Post # 1
I just found out this week that I will have to have to my thyroid removed in March due to a likely cancerous nodule. Out of everything that comes with this diagnosis, I am most terrified of the weight gain.
It looks like the surgery will occur exactly two months before my wedding. The visibility of the wound is very worrying to me. My doctor said three months healing time is typical. And of course I have a strapless dress and was planning to wear my hair up (I’ve already done a hair trial). And a neck wound is not what I really want to show up in the most expensive photos I will ever have.
But most worrying is the weight gain associated with a lack of thyroid function. I have normal function now and am just barely comfortable with my body. Everyone, including my doctor, references excessive weight gain after this surgery, as much as 20 pounds in the first month. Needless to say, I have my wedding dress and my first fitting is coming up soon. I am so terrified of not fitting into my dress. I just can’t imagine dealing with it or having to show up at my wedding in a different dress.
Has anyone gone through this or known anyone who has?
I’m freaking out and would really appreciate any advice.
Post # 3
MY dad recently had his thyroid taken out due to cancer and a freind of mine also just had hers removed. The scars from the surgery were not that noticable at all! especailly after a few weeks. My dad gained a little weight, but mainly because he is not very active and ate a lot of comfort foods, and my friend said she gained a few pounds but no one could tell! Im sure no matter what you will look perfect!
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2015 - Malibou Lake Mountain Club
sorry you are going through this before your wedding. I know nonetheless this will still be a happy moment for you and loved ones no matter what. A relief also to have the thyroid removed, and being able to enjoy the wedding with loved ones. you will be beautiful that day and beyond!
Post # 5
@kimberlystews: I had my thyroid removed about five years ago. The scar is not even visible until I point it out, it is in the natural line of my neck.
I also had no noticeable weight gain, as long as your thyroxin (synthroid) dose is correct, you should just function as per normal.
Post # 6
thank you for the reassurance! It really helps to hear some perspectives from the other side. I’m happy to hear that you or your family members made it through okay!
Post # 7
@kimberlystews: Sofia Vergara (plays the hot Colombia wife on Modern Family) is a 13+ year thyroid cancer survivor. Yes, actresses/celebs have access to all sorts of stuff we normal folks don’t, but you would NEVER know she had a thyroidectomy if she was not open & public about it. I had to look it up on wikipedia when someone told me because I thought it was TMZ BS. If you are concerned about the scar, there are many very beautiful choker-style netting necklaces or pearl multi-strands that you could wear, or a victorian lace necklet (like a tiny lace turtleneck, turtle portion only, pinned with a brooch or cameo). If a necklace/necklet isn’t an option, you may also want to see if your surgeon can reccomend a medical esthetician – these folks can do absolute magic with specialty cosmetics to make scars, blemishes, tattoos, etc vanish.
Also, my BFF’s dad had thyroid cancer/thyroidectomy when we were toddlers. His wife was pregnant with my BBF’s younger brother, and given the survival rates at the time (back in the 80s) for thyroid cancer, they made the deeply personal and individual choice not to tell anyone that he had cancer; he did not want to be the “dad with cancer” for the rest of his life. The only outward change for him was a slightly higher pitch to his voice (uncommon complication today with the less-invasive “cleaner” surgical procedures) which they said was the result of a “routine surgery on his throat” if anyone asked. He lived a long and normal life & passed away from complications almost 25 years after his diagnosis (and survival times are even longer for folks diagnosed nowadays).
Once your doctor balances the thyroxin (synthetic replacement for your thyroid hormones) you will not even notice.
Post # 8
@kimberlystews: I had a total thyroidectomy in 2009, in the first 6 months i gained 40 pounds. I didn’t have cancer but a life long autoimmune disease. If you have any questions about the surgery or anything else just let me know. 🙂
Post # 9
re: the scar:
I had a thyroidectomy three years ago. I used a copper peptide serum on the scar 3-4 times a day and my scar totally vaished.
Post # 10
I had a total thyroidectomy in 2009 and probably gained 10-15 lbs total but that was probably more related to being in graduate school and stressed out. I certainly did not gain that in the first month alone! I agree with everyone else, as long as your levels are kept in check and you are mindful of what you eat and try to exercise within reason, you should be ok. I wasn’t cleared to do strenuous lifting by my doctor was ok with me walking pretty soon after surgery. Also, I had cancer as well and my doctor kept my levels on the low side (hyperthyroid) for a few years as part of my treatment. Some people lose weight because of this but I didn’t because I was hungry all the time.
Post # 11
I had radioiodine treatment on my thyroid two weeks ago after having Graves’ disease (overactive thyroid) for over five years. I understand your feelings – I’m worried about weight gain too. But my doctor has said that I will only gain weight if: 1. I lost weight while I was overactive, in which case I’ll put it back on until I’m my normal weight again (about 10 pounds in total I think), and 2. If my thyroid goes underactive and I don’t get treated for it.
In other words, you will only put on weight if your thyroid goes underactive and you dont get treated for it. Underactivity comes on slowly so it’s highly unlikely you’ll put on huge amounts of weight in two months. Have blood tests every 4 weeks as they recommend and you’ll catch it in time! its likely that you might on thyroxine by the time of your wedding, in which case your thyroid will be functioning normally x
Post # 12
I am an endocrinologist and I treat patients with thyroid conditions every day. It’s true that immediately after the surgery, until they get the medication at goal, your thyroid hormone will be low and you coud gain weight (it’s rare to have more than 5-10lb weight gain). But, once the medication is dose properly, you should lose the weight and be back to your normal size. The idea of levothyroxine is just to give your body back a synthetic version of the hormone you are lacking, at the right dose, you should be just like anyone else with a normal thyroid. Focus on being healthy, I’m sure you’ll look beautiful, a lot of my patients I can barely find their scar when I examine them. Good luck!
Post # 13
Total Thyroidactomy in 2007 and I didn’t start gaining weight until recently. Most of the time I was underweight. Each person is different. Scar will heal and be ok by then. Check out ThyCa.com they have lots of info on what to expect.
Post # 14
I had a total thyroidectomy at the end of October 2013, and my wedding is in April 2014. My scar is still quite visible 🙁 I have been putting silicone scar sheets on it to flatten and fade it. However, I had a very large goitre and so my incision is 8cm long.
I have to tell you, I was terrified of gaining weight and I researched constantly. Well, I have not gained any weight, and it is because I do not take Thyroxine (Synthroid). I take natural dessicated thyroid (In the US it is called names like Armour, West Throid, Nature throid). I HIGHLY recommend you start on natural thyroid hormone and avoid the weight gain and other problems synthroid can bring.
My poor sister had a total thyroidectomy 4 years ago and has been on thyroxine, andd she has gained over 20kg (40 pounds). She is now switching to the natural thyroid hormone too.
You need to find a great doctor and be your own advocate because unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation about thyroid problems (even from doctors).
Have a look at this website and order the book, it is very helpful http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com
Private message me if you like, I have done a lot of research on this and I feel great after my thyroidectomy!
Post # 15
Just wanted to add, many people may do ok on Synthroid but many don’t. Some don’t convert T4 to the active T3 that is needed for metabolism.
Post # 16
i had a TT in December of 2007. I will tell you that I did not gain any weight after surgery but I was already really overweight. It is VERY hard for me to drop any weight. I have multiple scars on my neck (from having 4 different surgeries in a year, a biopsy, TT, left neck dissection and then a vocal cord implant) but I was so careful to stay out of the sun that first year and used scarfade. My scars are now hardly noticable. The one thing I can NOT stress enough is to make sure you have a surgeon that specializes in thyroidectomies related to thyroid cancer performing your surgery. Do NOT have a general surgeon operate on you. That was the mistake I made (after being told by the first surgeon that he did TTs all the time for thyroid CA) and thats why I now have so many scars on my neck. If you are anywhere within driving distance of Baltimore, I am happy to give you a recommendation for the last surgeon that I had. He was so meticulous that they thought he was able to remove all of the CA prior to my dose of radioactive iodine. I was so happy with his work.
I recently saw a new endocrinologist up here in Boston (since I moved up here and had to leave my doctors at Hopkins) and I had said prior to my visit that if she found anything that would require surgery, I was waiting until after the wedding because I didn’t want the new scar. I’m super vain (yes I admit it) and know that for the cancer to be as extensive as it was when they found it, I had been living with it for years. I would be willing to wait a few more months to look good in my pictures. I also had such a nightmare experience with so many surgeries that I would not be eager to deal with it all again. I DO NOT recommend waiting for surgery to happen but instead, I would see if they could bump it up any sooner so that you have extra healing time.
Feel free to PM me witn any questions!