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Thyroid UK
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Tracheal deviation, cough, sputum

Hi all,

It's been a while since I've been on here. The past few months have been up & down. I was put on Thyroxine 3 months ago due to several symptoms and multinodular thyroid. Bare in mind that I had a partial thyroidectomy 7 years ago. I had a MRI scan of the neck which showed tracheal deviation and a FNA that has come back as inconclusive. My TSH has come down significantly and my new endo has just increased my thyroxine as he thinks I should bring my TSH further down & increase the T4. He totally refused to prescribed T3. I am seeing him again in 4 months & he has referred me for another FNA. He spoke to me at length about how a lot of women especially, are having unnecessary surgeries and that he thinks that sometimes it's best to treat the symptoms (unless if it's malignant of course). I have had a hoarse voice, persistent cough and bringing up sputum for the past 2 months. Antibiotics haven't worked either. He spent a good hour chatting to me and I was very impressed. He was very compassionate and totally understood a lot of our symptoms are dismissed by doctors. At the end of the consultation, he said I won't stop you if you would prefer a total thyroidectomy. It took me by surprise and couldn't decide on the spot. My questions are:

Has anyone had a tracheal deviation and have you also had the cough and sputum?

Has anyone had a thyroidectomy for that reason, purely because of the tracheal deviation? If yes, can you please tell me about your experience? Did the tracheal deviation resolved itself after surgery?

Many thanks for your advices and this website.

4 Replies


I had a hemilobectomy to remove a large nodule which was compressing my trachea making breathing and swallowing difficult. I had a hoarse voice but didn't have a cough. It was easier to breath and swallow and I was able to sleep lying down without choking after surgery. The FNA had been inconclusive but histology showed the tumour was malignant so I had completion thyroidectomy 3 months later.

If the multinodular goitre is deviating your trachea surely it would be better to have completion thyroidectomy to remove pressure and hope that the cough will resolve.


Thank you Clutter. I've been thinking about it a lot. Reading your comment above has really helped. I've read so much of inconclusive FNA that turn out to be malignant. I've already had a partial thyroidectomy, so I would need the other half removed. How long ago did you have it done? Do you suffer from any problems since and was adjusting thyroxine etc okay? You've just helped me make my mind up, thank you. I will be emailing my endo.



I've seen more reports that tumours removed after 2 or 3 inconclusive reports tend to be benign. Regardless, if the multinodular goitre is deviating the trachea it may be more comfortable to have a complete thyroidectomy, especially as the remaining lobe is already underperforming.

I had completion thyroidectomy in March 2012. I did very badly when I was switched from T3 to Levothyroxine. After 15 months of worsening health I self medicated T4+T3 which I'm now prescribed and I have been well for 2.5 years now.


Thanks Clutter! You have been very helpful indeed.


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