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Can Your Thyroid Grow Back After Removal

Signs Of Thyroid Cancer Recurrence

Can thyroid grow back after Total Thyroidectomy? – Dr. Anantharaman Ramakrishnan

About 35 percent of individuals who have thyroid cancer experience a recurrence within 40 years of initial treatment, and two thirds of the recurrences occur 10 years after their treatment, according to the Thyroid Community. While a patient may show symptoms of a recurrence, oftentimes a patient may show no outward signs the cancer has returned.


Signs that thyroid cancer may include pain in the neck that may radiate up to the ears, coughing, trouble swallowing, breathing problems and hoarseness when talking.


Abnormal lumps or bumps under the skin can be a trouble sign. Patients may also notice swelling around or in the neck or in the lymph nodes. This occurs because the glands are so close to the skin.

Thyroglobulin Tests

Doctors can test thyroglobulin protein levels in the blood. After treatment, there should be no thyroglobulin present. Doctors may test at three month or 12 month intervals. If they see an increase in this protein, they may do further tests to determine whether the cancer has recurred. this protein is measured after your thyroid surgery to investigate if the cancer has returned.

No symptoms

Reasons for Return

Thyroid cancer can re-emerge if microscopic cancer cells spread beyond the thyroid before initial treatment. It can also recur if some pieces of thyroid tissue werent removed during surgery or cancer is in the bones, lungs or lymph nodes.

What Will Happen During A Partial Thyroidectomy

  • General anesthesia is usually given before a partial thyroidectomy. This medicine will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local anesthesia to numb the area. You may feel some pressure during surgery, but you should not feel any pain.
  • After one or more incisions are made, your surgeon will remove part of your thyroid gland. If you have cancer, your surgeon may also remove the tissue and lymph nodes around your thyroid gland. If you are awake during surgery, you may be asked to speak to your healthcare providers.
  • One or more drains may be placed into your incision to remove extra fluids from the surgery area. Your incision will be closed with stitches or surgical glue and covered with a bandage.

Can The Thyroid Gland Grow Back After A Partial Removal

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Thyroid Function After Subtotal Thyroidectomy In Patients With Graves Hyperthyroidism

E. J. Limonard

1Department of Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


1. Introduction

Two different surgical techniques are used for the treatment of Graves hyperthyroidism: a total thyroidectomy and a subtotal thyroidectomy , which leaves a small unilateral or bilateral remnant in situ. While there is general consensus that total thyroidectomy is the procedure of choice in patients with thyroid carcinoma, the optimal surgical approach for benign thyroid disease has remained controversial. The main reason for performing a subtotal thyroidectomy is a presumably lower incidence of postoperative complications, including recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis and hypoparathyroidism, and an anticipated postoperative euthyroid state by leaving a small remnant of thyroid tissue in situ to maintain adequate hormone production. There is, however, a risk that the disease will persist or recur in the remnant. More recent studies favoured TT as preferred procedure in the surgical management of Graves disease, because the residual function after STT was not as good as previously believed and the complication rates were not different between the TT and STT procedure .

2. Methods

2.1. Patients
2.2. Procedure and Followup
2.3. Statistical Analysis

3. Results

Care Of Your Incision

Thyroid Cancer: My Personal Journey

Your incision is covered with a waterproof protective dressing. You can shower as usual, but do not soak or scrub the dressing. After showering, pat dry. Often there will be a blood blister visible under the clear dressing. This is normal and no cause for alarm. Beginning five days after the operation, massage the scar for five minutes when you wake up, five minutes in the middle of the day, and another five minutes when you go to bed. There is good evidence that wound massage reduces pain and improves healing. Turn your head back and forth and roll your shoulders to reduce stiffness. Your dressing will be removed at your first post-operative visit. Most patients have sutures under the skin that dissolve by themselves. Replace the dressing with micropore tape and continue massage. Change the tape once a week. If you experience itching once the dressing is off, massage lotion into the scar. You might notice bruising around your incision. Your scar may become pink and hard, and your throat may feel tight. This hardening will peak at about 3-4 weeks, and will disappear over the next 3 to 4 months. You will also notice some numbness around the incision. This will gradually improve over time. You scar will continue to fade for 12 months. For best cosmetic results, keep it out of the sun.

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Reasons For Thyroid Surgery

The most common reason for thyroid surgery is the presence of nodules or tumors on the thyroid gland. Most nodules are benign, but some can be cancerous or precancerous.

Even benign nodules can cause problems if they grow large enough to obstruct the throat, or if they stimulate the thyroid to overproduce hormones .

Surgery can correct hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is frequently the result of an autoimmune disorder called Graves disease.

Graves disease causes the body to misidentify the thyroid gland as a foreign body and send antibodies to attack it. These antibodies inflame the thyroid, causing hormone overproduction.

Another reason for thyroid surgery is the swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland. This is referred to as a goiter. Like large nodules, goiters can block the throat and interfere with eating, speaking, and breathing.

There are several different types of thyroid surgery. The most common are lobectomy, subtotal thyroidectomy, and total thyroidectomy.

Setting Limits: Lymph Node Removal & Thyroid Cancer

A new study seeks to establish a clinical guideline to quantify the risk of metastatic lymph nodes in thyroid cancer patients. The findings should go a long way to help ease the mind of the patientsand the physicians.

With thyroid cancer incidence on the rise, especially papillary thyroid cancer, surgical tumor resection is a critical component of the overall treatment plan, which might also include one or more of several adjuvant treatment options such as concomitant lymph node dissection.

The American Cancer Society notes that although an estimated 62,450 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016, fortunately, the death rate has not increased alongside incidence. Nevertheless, five-year survival rates for stage IV papillary thyroid cancer remain at only about 51%, and lymphovascular invasion is a key risk factor for occult, recurrent, or persistent disease.

With standards yet to be established regarding the number of LNs a surgeon might remove to help determine the existence of occult disease in addition to variations in clinical management thyroid cancer patients may be undergoing unnecessary or even inappropriate treatments that themselves carry risk for debilitating complications.

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Rna Preparation And Microarray Analysis

With differently expressed genes of interest, the Gene Ontology term analysis was conducted from Lewis-Sigler Institute at Princeton University . The P value was calculated based on hypergeometric distribution, and the value less than 0.05 was considered to have a statistical significance . Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed with Cluster 3.0, and microarray image analysis was performed with TreeView 1.60 .

Anatomy And Function Of The Thyroid

Can the Thyroid Gland Grow Back or Regrow?

The thyroid gland is a small organ in the midline of the neck, just below the Adams apple. It consists of a right and left lobe joined across the front of the trachea by a narrow bridge of thyroid tissue called the isthmus.

The thyroid gland makes a hormone called thyroxine, the gland requires a small amount of iodine in the diet to produce thyroxine. Because New Zealand soil is deficient in iodine it is put into our table salt. A normal amount of thyroxine is required for normal physical and mental development. All newborn babies in New Zealand are screened at birth for the presence of possible thyroid hormone deficiency.

In adults, thyroxine keeps cells and tissues working at just the right metabolic rate.


Too much thyroxine put out by an overactive thyroid causes an illness with a high metabolic rate called hyperthyroidism. The symptoms of this condition include tremor, heat intolerance, irritability, increased energy, poor sleep, weight loss and frequently, bulging eyes.


Too little thyroxine from an under-active gland causes an illness with a low metabolic rate called hypothyroidism. This condition causes tiredness, weight gain, swelling and slowness of speech and thinking. A simple blood test to measure the level of thyroxine in the blood is used to diagnose these conditions.

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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.

Thyroidectomy: Recovery And Next Steps

In some cases, patients return home the same day as the surgery, but somepeople spend the night in the hospital. There, the team can observe thepatient and monitor calcium levels in the blood.

When the thyroid gland is surgically removed, the body still requiresthyroid hormone to keep vital functions in balance.Thyroid hormone replacement therapyinvolves taking synthetic or naturally derived thyroid hormones in pillform.

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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

Can Your Thyroid Health Be Restored After Receiving Radioactive Iodine Treatment

Thyroid Surgery

Radioactive iodine treatment is commonly recommended by endocrinologists as a cure for hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease. While many people who receive this treatment seem to do fine, others regret the decision to have received this treatment method. And for those who are considering to receive radioactive iodine, there of course is no way to predict who will do well after receiving the treatment, and who will be miserable. I receive emails from both categories of people, as sometimes Ill get an email from someone who received RAI and they are very happy with their decision. On the other hand, every week I receive at least a few emails from people who received RAI and regretted their decision. And some of these people want to know if following a natural treatment protocol can restore their thyroid health, which Ill discuss in this post.

Why Cant The Effects Of Radioactive Iodine Always Be Reversed?

Plus, remember that even if someone who received RAI cant have their thyroid health restored back to normal, this doesnt mean that they cant benefit from following a natural treatment protocol. After all, I think most people reading this would agree that hyperthyroidism typically isnt due to a deficiency of radioactive iodine. Most hyperthyroid conditions are due to Graves Disease, which is an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland. And as a result, receiving RAI might eliminate the hyperthyroidism, but it wont do anything for the autoimmune component.

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Reasons For Thyroid Surgery #1 Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid surgery for thyroid cancer is frequently not different than surgery for non-cancerous disease. Thyroid removal for thyroid cancer, however, is the most critical and important component of the cure. Many cancerous thyroid nodules can be treated by removal of half the thyroid along with the lymph nodes that are located behind and around the thyroid. Numerous studies have shown that up to 30% of thyroid cancers have spread to lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis and surgery. Expert evaluation and complete removal of all cancer with the first surgery are extremely important to avoid complications and leaving cancer behind.

In other instances, total thyroidectomy is needed to treat cancers that are large, located in both halves of the thyroid, or when thyroid cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the neck. Again, removal of the lymph nodes behind and around the thyroid in the middle of the neck at a minimum is important to ensure the cancer is completely cured. Complete thyroid removal is even riskier than thyroid surgery for half the thyroid. This is because both sides of the neck are worked on, exposing all 4 parathyroid glands as well as all the nerves to the voice box to potential damage. Thus, total thyroid removal should only be done by high-volume, experienced surgeons at busy centers such as ours. For more information about thyroid surgery for cancer, visit our extensive thyroid cancer website at and check out our blog on thyroid removal for thyroid cancer.

What Can I Do After Surgery

You may shower the day after surgery. You can eat and drink whatever you like. You can walk, climb stairs, and do light activity without delay. Activities such as jogging, tennis, and sexual activity can be resumed when your body feels comfortable doing them. You should not drive or operate machinery as long as you need prescription pain medicine. You will receive specific instructions for return to heavier activity and work.

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What You Need To Know

  • Thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and other conditions may require thyroidectomy.
  • Once the thyroid gland is removed, the person takes replacement thyroid hormone to keep the bodys functions in balance.
  • Thyroidectomy can be performed through an incision at the front of the neck, or through the mouth .

Keeping Health Insurance And Copies Of Your Medical Records

Can My Thyroid Grow Back?

Even after treatment, its very important to keep health insurance. Tests and doctor visits cost a lot, and even though no one wants to think of their cancer coming back, this could happen.

At some point after your cancer treatment, you might find yourself seeing a new doctor who doesnt know about your medical history. Its important to keep copies of your medical records to give your new doctor the details of your diagnosis and treatment. Learn more in Keeping Copies of Important Medical Records.

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Question About Thyroid Regrowth

allison over a year ago


over a year ago

In reply to allison on 2008-12-10 – click to read

Guest over a year ago

Guest over a year ago

Guest over a year ago

over a year ago

Hi had my thyroid removed with the radiation and was fine took my sythroid pills, found out now I have peanut allergies/nut can’t have anything to do with them, wish I had check out more options, but at that point I just wanted it out of me, hair falling out, dry skin, felt something was choking me, dizziness, forgetfulness. I was at the point I just wanted to get better… so now I don’t know if it has grown back, but having the same symptoms, going to check it out tomorrow, wish me luck and will be checking back to this site if I do, lot of helpful suggestion here !

tpeack over a year ago

I have been on synthroid for 22 years. I had a total thyroidectomy in 1999 . I had it out again in 2007 after it wrapped itself around my vocal cords. Now, it has grown back a third time. I am in the process of doing all the biopsy stuff, but already have an appointment with my ENT to schedule surgery. We will also most likely do an ablation. DO NOT want to do this again. Not worried about what it is, just want the mass gone, and then go from there. I work with Oncologists, and none of them think it is cancerous due to the fact that it is soft tissue. I will be glad to get the new regrowth gone.

over a year ago

In reply to tpeack on 2013-04-24 – click to read


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