Iodine Radiation vs Surgery

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Hi all,

I've been recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I have a 4cm nodule on my left thyroid which has caused my current diagnosis. I got an iodine scan and my doctors have given me two options for treatments-surgery or radioactive iodine. Both treatments seem to be aggressive and my doctors are not recommending me on a certain treatment becuase they both want two different things. I'm a 26 year old female with no other health issues and I want to do the treatment that would be the best for me.

I'm hoping to hear some stories of people who have had either treatment and their experiences with it. This will hopefully give me more understanding of treatments. I appreciate for your help!

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  • Posted

    There is also another treatment and that is taking thryoid hormone-blocking drugs and supplements which is what I and many others on this Board do.  For myself, I told my Endo right up front that I would not consider the other two options and in 10 years, I have not had to change my mind.  I manage just fine with this treatment.
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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for sharing. My doctor didnt recommend medication due to the size of my nodule. I'm not sure if that was your case as well. I'm not a fan of either treatment but they didnt really give me the option of just the medication alone. I'm currently taking methimazole. Not feeling too much of a difference yet.

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  • Posted

    Hi, the best possible outcome would to the removal of the nodule while retaining as much as possible of your thyroid to ensure a normal (or close to normal) thyroid function. 

    At 40mm diameter, your thyroid nodule is rather large. The best person to talk to would be your surgeon or radio-surgeon.  

    You might find this article in medscape interesting: Nonsurgical Approaches to the Management of Thyroid Nodules. You will have to search it on the net since I can't include the link.

    If you have a single hot (also called toxic) autonomous nodule and your TSH is suppressed then treatment with radioactive iodine will target specifically the nodule. If that is the case, then the nodule should show like a bright spot on your iodine scan while the rest of the thyroid appears dim.

    This post deals with a similar issue: 

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/surgery-or-radioactive-treatment-601773

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    • Posted

      I'm hoping they can just remove the nodule and not the actual left side of the thyroid. I'm not sure how it will play out because the size of my nodule is pretty big. I will definitely look at the articles you have recommended. I have my consultation in a few weeks and hoping to get more clarity on what the surgery entails. The radiation seems less invasive but the restrictions afterward dont quite work for me since I work at a hopsital where i'm around children, pregnant woman, and seniors. Thanks for all your help!

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