Graves Disease & Large Nodule

UCLA Health article

I was diagnosed with Graves' disease that was roughly 7 years ago. I was being taken care of by my primary care doctor for the first 3 years. Then I saw an endocrinologist and was treated for another 3 years. He also discovered a nodule through my ultrasound, in which we did a biopsy that came back negative for cancer and all of the negative stuff. However, we did a checkup about a year after and the nodule grew very large. I was then recommended to Dr. Yeh.

In terms of my experience with the clinic and Dr. Yeh, just base on the visit solely everything has been great. Dr. Yeh is very attentive to the details. From my diagnostic to treatment, I felt with everything that I was going through and had to deal with it all went very smoothly and was great. Dr. Yeh made sure that my treatment plan was specific to me and not put in a general sense. I wasn't too worried about it (my surgery) in the beginning, but it got closer I got very anxious. They said that it's better to remove it all to make sure it's not cancer. It makes sense to remove a large abnormal nodule from my thyroid, but I was nervous the week before my surgery, as you never know what could happen. I have kids so that was the real worry for me. Even knowing that this was a quite safer and much minor surgery to many it still worried me, but at that point what could you do, I knew I had to get it removed. However, everyone there made me feel great and asked questions making sure I felt okay. From the check-in process at the hospital to the recovery process the team made sure I felt comfortable and at ease. They used the right words to comfort me, they made sure to not use triggering words-- especially with me I'm someone who tends to over-analyze everything, so using one wrong word could have thrown me off. They made me felt at ease, so at that point, I couldn't go back and there was not a reason to not continue with this surgery. My surgery was January 31st, it went well and I don't remember anything much from it. I had some neck pain on the side of my neck and not really near the incision when I woke up, but it didn't bother me too much I would describe it as being sore. I was able to go home the next day, so I would say my health condition was good. I did have to take off almost 3 weeks from work but that’s understandable because my job is labor-intensive so to resume I had to be 100% again. I feel good now and I know I need to adjust my medication and everything but my life does feel normal again.

Reflecting on this whole process, something I would change is that I probably would have asked to see a specialist endocrinologist a lot sooner, but everything worked out. I understand that my primary may have not sent me sooner as I heard there are people with graves' disease in which by waiting a few years their thyroid goes back to normal. However, I feel like it's always better to get something resolved sooner than later, to treat a small nodule than a large nodule. I want to let others know that to take care of yourself and follow-up with your doctors when the problem is small. At least here my Endocrinologist told me when he had referred that Dr. Yeh was one of the best in the nation and it made me feel better, I felt like I was in good hands. Especially going through the actual process itself I would agree so too.