficulty swallowing
- A visible or unsightly mass
Are There Different Kinds Of Thyroid Cancer
There are 4 main types of thyroid cancer. They are listed below. Your doctor can tell you more about the kind you have.
- Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common kind of thyroid cancer. It may also be called differentiated thyroid cancer. This kind tends to grow very slowly and is most often in only one lobe of the thyroid gland. Even though they grow slowly, papillary cancers often spread to the lymph nodes in the neck.
- Follicular cancer is the next most common type. Its more common in countries where people dont get enough iodine in their diet. These cancers do not tend to spread to lymph nodes, but they can spread to other parts of the body, like the lungs or bones.
- Medullary cancer is a rare type of thyroid cancer. It starts in a group of thyroid cells called C-cells. C-cells make calcitonin, a hormone that helps control the amount of calcium in the blood.
- Anaplastic cancer is a rare type of thyroid cancer. It often spreads quickly into the neck and to other parts of the body, and is very hard to treat.
What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid is a small gland below the skin and muscles at the front of the neck, at the spot where a bow tie would rest.
It’s brownish red, with left and right halves that look like a butterfly’s wings. It weighs less than an ounce, but helps the body do many important things, such as grow, regulate energy, and go through sexual development.
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How Will I Feel After Surgery
Everyone is different.;You will most likely be tired and a bit sore for a few days.;You may have pain not only from your incision, but also from muscle soreness in your upper back and shoulders.;This is from the positioning in the operating room during the surgery.;You will have liquid pain medicine in the hospital and a prescription for pain pills at home.
You may have a sore throat.;This is a result of the placement of anesthesia tubes during surgery.;Throat lozenges and spray usually help.;Your neck may be slightly swollen as well.;You may feel like you have a lump in your throat when you swallow.;This will improve after a few days but may continue for a week or so.;If you notice sudden swelling in your neck contact your surgeons office.;Your calcium level may drop after surgery.;This is related to disturbance of the parathyroid gland, which regulate calcium balance. This will be monitored through blood tests.;You may notice numbness and tingling of your fingers or around your mouth.;You will have instructions about taking calcium replacement if needed.
What Is The Proof That Ki Works
After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, shifting winds blew a radioactive cloud over Europe. As many as 3,000 people exposed to that radiation developed thyroid cancer over the next 10 years. Most victims had been babies or young children living in Ukraine, Belarus, or Russia at the time of the accident. The region of excess risk extended up to a 200 mi radius from Chernobyl. Poland, immediately adjacent to Belarus and Ukraine, distributed KI to >95% of their children within 3 days of the accident and did not appear to have an increase in thyroid cancer during the first 3 years of clinical follow up.
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Faq + Other Thyroid & Hair Loss Questions
If your questions weren’t answered in the information above I’ve also included several frequently asked questions below:;
Can Thyroid Problems Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, both low thyroid and high thyroid levels can contribute to hair loss.
Hair loss is a documented and well-known side effect of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Can Synthroid Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, one of the side effects of Synthroid is hair loss.
This may be due to the medication itself or due to your dose itself.
Both high and low dosages of levothyroxine can contribute to hair loss.
Will Taking Levothyroxine Make my Hair Grow?
If your hair loss is due to hypothyroidism then taking Levothyroxine will improve your hair.
Many times the state of hypothyroidism results in a cascade of hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies that all lead to hair loss.
This means that you must address all of these problems for best results.
Does Cytomel Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, Cytomel and Liothyronine can both cause temporary hair loss that is usually self-limiting within 2-4 months.
In most cases, the hair loss side effect from taking Cytomel will simply fade with time.;
Does Armour Thyroid Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, NDT including Armour Thyroid, Nature-throid, and WP Thyroid can all cause hair loss.;
Does Hyperthyroidism Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, too much thyroid hormone in your body can also contribute to hair loss.
This can come from taking too much thyroid hormone as well.
Will Hypothyroidism Cause my Eyebrows to Fall Out?
A Change In Thyroid Hormones
If your whole thyroid gland has been removed, you will need to take tablets to replace the hormones that your thyroid would normally make. The thyroid hormones are necessary to keep your body processes going at the right rate. This is called your metabolism. Without thyroid hormones, you feel extremely tired and lacking in energy.
A tablet called thyroxine replaces the hormones. You take this tablet every day for the rest of your life. You have regular blood tests to check the hormone levels in your blood. Your doctor may change the dose of your tablet if your hormone levels are too high or too low.
If you have had part of your thyroid gland removed, the remaining gland usually makes all the hormone you need. But some people might need to take thyroxine tablets. You have blood tests to check for this.
These hormone tablets may help to stop the cancer from coming back in follicular and papillary thyroid cancer. They stop your body from producing another hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone . TSH can help these types of thyroid cancer cells to grow.
Taking thyroxine every day won’t stop you from doing the daily activities you were doing before your surgery.
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Physician Volume And Expertise
Keep in mind, as well, that the likelihood of a complication occurring is much less with an experienced surgeon. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to ask your surgeon how many thyroidectomies she has performed in the past. You may also wish to ask about her complication rate, but this is not necessarily an accurate measure of competence .
What Will Happen In Surgery
You will be given general anesthesia to put you to sleep.;You are positioned with special pillows under your neck to tilt your head back.;An incision is made at the base of your neck and is about three to four inches long.;Using magnifying lenses, the surgeon locates the thyroid gland and associated structures and all or part of the thyroid is removed.;In some cases additional surgery will involve removal of lymph nodes and other structures. The incision is stitched closed and is then covered with steri-strip tapes and a dry gauze dressing.;The operation generally lasts from two to three hours.;After surgery, you will stay in the recovery room for several hours.;You will be monitored closely as you recover from the anesthesia.
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Damaged Vs Destroyed Thyroid Gland Tissue
Very few organs in the body have the natural capacity or ability to grow back.;
One such organ that does have regenerative capacity is the liver.;
In fact, we know that civilizations from long ago knew of the liver’s ability to regenerate because they included it in some of their myths;!
In Greek Mythology, Prometheus was doomed to eternal punishment for giving fire to mankind and part of that punishment included his liver being eaten repeatedly by an eagle.;
Unfortunately, there is no such myth or story about a regenerating thyroid gland !;
Tissues such as your heart cell tissue and brain cell tissues do not have regenerative capacity like the liver.;
Think about what happens to someone after a stroke.;
A stroke occurs if the brain has been starved of oxygen. The result is that a portion of brain cells are permanently damaged from this oxygen deprivation.;
I know what you are already thinking.;
What about people who have had a stroke and experience something like the inability to move their right arm but then slowly regain that ability over time.
Doesn’t this mean that their brain tissue is regenerating?
Well, yes and no.;
And this is where we must draw a distinction between DAMAGED thyroid gland tissue and DESTROYED thyroid gland tissue.;
In the case of stroke, there will be portions of brain tissue that are permanently destroyed and those which are only slightly damaged.;
Damaged brain tissue have the ability to recover and this explains why some people can recover post stroke.;
But What If Its Thyroid Cancer
A cancer diagnosis is always worrisome, but even if a nodule turns out to be thyroid cancer, you still have plenty of reasons to be hopeful.
Thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable kinds of cancer. Surgery to remove the gland typically addresses the problem, and recurrences or spread of the cancer cells are both uncommon. People who undergo thyroid gland surgery may need to take thyroid hormone afterward to keep their body chemistry in balance.;
Whether its benign or not, a bothersome thyroid nodule can often be successfully managed. Choosing an experienced specialist can mean more options to help personalize your treatment and achieve better results.;
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Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will this treatment affect my ability to have children? Do I need to avoid pregnancy for a while?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- Will I need other types of treatment, too? Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- What can I do about side effects that I might have?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Goiters And Thyroid Nodules
A goiter is most often spotted because it’s in the very front of the neck and moves up and down when a person swallows. People with a goiter might have the sensation that food is stuck in the throat, especially when they lie down or sleep on their backs.
But goiters often grow very slowly over months and years before being noticed. It can be hard even for parents who pay close attention to notice the change early.
Sometimes a nodule can appear in a healthy gland. It may feel like a lump in the throat, or cause tenderness or pain in the front of the neck. A large nodule might be visible at the front of the neck. Some kids with thyroid nodules have pain in the front of the neck or feel like they have a lump in the throat.
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Ask Your Doctor For A Survivorship Care Plan
Talk with your doctor about developing a survivorship care plan for you. This plan might include:
- A suggested schedule for follow-up exams and tests
- A list of possible late- or long-term side effects from your treatment, including what to watch for and when you should contact your doctor
- A schedule for other tests you might need, such as early detection tests for other types of cancer, or test to look for long-term health effects from your cancer or its treatment
- Diet and physical activity suggestions that might improve your health, including possibly lowering your chances of the cancer coming back
- Reminders to keep your appointments with your primary care provider , who will monitor your general health care
Recuperation Time And Restrictions
Most people are advised to take roughly two weeks off from work to recuperate, depending on their occupation. You should not drive as long as you continue to need pain medications, and some surgeons recommend abstaining from driving for the first week after surgery altogether.
You should also avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activities for a few weeks. The excess activity could increase your chance of developing a hematoma or keep your wound from healing properly. Light housekeeping and walking are usually fine once you arrive home.
Conditions With Permanent Thyroid Gland Damage
We spent some time talking about conditions that result in thyroid gland damage.;
In these conditions, it may be possible to repair your thyroid gland.;
Now let’s discuss some conditions which result in permanent thyroid gland damage.;
These conditions result in permanent damage to the thyroid gland which means that thyroid gland repair is not possible, at least not with current technology .;
With few exceptions, these conditions are typically man made!
In other words, these conditions result from specific medical procedures.;
I’m constantly shocked when I hear that many thyroid patients who have undergone these procedures are surprised to hear that their effects are permanent.;
The following conditions result in permanent damage to the thyroid gland:;
Thyroid Surgery Recovery Side Effects And Complications
If you are having thyroid surgery, known as a thyroidectomy, it’s important to know what to expect as you recover. Side effects of surgery are common and include neck pain, a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and temporary hypoparathyroidism. Complications are much less common and can include bleeding , permanent hypoparathyroidism , and damage to nerves that can lead to long-term hoarseness and vocal changes.
Taking time to learn about post-thyroidectomy recovery can prepare you to cope with any symptoms and to be alert to any problems.
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Hoarseness And Voice Problems
After surgery, your voice may be hoarse or whispery, and it may feel tiring to talk. This is very common and expected during the first week or two after surgery. While around 1 percent of people may have damage to the nerves supplying the vocal cords, around 5 percent to 10 percent of people will have temporary symptoms due to irritation of the nerves during surgery or inflammation around the nerves afterward.
Symptoms usually improve in the first few weeks but may persist up to six months after surgery. While there is no specific treatment for transient hoarseness, it’s helpful for your loved ones to be aware of the problem so that you don’t feel the need to talk loudly or more often than is comfortable. If the nerve was injured, more severe symptoms may be noted after surgery.
What Do I Need To Know About A Partial Thyroidectomy
A partial thyroidectomy is surgery to remove part of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland makes hormones that regulate your metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Your thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly. It is found in the front lower part of your neck. You may need a partial thyroidectomy if you have thyroid cancer or a lump on your thyroid. Even a lump that is not cancer can grow large and cause breathing problems. You may also need surgery for hyperthyroidism. This means your thyroid creates too much thyroid hormone.
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What About Other Treatments That I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
What Are Goiters And Thyroid Nodules
An enlarged thyroid gland can be felt as a lump under the skin at the front of the neck. When it is large enough to see easily, it’s called a goiter.
A thyroid nodule is a lump or enlarged area in the thyroid gland. A nodule may simply be swollen tissue, an overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue, or a collection of fluid called a cyst. Most thyroid nodules in children are not caused by cancer.
Are Thyroid Medications Lifelong
Most physicians and endocrinologists will say that in;Hashimotos, hypothyroidism is irreversible and ends with complete thyroid cell damage, leading to a lifelong requirement of thyroid hormone medications. However, this isnt true! It has been reported that thyroid function spontaneously returned in 20% of patients with;Hashimotos.
These individuals will return to normal thyroid function even after thyroid hormone replacement is withdrawn.;
Studies show that once the autoimmune attack ceases, the damaged thyroid has the ability to regenerate. Thyroid ultrasounds will show normal thyroid tissue that has regenerated, and the person will no longer test positive for TPO Antibodies.
This regeneration may often be missed in adult patients because they are assumed to have hypothyroidism for life and antibodies and ultrasounds are not usually repeated after the initial diagnosis.
Most cases of hypothyroidism in the United States, Europe, and Australia are caused by;Hashimotos, yet many people do not know that they have it.
In addition to the ultrasound and TPO antibodies, a test can be done by administering TRH , which will cause an increase in T3;and T4;if the thyroid has recovered. This test will help determine if the person can be weaned off thyroid medications safely.
While this information is readily available in the scientific literature, most physicians do not attempt to administer TRH in an effort to see if patients could be weaned off of their thyroid medications.