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My gyno oncologist/surgeon wants to refer me to thyroid surgeon following thryoid ultrasound

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

Friends,

Hi there.

I am apprehensive as I received a call today that as a result of my thyroid ultrasound which showed thyroid nodules, two of the largest which were predominantely solid, and one cystic, and a thyroid prominent in size, my gyno oncologist who ordered the ultrasound because he is my primary doctor as I just finished my treatment for uterine cancer in November, is now referring me to a thyroid surgeon.

I asked if he is an endocrinologist and was advised he is not, that he is a thyroid surgeon. Not sure if he is an oncologist surgeon. So I am to await the secretary to call me back to set up an appointment for evaluation.

Is this the route that is normally taken? So far I had the original ct in June by which the thyroid nodules showed up as an incidental. Then the thyroid ultrasound last week, as it was agreed we would follow up on the nodules after the end of my chemo program.

I thought I was finally done and could get back to a closer to normal existence and now this. I don't feel my body would be ready for surgery. My last surgery for uterine cancer was in April and I spent the rest of the year in chemo and radiation. I don't feel like my body would be in optimal shape for another surgery yet so this is very scarey.

Why do you think I would not be referred to an endocrinologist first? Are they just skipping a step as endocrinologists are hard to get appointments with, and most don't do surgery?

Thanks!

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 259
Joined: Oct 2009

I don't think many (or any) endos perform thyroidectomies. Most of them seem to be done by ENTs - ear, nose and throat aka otolaryngologists - or skilled general surgeons. Not too many oncologists perform surgeries. Mine was performed by a very experienced general surgeon referred by my ENT and endo. He does a lot of them and is very good. You want to know if the surgeon performs that particular surgery frequently. It's important that they remove as much thyroid tissue as possible, that they locate and save your parathyroids and not damage your vocal cord nerves or other neck tissue. My incision scar is about 2 inches. It's amazing what they can do with such a small incision! The surgeon should also look for and remove any suspicious lymph nodes. It is scary but I want to assure you that many of us have reported short recovery times and few complications. It's considered outpatient surgery but you're kept overnight to ensure that the parathyroids, which regulate calcium, are functioning well after the trauma of surgery. Eventually, you will be set up with an endocrinologist. You've been through a lot and I am sorry to see you may be headed for more challenges. I wish you well and send you good vibes.

hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010

Thank you for your feedback.

I looked up the surgeon I am being referred to and he is a general surgeon with speciale interest in endocrinology and thryoid-so I supposed that is why my gyno-oncologist is referring me to this doctor.

I have not had a thyroid bloodtest panel, fine needle biopsy or scan yet. Just a ct in the summer that showed nodules, and an ultrasound last week.

Thank you for sending good vibes.

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