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Thyroid UK
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Hi everyone, I would like to ask your opinion please.

I have had hypothyroidism for many years but now I need your views on my fathers situation.....he is 95 yrs old and in a pretty frail state, just had a month in hospital after a bad fall. They have found by accident that he is HYPERthyroid and are suggesting surgery.

My concerns obviously are that at 95 and frail he would struggle to recover from surgery . I will speak with the consultant when we get an appointment but does anyone have any view or experience of surgery /thyroidectomy at an advanced age please.

I thought they would try treatment with meds first.

Thank you for reading.


7 Replies

((( ellj ))) How awful for you - and for your father, of course. I concur with your own concern about his recovery from surgery. How typical and narrow minded for medical professionals to suggest surgery. They are not Godlike, yet that is exactly how they are acting...we can fix him, we can mend him...

So this is a little bit more than an opinion and based on my experience of working with aged people....

First what does your father think ? Is he tired of life and the additional burden of his wonderful age ? What a fab nonagenerian if he isn't.

Second be aware that people having surgery with a general anesthetic at his age often succumb to dementia with alarming rapidity if it was there waiting to happen anyway, or he has memory issues already.

Third and perhaps most painful for you - what is to be gained by the surgery, in any event. Does he feel unwell ? If not, why shouldn't he enjoy his final years without this intrusive and dangerous intervention ? Were he my father, I might very well counsel him, were he feeling reasonably healthy given his age, to leave well alone.

How difficult for you. He's at an age now where you must feel so blessed and consider him almost magic still to be here with you. Beware the pull of prolonging his life if it's no longer enriching for him.

Very best to you at what must be a challenging time x

1 like

Do you have any links please, re anaesthetics and dementia?


I don't Silver. The briefest of googles led to this


which research I would suggest wouldn't have been supported if such an outcome wasn't a cause for concern.

I have heard testimony from many bereaved adult children to make my assertion, which I hope was made clear in my original post.


Silver_Fairy - if nitrous oxide is in the anaesthetic then B12 is destroyed - hence the dementia like symptoms ...

1 like

So sorry to hear this elij, Why on earth aren't they treating with medication? I thought surgery was last resort at any time but surely more so with an older person!


Might be worth getting hold of copies of his test results to see how 'hyper' he actually is.

If he is not suffering any extreme symptoms I would suggest to the so called experts that they wait another 6-8weeks and test again.

I think surgery or RAI should be a last resort anyway, especially in cases like this.


Thank you so much for your replies, I totally agree that surgery is not a great idea....since this diagnosis was by chance after his fall I do not really think that the thyroid issue is not having any real effect on dad. He already has mild dementia which is not too bad and he knows us and where he is etc just short term memory issues like what he had for breakfast...that sort of thing.

All things considered we will ask for the test results and as advised ask for tests to be repeated in a few weeks. We are so lucky that dad is as good as he is at 95 and really do not want to see him struggle to recover from an anaesthetic.

I am convinced medication if anything should be tried.

Thank you again



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