Thyroid surgery

Hi I attended my ENT department at hospital today, I've had a lump on the left of my thyroid for about a year now. I've had scan and needle biopsy , they say there is 10% chance of it being sinister so have advised to have it removed. My thyroid tests are normal although antibodies are higher . Has anyone had a similar experience I would appreciate any advice feeling anxious Thanks

10 Replies

  • Gwenb, Do you know what the FNA result was ie thy3 or thy4? Have ENT recommended hemi-lobectomy (partial thyroidectomy) to remove the lobe with the nodule, or total thyroidectomy?

    I had a thy3 result which is inconclusive. I wasn't given odds on the likelihood of malignancy and FNA wasn't repeated as hemi-lobectomy was scheduled to remove the nodule which was compressing my trachea. The biopsed tumour was malignant so completion thyroidectomy was done 3 months later. I had radioactive iodine ablatement (RAI) to ablate remnant thyroid cells left after surgery.

  • Thanks for your reply , they are just removing the nodule on left side but have explained if it's malignant I would have complete thyroidectomy later . Can I ask how long you had lump as I am a bit worried it may have travelled . How are you now without thyroid ? Sorry to ask so many questions I appreciate your help .

  • Gwen, thyroid nodules are very slow growing. I think it takes 2-4 years to reach a palpable size of 1cm. If partial thyroidectomy is done your remaining thyroid is expected to produce sufficient hormone. If it doesn't you'll be prescribed Levothyroxine.

    The lump appeared in the side of my neck overnight but must have been growing for years. I'd complained of a sensation of something stuck in my throat more than 10 years earlier, palpation found nothing and I was told it was likely to be globus sensation. My hoarse/husky voice I blamed on previous heavy smoking.

    An ultrasound scan of the thyroid showed a 2.8cm nodule on the left lobe and 2 smaller nodules on the right. 5 months later I had hemilobectomy and the tumour was 4cm.

    Day surgery was straight forward, with an overnight stay. An unpleasant looking drain is inserted to remove fluid which reduces swelling and bruising and is usually removed prior to discharge. I was able to eat and drink without discomfort and had no voice weakness. I had very little post-op pain and the hospital supplied copious amounts of codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen which I didn't need after the first 2-3 days.

    I was recovering well on Liothyronine (T3) for 3 months but was switched to Levothyroxine after RAI. I didn't do well on Levothyroxine only but I've been well on Levothyroxine and T3 for 18 months and am in my 3rd year of remission.

  • Thank you, your reply is reasuring ,my lump appeared suddenly about 10 months ago but I know it has probably been growing longer glad you are well now and reall y appreciate the info you have given me take care

  • Have a look at the following webpage

    which influenced me in the decision I took. If you have no symptoms, no obstruction in swallowing, why go through an operation with all the possible side effects? My ENT told me that in the States, they tend to follow the patient, while in the UK, they suggest to have at least half the thyroid removed although I was told by someone that they recently stopped doing this kind of operation, but it might just be a rumour.

    Not an easy decision.

  • It is common with Hashimotos to have lumps and nodules and an odd texture and i certainly would not have my Thyroid removed, unless a sample showed a malignancy!

  • Hi Gwenb,

    When I first discovered my lump last September, I was sent for an ultrasound and biopsy.

    The ultrasound showed that my left thyroid was partly covered by nodules and the other part was bleeding into itself.

    The biopsy results came back as benign but what I didn't know was that in Australia they only select the largest nodule for testing. My malignant nodules were some of the smaller ones that weren't picked up until I received the pathology results from my partial thyroideectomy.

    I only went to see my surgeon so I could understand the full process as my Endo advised me that I didn't need to have it removed unless it continued to grow. whereas my surgeon recommended it's removal as it had bleed for a second time in the 2 weeks between my Endo appointment and seeing him.

    Then based on the opinions of my surgeon, GP, Endo and my personal research I decided to have my right side removed as there were signs it may have spread to my right Thyroid. But, after my surgery it was confirmed that it hadbt spread.

    The best advice I could give you is to do some of you're own research and follow your instincts, this forum helped me a lot too!

    It's pretty scary when you've gone from having no issues to being told about a possibility of cancer.

    Good Luck!


  • hi there, first time for me, anyway i had a lump on my left thyroid last jan, had biopsy and restults came bk 90/95 per cent benign, was told could come back in 6 mths to check again or go for surgery, i decided to go for surgery, have never been unwell and had to go to docs for anything so when i attended pre-op assessment, it was found my bp was sky high, long story cut short, got surgery 3 wks ago and got final results of lump being clear, pls email me bk as dont have anyone to talk regarding it, would gladly give u email address or whatever to communicate re it, thanks kim x

  • Kimbof01, if you want to talk, or have questions you need answering, don't be shy, post a question and members will help.

  • Hi kimbof01 thanks for your reply, I was the same they left me 6months to decide on surgery, I now find the lump quite uncomfortable and painful , pain travels to my ear . I am still on list for surgery no date yet. Are you on any treatment after surgery ,is your thyroid working normally I just feel thyroid treatment is so unclear I have sent my email address to your page if you want to contact me x

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