Post count: 326

    Hi VanIsleGal,

    I didn’t end up having surgery (I chose RAI), but my appointment with the surgeon was much the same. I was 25, almost 26 at the time, and I wanted to explore all my options. The surgeon is a general surgeon but since I worked at the hospital, I knew he had an excellent track record and bedside manner, and performed hundreds of thyroidectomies. However, I got the impression that I wasn’t worth his time or money – he wasn’t rude at all, but he was very graphic with the risks and told me my voice might never be the same. His position was that he did just not feel like someone at my age in otherwise good health should undergo a risky surgery when RAI was a much safer alternative. I struggled for a long time until I finally met with the nuclear radiologist at the hospital to discuss RAI in greater detail, since my endocrinologist really didn’t tell me much about it. In the end, I decided on RAI for a number of reasons, and honestly, finances and recovery time were probably the biggest two reasons. In the end, it worked out. But I think surgeons want to be clear that all surgery carries risks, and especially when there are other alternatives to surgery, they want to be sure we are making the best decision for ourselves.

    If I had to do it all over again, I would still do the RAI. That wasn’t a walk in the park either. I felt pretty lousy in the weeks after and it took six months to go hypo and start Synthroid, and I developed moderate TED. Unfortunately, I don’t think anything about Graves is a walk in the park and you need to decide which treatment is most appropriate for you. It might help to get a second opinion from another surgeon, and maybe explain how your first appointment went and maybe he or she will be a bit more realistic instead of just stating all the risk. You know the risks, you need to decide what is the lesser of two evils. I’m assuming since you’ve had Graves three times now that means you’ve tried to achieve remission via ATDs and failed? Remission wasn’t in my cards either, and after a year of still extremely hyper levels despite huge doses of PTU, I had to decide. Good luck!