Thyroidectomy Part 2

My Thyroidectomy, part 2: Meeting the Endocrinologist and Thyroid Biopsy

4/17/7 The endocrinologist reviewed the information I brought over from my pcp, and felt at my throat and said he could feel the nodule, but the way it felt didn’t seem too threatening. He decided that he wanted me to have a biopsy done of the thyroid nodule to see what is going on with it and give us a better indicator of what to do next. So he gave me a referral for that and said to try calling Kingwood Hospital to see if I can do it there. Now that I know what he was feeling, I kept unconsciously putting my hand at my throat and could see it in photos. If you look at the base of my neck, you can see the bulge from the nodule:

4/26/17 It took quite a few phone calls and driving around to get it all scheduled. When I called the radiology center at the hospital, they said they need a few pieces of information from my endocrinologists office faxed to them, and I would need to go to the facility that did my ultrasound and pick up the images on disc to bring. So I did all that, but still wasn’t hearing back from scheduling. I called and she said the endo’s office never sent the information over. So she and I both started calling them until she finally got it and got me scheduled. The hospital called me with the estimated cost, and if I paid at that time I got a 20% prompt payment discount, so I did that.

4/28/17 Justin and I went to Kingwood Hospital for my thyroid biopsy. I was so scared for the biopsy. I don’t like needles at all, and was honestly more afraid of what the results would be than anything. Thankfully, the nurse, ultrasound tech, and doctor who did the biopsy were all great. They did everything they could to help calm my fears. The first thing they did, after we got my registration paperwork done, was bring Justin and me back to the procedure room, and he put some lidocaine gel on my throat with a large clear cover to hold it on. Then while that was taking effect, I filled out my consents, and they had me lay on the procedure table. As they were prepping me, they could see the tears running down my face. The nurse kept assuring me that the doctor performing the biopsy was the best there is. I kept telling him “it’s not you I’m worried about”. Finally he said “Ok, I’ll just stop talking about it now”. Luckily I wore a tank top that was pretty low cut, so it gave them enough of a field that they didn’t have to have me change into a hospital gown, which meant I didn’t then have to try to change back into my shirt afterwards. They also asked me which is worse for me, claustrophobia or seeing the procedure. I told them I definitely did not want to see it, so when they put the cover on me to keep a more sterile environment, they let it fall over my face. It wasn’t tight or anything, but blocked my view of what they were doing. They could hear me crying and my breath catching underneath while they were putting on the local anesthetic, and the nurse told Justin to come hold my hand. I was so very glad they let him come back with me and be there, it helped a lot. The doctor who performed the biopsy was giving me some breathing techniques to help calm myself down, and it worked a little bit. I know a few times I was shaking, but Justin held on tight to keep me grounded. Once the procedure was done, they sat me up more, and had me help hold pressure to the site that the needle went in while they got it covered up. I had a large piece of gauze on the biopsy site, covered by a huge clear bandage to keep it from getting wet or infected. I had to keep that all on for 24 hours, and just take it easy for the next couple days. When they sat me up, the nurse pulled my hair back, saying he didn’t want it to get in the blood. I didn’t even realize there had been blood. It was over pretty quickly, and they had me sit up for about 10-15 minutes before they released me. Originally they had not told me to have someone come with me, but there’s no way I would have wanted to drive myself home after that. I was in some pain once the numbing wore off, but they said that regular Tylenol should take care of it. I was taking that as often as I could, and slept most of the day. It was very uncomfortable to swallow or talk for the rest of the day, so I didn’t eat much.

The discharge instructions for post ultrasound thyroid biopsy were:

  • Leave the band aid on for 24 hours after your biopsy. At that time, you may remove the band aid.
  • Do not shower or bathe until 24 hours after your biopsy. Gently dry the biopsy site each time you shower or bathe. It is best to leave the biopsy site dry. However, you may use an antibiotic ointment, such as neosporin, on the site if you choose.
  • If you need to take something for discomfort, take Tylenol. Ibuprofen or Motrin may be taken if your physician has instructed you to do so. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ASPIRIN CONTAINING COMPOUNDS.
  • Do not participate in strenuous activity for 24 hours. No swimming, hot tubs or soaking in bathtubs for one week. No heavy lifting (greater than 10 lbs.).
  • It is not abnormal to experience some discomfort in the biopsy site. You may even have a small amount of bruising.
  • Call your physician to report the following:
    • Pain not relieved by Tylenol
    • Light headedness or dizziness
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Fever greater than 101F
    • Excessive bleeding, drainage, redness, or swelling around the area of your biopsy.
Related:  My Thyroidectomy Part 11: 2 Months Later

4/29/17 Once it hit 24 hours, Justin helped me remove the large bandage over the biopsy site. I was laying down, because I am not so good with that kind of thing and was afraid if I was standing it might make me pass out. He took it off, and said it looked just like after having blood drawn, just a tiny spot. I took a look, then covered it with a regular bandage. My skin is definitely sensitive to adhesives, because it was red all around where the bandage was taken off, just like when they removed the one at the hospital that was holding the lidocaine gel. Tyler had his last soccer game of the season today, but I stayed home. Justin took Tyler, and Justin’s brother came over to help me with Ryan while they were gone since I still wasn’t able to lift him yet. I was still taking Tylenol and in a bit of pain, but once I got the bandage off and was able to (carefully) take a shower, I felt much better. Then it was just a matter of waiting on the results….

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Thyroidectomy Part 2 Thyroidectomy Part 2

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