I had half my thyroid removed 12 years ago and now I have a goitre in the half I have left, anyone else had this happen to them?

A doctor noticed my goitre about 12 years ago now when I took my daughter for a check up and after that it seemed to grow on a daily basis! I had the goitre and the left side of my thyroid removed and don't really remember that much about it. Considering I had two children under 16 months and my sister had just passed away it's hardly suprising I suppose. It was benign though and Ive not needed medication since. I've had blood tests every year which I've always been told are "clear" which, reading a lot of posts on here are leaving me questioning how clear they were! Regardless, I've been feeling run down for a while, aches and pains, constant cough, really really sore throat and I noticed a lump on my neck. The doctor said it was my thyroid that was swollen but blood tests came back "clear" although I've since checked and I seem to have every symptom of an under active thyroid, I'd put it down to being 40 something. Ive now been to ENT and the consultant has confirmed that I have another goiter, hopefully also benign, I'm just waiting for the results of the biopsy but I know that it will probably have to be removed as it's now effecting my swallowing. So finally, I've got to the questions, probably really stupid ones, but here goes, Do they go over the same scar to remove the other half or will I have a tramline on my neck? Are there any additional risks involved having this op repeated and probably the most important, does it make you feel any better/worse without a thyroid than it did with half a one that possibly wasn't functioning to capacity?

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  • Welcome to the forum, Bishog.

    If you have your recent thyroid results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after the results) it would help members to advise. You can get them from your GP receptionist. It's a good idea to do this after every blood test as doctors' idea of normal can be far from the optimal we should be aiming for to feel well.

    Ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate also need to be at good levels for optimal absorption of T4 and for good T4 to T3 conversion. Hypothyroid patients often become deficient or very low in these vitamins and minerals so it would be a good idea to get yours tested.

    I had a hemilobectomy followed by completion thyroidectomy 3 months later. The original scar was reopened and extended a couple of mm to access the right lobe. My scar is a fine white line about 2cm in the hollow of my throat and is barely visible.

    There's no additional risk but as with your original hemilobectomy there is a risk of damaging the vocal chords and parathyroids.

    I felt good riddance to my thyroid as Hashimoto's meant thyroid function fluctuated and I spiralled between hypo and hyper. It took 18 months of being very ill on Levothyroxine (T4) before it was agreed I needed combination T4 plus Liothyronine (T3) to recover and six months down the line I'm doing well.

  • I had right half of the lobe removed many years ago. According the surgeon he left a little bit there. Then last year I had whole of my left thyroid removed. He cut along the same scar and it looks good. I also was glad to get rid of them. My vocal cords were bruised and for 2-3 months I sounded really funny for the delight of my family. I don't have the pressure and strangly feeling anymore and functioning perfectly fine with Levothyroxine. Good luck :o)

  • I had nodules on one side, so part of that side removed. I had no thyroxine - or even blood tests - after that operation. Then about 18 years later I had nodules on the other side, and eventually all of that side removed. At this point, I was given thyroxine automatically, and had no problems for another 14 years, with sensitive management by my GP, until a new GP recently decided I was over-medicated. It will be helpful if you are able to track down some blood test results from before your first thyroid operation, as these might be the closest you could get to the levels that are normal for you (unless the gland was already struggling). My second operation, by the way, was done very neatly along the first scar, leaving no new scar tissue. Good luck!

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