Thyroid goiter the size of a melon

My wife developed a persistant cough while running, so she went to the doctor's who found a small swelling in her neck, which she never knew about, so had a CT scan for which has revealed a thyroid goiter about the size of a small melon! protruding downwards, which is pushing over her windpipe and needs removal in the near months ahead or it will start affecting the breathing, but as it's going into the chest cavity, its looking likely the sternum will need to be split for access, so not a more straightforward thyroidectomy as we first thought, which is now a bigger worry. Has anyone else gone through this procedure?

8 Replies

  • Davelinks,

    There don't appear to be any post about sub-sternal thyroidectomy when I searched but I'm sure I've seen a couple of posts on the forum and hope someone will come forward to talk you through it.

  • Try searching HU for:


    79 hits in TUK. Might be relevant.

  • I had the same issues as your wife. I had no problems with surgery. Didn't have to split my breast bone nor did I need a trach. I was so hoarse I could barely talk without clearing my throat. All good now. Had my surgery 3 years ago.

  • So yours was a big tumour going down into the chest cavity?

    Thanks for responding..

  • I had a huge goiter no tumor.

  • Sorry, I'm no expert, thinking they are one and the same, doctor said it is a goiter..

  • Sure no problem. Good luck to your wife.

  • I think it will depend upon the physiology of the tumor. If it is rooted in an accessible place (let's say, the thyroid) and then it is growing independently down into the chest cavity then it could be cut at the base and then pulled out with (the surgical equivalent of) tweezers. If it is taking root in the tissues of the esophagus or trachea as it grows (a bit like rhizome root growth of some weeds) then it will be more complicated. I think an MRI could determine this before hand. If it is the latter case it may also be possible to access the attachments of the tumor underneath the sternum from the side, without opening it.

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