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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a wonderful site to find out information on! I have had surgery scheduled for 7 weeks, but wasn't sure about going through with it. I have had my primary physician & and endo say take it out, and my ear/nose/throat dr & another endo say watch and wait approach. I have had an inconclusive fna, then a benign fna (recently), went from 1 to 3 nodules, the largest at 1.7cm. I have had a feeling of something in my throat for about 2 years, and have had a ultrasound every six months. I have been so confused! I have been told hashimotos thyroiditis, multi-nodular goiter. Now the ultrasound shows a small calcification and I felt that was the final sign to go through with this. As a dear friend of mine told me who had cancer, you can live without your thyroid. I have been reading so many great suggestions here for what to do after surgery. Has anyone had any trouble with damage to vocal chords? I am a teacher and that is a concern of mine. I am scared but so tired of wondering if the nodules will get larger, more calcifications, etc. I even have the largest one sitting right on my carotid artery. The endo who did the biopsy said "I'm going to use a shorter needle because that is really close to your carotid". Don't think I didn't lie really still after that! hugs4 I feel that I have a really good surgeon. He has done thyroidectomies every week for the past 20 plus years. I know I'll be so relieved when it's over. All of you give me hope!
 

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Good for you!!!!

Vocal cord damage is relatively rare. Just make sure your surgeon is using a nerve monitor so he/she can stay away from those laryngeal nerves!
 

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I wish you the best. Definitely ask about the nerve monitor. I'e never regretted my decision and feel better than I have in a long time. :)
 

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I've never regretted my decision either. And I was hollering at my dog a couple days after surgery. :)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the encouragement! I will check about the nerve monitor. That's pretty good to be able to yell a couple of days after surgery too. :) Did any of you have an fna beforehand?
 

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Yes...inconclusive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad that you are all doing well. :) How long does a person generally have to be off work? Did any of you stay in the hospital overnight? Can you wear "turtlenecks" soon after surgery? My daughter got on line and purchased me some scarves, because I had read on someone's reply that those come in handy too. Thanks again for your responses! :hugs:
 

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I was told to take two weeks off, but I could have gone back after one week (I work in a office/desk job). It depends on how physical your job is.

I had to stay overnight...my surgeon encourages everyone to stay over for two reasons: 1) to monitor calcium levels (your parathyroid can become damaged); and 2) if you have swelling, the neck doesn't "drain" as well as, say, your leg. Bed swelling can interfere with breathing and swallowing, so they just want to make sure you are doing well.

I could not stand to have anything touch my neck for a while after surgery. I avoided turtlenecks and scarfs like crazy and lived in v-neck and button-up/zip-up shirts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your response. Your information really helps me to know what to expect. On a different discussion board I saw your picture that you posted about what to expect from the incision and the resulting scar. It looked great, especially at six months out! How kind of you to share that with the rest of us. All of you will never know the positive impact that your information has on us, and the reassurance it gives us of knowing what to expect. It's the not knowing that drives me crazy. hugs3
 

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I wore turtlenecks and scarves for a year while I came to terms with my scar...to keep it out of the sun as well as to hide it from clients. I probably went a bit overboard, but I found some nice short-sleeve summer turtlenecks. With those and the scarves, I was pretty much set. You may not feel like wearing a turtleneck right away, though.

My surgery was on a Thursday or Friday, and I went back to work on Monday a week and a half (ish) later.
 

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Once the scar fades I doubt it will bother you -

I hate having things around my neck and left it exposed .

Ice was my best friend post op. They sent me home with a soft flexible water tight bag to put ice chips into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the information, and I will remember the ice. I teach elementary kids and don't want them to notice the incision, so I have been thinking of how to cover it up. They ask so many questions and I don't want to scare them or creep them out. :)
 

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I teach primary age children and found that they were curious but not malicious about my scar. I found I couldn't stand anything touching the scar for the first few months, so had to find another way to deal with it. I nearly managed to convince the 7 year olds that I'd had a head transplant! "Don't you think this head is better than the last one?" We had a laugh about it and they never mentioned it again!
 

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I am a librarian and see many children of all ages. Only one child could not tear his eyes off my scar when I first returned to work. I was really tempted to tell him I was held hostage for overdue books. I told him the truth, I think he might have preferred the other more exciting story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Those are some really good stories! After much debate I have decided to continue with monitoring my thyroid every 6 months with ultrasound. After having an fna with benign results just two weeks ago I feel that this is the best route for me at this time. My nodules have also maintained stability in their size for more than 16 months, and have actually decreased slightly in size. I have found a wonderful endo who even did the fna and called me herself with the results the following day. I appreciate all of the help and information from everyone. :hugs: I will be checking back in!
 

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I have found a wonderful endo who even did the fna and called me herself with the results the following day.
I had no idea an Endo could perform a FNA - thinking only a surgeon could do such a thing - Hmmmm
 

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49countrygirl said:
Glad that you are all doing well. :) How long does a person generally have to be off work? Did any of you stay in the hospital overnight? Can you wear "turtlenecks" soon after surgery? My daughter got on line and purchased me some scarves, because I had read on someone's reply that those come in handy too. Thanks again for your responses! :hugs:
I stayed overnight. They were preparing me for a second night, but then my calcium got high enough to let me go. 25 hours total, 24 hours after surgery.

I did not wear turtlenecks. They would have stuck to the steri-strips and pulled and stuff. For the first few days to a week, I didn't want anything anywhere near my incision.

I'm a month out and while I now wear t-shirts, I still don't want stuff rubbing on the incision area. That would be sore.

I wanted a scarf badly when I left the hospital. First, it was very cold outside. I dont normally wear them and didnt think about that. Second, I had to stop at the pharmacy for my new Synthroid and calcium. I read that only like 7% of people get hypocalcemia, but I was (and still am) one of the lucky few. You might want to buy a bottle before the surgery, just in case, for the hell of it...but you might not.

Also, I just wanted to cover the mess on my neck when I went out. The steri strips still had betadyne stains and just looked gross. It wasnt vanity. People couldn't help but notice my neck and I don't like the attention.

The smartest things I did were taking a warm blanket to the hospital and wearing slip-on shoes to the hospital. Bending over to tie them...I don't know if I could have. If I had, it would have hurt!

The dumbest thing I did was not take a shirt that had v-neck. I really wished I had.

It took me about a week to talk loud enough for a classroom to hear me. I still can't yell. I can't sing well, which I miss. I talk lower (deeper) than I used to, but it has improved a lot. I hope it will continue to improve, but I could live this way forever and not cry too much. ;)

My family likes to have spirited discussions. When I complained that I couldn't talk over my son, he said, "Good!" in a gleeful way and continued to loudly explain :tongue0015: to me why my choice to buy Apple products is such a poor one. I want so badly to raise my voice and explain to him what a dolt he is because Apple is obviously so much better...but I can't. I have to let them all have their say. They're loving it, but it's driving me crazy.

I'm glad you're doing this. You don't want to get to a point where you can't breathe! When you can't breathe well, you can't do ANYTHING! Get that bad boy out before its a huge problem.

The surgeon kept telling me how big a whup this was, so I think my recovery might be on the harder side...and it just hasn't been that bad.

I hope yours is even easier! :hugs:

Eta: I hadn't read all the way through an now saw that you've decided to wait. I hope that woks out for you, too. :)

And if you ever have it down, just tell the kids. Show them the scar. Let them understand it and get used to it and then they'll quit thinking about or noticing it. Easy-peasy.
 

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Lovlkn said:
I had no idea an Endo could perform a FNA - thinking only a surgeon could do such a thing - Hmmmm
Mine was going to do it. When she saw the thing with the ultrasound, she realized it had to come out, anyway, so she didn't. But they can do them.

It was funny, while she did the US, she said, "OK, I don't want you to freak out about what I'm going to say..." and that made me start worrying like mad! Why? Why does she think I'm going to freak out? What is she about to say?! OH, MY GOD!!!

Then she said my goiter was the largest she'd seen. I was waiting for the Freak Out part, but that was it. I said, "And?..." She was confused. After more conversation, she told me that the last time she'd told a guy that his was the biggest she'd seen, he got all crazy worried.

No doctor should ever start a sentence with, "OK, I don't want you to freak out when I say this..." :)
 
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