Thyroid UK

What treatment should I have OP or R/A Iodine

I have been taking tablets for over active thyroid after two years, now I have been offered surgery or radio active iodine. I have noduels can anyone give me more info of the likely effect R/A iodine treatment might have on me. I have been told that which ever treatment I have I will need to take thyroixin for the rest of my life.

6 Replies

Hi Susanoa,

I had a sub total thyroidectomy in 1990 for an over active thyroid, I was not put on any medication as the consultant said he took out just the right amount which i have heard is hard to gage? anyway i was doing ok up until a couple of years ago when my symptoms came back with a vengence, after going back and forth to the doctor i was finally told the remaining bit of thyroid left was now under active and i was put on thyroxine 5 weeks ago. I wanted to have the R/A treatment back in 1990 but was told that if i wanted to have children ( i had already had my 4 and did not want any more) then R/A was not for me....i still wanted it but they said i may change my mind about children and so i had the surgery.....dont know if this is of any help to you but my scar is not noticable as its done in the crease of your neck (in most cases anyway i believe).


Thanks for your comment Annamaria.

I believe I have been offered a full thyroidectomy ie removal of the thyroid gland. or the Radio Active Iodine, what I wanted to know is what to expect in terms of side effects of Radio Active Iodine treatment and has anyone out there had any of these treatments. Also if after treatment I will feel well again and live a normal life by taking the thyroxin tablet.

Thanks anyway.


sorry i could not have been of any help to you Susanoa, there will be somebody better in the know on here that can help you i am sure :-)


Hi Susanoa

I've had a subtotal thyroidectomy and it improved my life immensely but my case is different as I was underactive all along.

There are mixed feelings about radioiodine. For some people it's fine - although it doesn't always work first time - and for others they have side effects (we are all different so we don't know if we will react).

Whichever one you decide on, be aware that levothyroxine may be ok for you but you may need to use natural thyroid hormone. Unfortunately, not all docs agree with us though!


Quote from Susanoa at

“Over Active Thyroid

I feel I need to elaberate on my prior question.

I have had and been treated for an over active thyroid. I have been taking Propylthiouracil 50mg 2 twice a day and Propranolol 10mg 1 three times a day. This does not seem to be controling it I have good days and bad days the usual sypmtoms. I went to see my Endocriniology Dr he wanted me to have Radio Active Iodine tablets or an opperation to remove the thyoid gland. Has anyone out there had either one of these treatments if so what was the outcome. I have been out of work for over 2 years now can't seem to find anyone to give me a chance. It is not helped by having the shakes and being unable to think straight, now with being told I will need further treatment how am I supposed to work, who will take me on knowing that I will require time of work for treatment. This is making me so down, I don't want to go out anymore because this seems to be taking over my life. If I have one of these treatments will it make it go away or will I be swaping an over active thyroid for an under active one as the doc says I will have to take thyoxin for the rest of my life. Please any help out there.”

Hi Susanoa,

I’ve pasted your other question across here to your earlier question so that they are both together and easier to answer. There is an 'Add To This' button at the bottom of your own posts if you need to add anything at any time.

I’m afraid that I don’t have any direct experience of RAI or thyroidectomy but from what I’ve read I would look very carefully into both options before reaching a decision.

Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor, find out how soon and how often afterwards will you be given blood tests to monitor your progress. If your doctor says you will be on thyroxine afterwards it looks like he is considering a TT (total thyroidectomy) if you choose surgery and total ablation for RAI.

Many people do very well on thyroxine but well people tend not to come onto internet forums! It is important to be on the right levels for you afterwards, whichever method you choose – ask what levels of thyroid hormones your doctor will be aiming for you afterwards and how soon you will be put on to thyroxine too.

As your thyroid problems are not well controlled now you could well be much more stable after RAI or TT than you are now. It’s totally miserable having thyroid swings!

Ask if you will be restricted from contact with people, i.e. family, children etc. and for how long if you have RAI. You don’t say how old you are but if you are planning on having children then that should be taken into consideration too.

If you choose to have your thyroid removed make sure that your surgeon is very experienced in this and does them regularly, this will help to significantly minimise any problems from the procedure.

There is some information about RAI and TT at and

I hope this helps!

<b>Updated on Jul 15 2010 4:26PM:</b> Hi Susanoa, I've found some easy to understand and informative links for you at

The links on this page tell you both about thyroidectomy and also what happens after various different levels of RAI. You would need to ask your doctor which strength they would be using for you.


Thank you for your comments, I checked out the links you

gave, but found nothing on the the side effects of RAI

I will have to wait untill I go back to the hospital and ask.

How do you find out if you have a surgeon with a good record for removal of thyroid gland removal.


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