Is surgery really the only option??

I have a multinodular goitre with one very large nodule compressing my trachea and causing occasional swallowing problems. The endocrinologist told me all my thyroid levels were perfectly normal and the cause of the lump was pure bad luck! The options given to me were to observe it, have RAI to destroy it or surgery to completely remove the gland. And the last two option would make me hypo and require a lifetime of medication. I was wondering if there is anything I can do myself to shrink the nodule. Has anyone tried? Should I give up gluten and dairy? Try exercising more or maybe reflexology? I really don't want I be hypo forever if I can avoid it.

7 Replies

  • Kateeliza, hemilobectomy (partial thyroidectomy) would remove the thyroid lobe with the nodule on and would leave the remaining lobe to produce the thyroid hormone you need. Sometimes the remaining lobe can't quite pick up the slack and you may need some thyroid hormone replacement to avoid hypothyroid symptoms but many people do well with half a thyroid gland and don't need replacement.

    It's still a surgical intervention but not as radical as removing your entire thyroid gland and worth discussing as an option with your endo.

  • Hi clutter thanks for the reply. I will discuss partial with the endocrine surgeon but endocrinologist wanted total removal as there's smaller nodules on the other side and there worried the nodules will grow on this side. Are there any alternative therapies or treatments that could shrink the nodule? I'm gluten free and I'm willing to make further changes if they'll help.

  • Kate, get a second opinion on the likelihood of the other nodules growing and needing removing. I had a large nodule on the left side scheduled for removal but they weren't worried about the small nodules on the other side.

    I don't think diet or lifestyle changes will shrink nodules.

  • Do you have any symptoms of either hypo or hyperthyroid? If so it could shed light on the situation. It would also be useful to see the results of the blood tests.

    Sometimes it is possible to shrink a goitre by taking the workload off the thyroid. This is done by taking a dose of T3 which fully meets the body's requirments. The pituitary then stops producing TSH, so the thyroid no longer has to produce T4.

  • Hi Kate

    I had exactly the same condition as you multinodular goitre large on one side but with smaller nodules on other side. The surgeon felt it was large enough for removal as if they get too big surgery is more difficult.I did consider partial but surgeon felt I would be back in two years to have other side removed.

    I wish I had more information before I had the operation it is not as simple as just taking thyroxine for rest of your life.i have to say I haven t felt well since I had it done two years ago.

    I would advise to wait to see if the goitre grows any more if it does the surgery will be an option also it depends on your age

    Wish you well


  • Thanks for all your responses so far. I really appreciate it.

    Here's my blood test results from

    May 2013 HbATc 32 // Free T4 15.7 // TSH 2.25

    I don't have the results from last week but will get them on monday and post them here.

    I have lots of typical hypo symptoms. I take Vitamin D as my level is low. I have PCOS. I've put on weight even though my eating habits are generally healthy and I've cut out sugar and carbs. I'm tired and lethargic. I also developed Hidradenitis Suppurativa which I've managed to control thankfully through cutting out Nightshade vegetables. This is thought to be a auto immune problem. I believe a lot of my current problems were triggered by a very stressful time in my life 4 years ago as before then things were normal.

    I'm going to ask for a second opinion as I would like to avoid surgery. The endocrinologist I saw said they wouldn't medicate to shrink the nodule. It's either total removal or observe it.

  • Kate, if you use the orange Reply tab underneath the post you are responding to the member will be sent an email alert.

    It's certainly worth getting a 2nd opinion on whether medicating would shrink the nodule.

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