Decisions Decisions

My wife needs to have a very large thyroid goiter removed which has grown downwards into her chest cavity, so will have to have a sternotomy to remove it, she is online for an operation date in the next month or so.

But, we are very concerned about the 1-2% risk with this operation of bleeding with the sternotomy. She's taking it all in her stride, having had a hysterectomy and hernia operation in the past, so is very confident she'll be fine, but I'm worrying, as this operations a biggy. But the pro's outweigh the cons for her future Heath & benefits if she has it removed, it's just that risk factor..

Has anyone else been through this scenario? who could give some advice at this stressful time? Thanks

10 Replies

  • Davelinks,

    There is only one other post on sternotomy which you have commented on. There are some posts on substernal goitres in this link and this may be helpful

    I hope everything goes well for your wife.

  • And some posts on retrosternal:

  • Dave , I have no experience of your wife's problem but I am at a loss to understand how it was allowed to go this far !

    I wish you and your wife well and hope everything turns out well . Pp

  • Well, it went that far because the goiter is growing silently inside without any symptoms except for a cough which developed recently when she started running and a small swelling was found by the doctor when he pressed on the thyroid, he sent her for a scan and the goiter was found. If it was growing out of the neck as they more usually do , then it would have been seen and treated earlier..

  • Sorry Dave , as I said I have no knowledge of goitres . , I thought they were always visible.

    I hope whatever is decided she comes out with her health intact. From what you say she is a very resilient lady .

    Good luck!

  • PP, I didn't have much of a clue about goiters either until this was found, and obviously nor did my wife, then I researched them.I remember her aunty had one showing on her neck, seems to be in family, so more chance of other members getting one..


  • Thanks for your reply dave.

    I hope you have a good GP who knows what he's talking about . Not always the case . Whatever the decision I wish you both well .

    PP x

  • I can't help you with your questions about removal of the goitre, but I just wanted to say, if your wife has any problems with her meds after the surgery then direct her to this forum. There are lots of knowledgeable people on here and quite a few have had thyroids removed and are now doing well.

  • Thank you, The doctor say's only the left thyroid lobe will be removed where the goiter is attached, and hopefully the thyroid will function normally without meds, however there's a possibility it may not. She now has a date for her operation on 17th October, but she is still rather reluctant to go through with it as she still feels so well as thyroid is working fine, it's very difficult to reach a decision!... she is seeing her own doctor on Monday for further discussion on benefit's, pro & cons & risks for her...

  • I had a sternotomy when I had open heart surgery. Post op I was dosed up quite well! Quite a lot of pain on healing, but by that time I was very weak and my pain threshold was low.

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