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Complete Thyroidectomy: What can you tell me?

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Someone I know has some nodules on their thyroid. They did a biopsy and the results were inconclusive. The endocrinologist suggested meeting with a surgeon to discuss removing the thyroid. Has anyone here ever had their thyroid completely removed? They would leave the parathyroid (unless they could not which is a very slim chance), but remove the rest of the thyroid. This person would already be on thyroid medicine for life due to an underactive (is that hypo?) thyroid.

Can you tell me how this will affect the person for the rest of their life? How was the surgery?

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Most people have a small scar that looks like a wrinkle line as you age. If they do a lymph node dissection, you can end up with a scar that can be easily seen.


Replacement therapy is not bad. Millions of people around the world are on it.


Your friend should make sure it is the surgeon who does "all the thyroids" for the hospital. It is not a common surgery, so you want the "hands" whose skills are limber.


It is rare to talk ALL the parathyroid. One might ride along with the thyroid, but the complication of removing all parathyroid tissue is a rare event your friend has to be told about for "informed consent".


I talk to a lot of people about their surgeries, and thyroid surgery is NOT one that people recall with words like "awful" "painful" "oh, God" or "I wouldn't wish it on anybody". People just relate that they had it and move onto the next question. That tells me it is not traumatic. (BTW, the number one surgery people recall with terrible words is hemorrhoid removal. You can't splint nor give bed rest to an anus.)

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My mom had the exact same issue and had her thyroid removed. Like others have said, it was surgery. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't horrible. We can all tell when she needs to change her synthroid dosage because she gets tired and moody. :tongue_smilie: I don't even notice the scar anymore. It took a little while to fade, but it's not obvious.

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