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Looking for Surgeon

ElenaG
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2012

Hello!My name is Elena and I am new to this blog. My 16 year old child was diagnosed with "suspicious" for thyroid cancer. Her doctor recommended surgery. I am looking for recommendations for great surgeons in California. Thank you for your help. In the meantime, she is taking PolyMVA and some vitamins. She is eating a lot of veggies and fruits, no sugar foods. Does anyone has any experience with PolyMVA?

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 260
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Elena,
I don't live in California so can't give you names but I can offer some advice about what to look for in a surgeon, Most people will say you should go to a specialist but mine was done by a general surgeon who is incredibly skilled and happens to do most of the thyroid surgeries in Anchorage (where I live). He was recommended by my ENT. My ENT was going to assist him but was not able to work it into her schedule. Some ENTs do this surgery. The key is to find someone who does A LOT of thyroidectomies because you want someone who knows their way around the intricacies of the neck, who can skillfully remove as much thyroid tissue as possible, will be careful around the vocal cord nerves and who will locate and preserve as many of the four parathyroids as possible. These are each about the size of a grain of rice and are situated near/within the thyroid. They can be in different places though, from individual to individual. Parathyroids regulate the processing of calcium and are very important little things. Did her doc have any particular recommendations?
best to you both
eileen

ElenaG
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you Eileen, your advice is really helpful. My child's doctor recommended one local general surgeon. The doctor went to say that if he was going to have a thyroid surgery, this surgeon will do his surgery. We have an appointment with the surgeon this month on the 16th.

lben
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2012

This is all so new to us. My 24 yo daughter was diagnosed last Thursday with papillary thyroid carcinoma. An ENT did the excisional biopsy and was shocked when it came back like that. I am not happy how all this went down. For 3 years, my daughter had this lump on the side of her neck. Don't know how many doctors looked at and felt that lump which was always rock hard. So here we are 3 years later and now they say it's cancer? My daughter has 9 months to finish her nursing degree. She cannot miss any school or take a leave because the program is being discontinued. She will need a total thyroidectomy and neck dissection--don't know how much. She just has an MRI on Friday night. She is not willing to do any surgery until December since she will have a month off between semesters. Then she would have to wait until May to do the RAI. We live in Virginia Beach and we have to find a doctor that takes our insurance. Can an ENT do the thyroidectomy and neck dissection or does a general surgeon usually do it? We have no endocrinology surgeons here and from the research I have done, I am not confident in finding someone I would let touch my child. What do we do? Please help?

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 260
Joined: Oct 2009

It can be a challenge finding a surgeon for thyroidectomy. Some ENTs are surgeons and some of them do thyroidectomies. There are also otolaryngology surgeons (specializing in head and neck). As I mentioned above, mine was actually done by a very experienced general surgeon who has done hundreds of TTs. It's not so much a question of which specialist to seek but, rather, which surgeon has the most experience performing thyroidectomies. I didn't know it at the time, but my friends were asking local friends in the medical field who they would go to and/or if my surgeon was good - they all said he's the one to go to. So I was fortunate that my ENT got me into the general surgeon's schedule.

If you're not familiar with it already, I'd highly recommend perusing thyca.org, a website of the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association. Tons of good and useful info there. They also maintain a thyroid cancer support group on Yahoo called Thyca where you might want to post asking for surgeon recommendations in your area - Elena could do this also. You have to join to post but it's very easy.

Baldy's picture
Baldy
Posts: 229
Joined: Mar 2011

Virginia Beach is fairly close to Baltimore, if your insurance covers it, you may want to think about going to Johns Hopkins. According to Google Maps, the drive is four and a half to five hours, not too bad since I think you'd only have to go once or twice, once for the consultation and a second time for the surgery if you elect to have it there. I guess, you could always have your follow ups done locally. According to their website, their head and neck surgery clinic is at Greater Baltimore Medical Center which is just north of the city.

http://www.gbmc.org/body.cfm?id=1210

Hannah1
Posts: 63
Joined: Jun 2012

I had my thyroid removed at UCSf ( university of ca. San francisco). His name is Dr. Quan-Yang Duh.
He is a professor of surgery , chief section of Endocrine surgery , phone number is 415-502-1573.
Recommended by my endocrinologist but very hard to get appt. it took me 4 months wait before
surgery. Had my surgery in 2009 Good luck and god bless.

Hannah1

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