• Does everyone with a thyroidectomy have to have RAI after surgery?

    Asked by bigjan1 on Monday, April 1, 2013

    Does everyone with a thyroidectomy have to have RAI after surgery?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • Tracy's Avatar

      If you have been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer it is a very good idea to have the RAI treatment. It is pretty much impossible to remove all of the thyroid tissue with a thyroidectomy and make sure that you have removed all of the cancer cells. The radioactive Iodine they use is absorbed by the remaining thyroid cells to focus the radiation to the spot needed. This is why you have the low iodine diet before the RAI - to make sure the cells will take in as much as they can. If you do not have thyroid cancer then you do not need the RAI treatment after the thyroidectomy, just the thyroid replacement medication. I hope I explained clearly, take care - Tracy

      over 7 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar

      As Tracy said not everyone with a TT (Total Thyroid) will have RAI. It really depends the patient, onc, endo, and whether you have had thyca. There are other factors to why the dr might go ahead with ablation without cancer as in Hyperthyroidism. However, if you do have cancer they recommend you go ahead with the ablation to diminish the potential of thyroid tissue harboring any cancer cells that may want to grow. However, if there is lymph or vascular invasion the Endo will usually recommend you do the LID (Low Iodine Diet) with RAI, and then go back for WBS (Whole Body Scan) within 7 days depending on the millicuries ; these usually range from 150 to 250 mCi. The doctor will recommend the dose based on your post op stage of the tumor. The first dose or least dosage is usually for cervical, skeletal, and pulmonary metastases. This is usually for your lymph and vascular invasion type tumors. As Tracy stated if you just have benign nodules ( no cancer, great new !!!!). Then medication is all you need . I wish you the best on your journey.

      over 7 years ago
    • ratbpk's Avatar

      I was told it was necessary to have Iodine radiation after my complete thyroidectomy. I was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer called Hurthle Cell. I was admitted into hospital for treatment because of the high dose administered to me orally, I was monitored for 24 hours then released. I had to keep away from people, especially pregnant women and young children for 7 days, separate sleeping room, bathroom, do my own laundry separate and meals served using disposable dinnerware. I have been on thyroid replacement meds for almost 2 months, supplemented with a daily dose of all natural, all day energy greens for an energy booster. It was recommended that I have a complete body scan taken closer to the end of my 6 month window which will be in July. Because there is little information on the type of cancer I have, none of the information that was given to me or available online is relevant in my case. Talk to your oncologist and I wish you well on your cancer journey.

      over 7 years ago

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