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Thyroid Cancer Removal -Dangers of Surgery!

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2002

I am posting this in case someone reads this before having surgery. I had a small thyroid tumor that was papillary cancer found this year. The surgeon was a general surgeon that did the biopsy. They did not warn me that I could lose my parathyroid glands in surgery. The parathyroids are right behind the thyroid gland and are responsible for supply calcium to the muscles and nerve endings. We do not have a synthetic parathyroid hormone to replace this and the only treatment is large doses of calcium and Prescription Vit. D. This disorder is hard to regulate - stress or sickness can cause the patient to have a drop in calcium. Complications include: numbness of the face, feet, and hands, muscle spasms of the entire body including the heart, burning and tingling and muscle pain, cataracts, and worst cases seizures. See www.hypoparathyroidism.org. The only treatment for the post surgery for cancer disorder can lead to kidney damage or failure. I wanted you all to know so that if you have cancer of the thyroid - go see an endo and let them recommend the surgeon - who does thyroid removals on a regular basis.


Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2010

Definitely dealing with hypothydroidism is difficult, but my husband is dealing with the opposite. His parathyroids are secreating too much calicum. Its very rare and luckily the surgeron removed the bad parathyroids, but no further treatment was recommended & two years later a second tumor formed.
Now the cancer has spread to his liver and bones & reproducing the effects of a parathyroid. His calicum levels are well over 11 at normal and can even exceed 15 at the highest. So I can relate that calcium is horrible whether high or low.
But we also learned as you did having the right surgeron and follow up is very important to managing these symptoms. Hopefully there are some alternatives with dealing with the low calcium because it does cause a lot of systems to go haywire.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

I also was not told of the complications of neck dissection and thyroidectomy. One of my vocal cords was damaged so it does not move, one of my parathyorids was accidently removed, although I had surgery 4 years ago my neck, chin and ear lobe feels numb, i feel like my head is heavy on that side and that something is choking me. I sometimes feel like i can't breathe and feel like I have to open my mouth really big to get air in. I also yawn alot

after surgery I was put in the recovery room and had to be moved to another room for complications of the parathyroid being removed. apparently the recovery room did not have heart monitoring equipment.

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