If your doctor tells you that your thyroid needs to be removed, and the first thing that comes to your mind is that this will shorten your life – there is no need to panic over this.
“Taking the thyroid gland out for cancer or to treat other conditions does not in any way shorten the lifespan,” says Marcelle Pick, MSN, OB/GYN, NP, in private practice and co-founder of Women to Women Health Center, and author of the book, “Is It Me or My Hormones?”
Pick explains, “These days we use thyroid replacement for T3 and T4, so those without a thyroid live a long and healthy life.
“For some it is important to check iodine and selenium levels, as these are crucial for optimal thyroid health.”
Removal of the Thyroid
This “master gland” may be only partially removed, depending on the condition. Surgery may be recommended for the following conditions:
• Suspicious nodule on the gland
• Confirmed diagnosis of thyroid cancer
• Benign nodule that’s causing troublesome symptoms such as difficulty swallowing
Questions to Ask if Your Doctor
Recommends Thyroid Surgery
• Why do I need this operation?
• Are there other treatment options?
• How should I be evaluated prior to the surgery?
• How do I select the surgeon?
• What are the risks of the procedure?
• How much of my thyroid will be removed?
• Will I need to take a thyroid pill after the operation?
• What will be the physical restrictions after surgery?
• Will I lead a normal life after my surgery?
Don’t be reluctant to get a discussion going about lifespan. With proper postoperative management and compliance, you do not have to worry about your life being cut short by the removal of your thyroid gland.