Total thyroidectomy or not?

Hi! I know you can't make my decision for me, but I was hoping you could help me with the reasons why you made your decision If thats ok?

I've just come back from my appointment with my consultant. On one side of my thyroid the result is 3f so that side has to come out. The otherside was 3a and that was my choice. I made the decision to have a TT and now after time to think, I'm wondering if I should go for just the right side? If anyone is happy to discuss this with me, I would be really grateful. 

Many thanks xx

  • What were you advised to do?

    I had a hemi and then, on confirmation it was cancer, had the completion a few weeks later.

    My sister had a hemi about 18 months after me, and it wasn't cancer.

    So if I'd gone for a TT, I'd have saved myself one of the operations. If she'd done it, she'd have lost a perfectly adequate half thyroid which she's been living with (without medication) for nearly 10 years now.

    So.... I'd say we're both glad we did it the way we did. I didn't mind having two ops as I heal really well and don't feel pain badly. For those who find surgery really scary, heal badly, or have other health problems that make anaesthesia a threat to them, TT might be the way to go.

    You are absolutely right in saying that we can't make the decision for you but I am sure that whatever you DO decide will be right for you.

    Best wishes


    “Scars are tattoos with better stories.” – Anonymous

  • Thank you for your reply. 

    I was advised that the right side had to come out but the left was my decision and wouldn't advise further.

    Janet x

  • It's really tricky because there are no guarantees that the right side will be cancerous.

    If you don't mind doing double surgery, and you can get the time off work to do it that way, I'd always say it's worth taking a stepwise approach.


    Best wishes


    “Scars are tattoos with better stories.” – Anonymous

  • Thank you so much for this. I work from home anyway so I can still work after surgery x 

  • Hi Janet!

    I was in a similar position but it was my left side that had the cancer. I ended up with 3 different opinions on the decision between the hemi or the full and I decided for me I’d take the chance of having the hemi and then see post the analysis if I needed the full thyroidectomy. Just had my surgery on Monday and will find out if I need the second op in a few weeks time Pray

    If you’re ok with potentially having to have the surgery twice then I’d say take that chance and save yourself from the full T (no thyroxine hopefully and fewer risks with the surgery). However, you need to weigh it all up and work out what’s best for you as Barbara says. 

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply x

  • Good luck with your results and I hope you are feeling ok x

  • Not at all! Happy to help as so many people have helped me through this little community. 

    Im feeling ok. Although would definitely say the post surgery difficulty swallowing and coughing is more uncomfortable than expected! Sure it’ll get better after a few days Pray

  • It truly is such a hard decision and one that is so personal! I hope you’re able to decide what works best for you Heart️ although it sometimes feels like such a tough choice either way!

    I had two nodules on my thyroid, one on the left that was a thy2 and one on the right side of my isthmus (the middle bit of your thyroid) that was a thy5. I was given the option of having the right and middle out or the whole thing - I chose a TT straight away but then spent the two weeks before my op agonising over my decision. I’ve since had it confirmed after post op tests that nodule on the right was cancerous and the one on my left wasn’t and yet I don’t regret having a total thyroidectomy!

    For me it came down to the risk of recurrence of cancer and I decided one op and medication for the rest of my life but knowing they’d stand a better chance of removing all the cancer and keeping it away was less scary than only having half of it out and having to go through two surgeries and a higher risk of the cancer coming back. That being said, I knew before my op that it was cancer and I’m also a worrier JoySee no evil

    I can imagine it’s a much tougher choice when there’s uncertainty and you risk removing healthy thyroid! I hope whatever you decide, it all works out for the best Heart

  • I had a right sided removal as my biopsy was unclear. When they examined it the growth was cancerous, so I was advised to have my left side removed and very much to there suprise they found I had a cancerous growth starting in that lobe as well. So I was really glad that thay had gone a hesd with the removal.