Friday, August 1, 2008

Thyroglossal Cyst


Back in October when I was visiting my in-laws in Missouri I got a sore throat and noticed that there was a lump in my throat. When I returned home I went into the base clinic and the doctor told me that he thought it was mono, even though I knew it wasn't and to come back if it didn't get better. A week later I returned, he wanted to do an ultrasound of my neck, but didn't know the code for the referral and said never mind. Instead he sent me to a surgeon at NAS Jax. Fast forward a month later, I show up for the appointment and the surgeon feels my neck, says it's a lymph node and that's it.

I suffered through with it, it seemed as though the swelling had gone down some. Another sore throat in May and I realize that the lump in my neck has doubled in size. When I laid down it was difficult to breathe. So I tried to make another appointment on base, they can't see me for THREE weeks. I can't breathe and they want me to suffer for three weeks? Yeah right, so off to the ER I go.

The ER did some blood work and all my levels are normal, but the lump in my neck is quite visible. So they ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech could obviously see something, and to be honest looked quite worried. Within 10 minutes of the ultrasound I was having an IV put it to go back for a CAT scan. I'm freaking out at this point. Eventually the doctor came back with good news. The lump in my neck is something called a Thyroglossal Duct Cyst. I was born with it, and something, most likely my pregnancy with Asher, caused it to fill with fluid. He tells me to make an appointment with an ENT.

Back to base I go a week later to talk to my doctor so I can get the damn referral. Two weeks later the referral comes and a month later I finally get in with the ENT. It's now the end of June. My CAT scan wasn't enough for them to determine if the cyst is my only functioning thyroid tissue. And now that the cyst has gone untreated for so long the only option is surgery. Also, because it is so large I have a higher chance of complication because there will be a "void" in my neck. Lovely huh?

My surgery is scheduled for August 19th. Recovery time is approx. 3 weeks. This fiasco has taken almost a whole year to get taken care of. Isn't medical for the military absofreaking wonderful?

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I noticed I have been getting a lot of hits on this blog via Google. So I thought I would go ahead and link my surgery update.

http://the-forbes-family.blogspot.com/2008/08/surgery-and-recovery.html

Also here is a picture of my neck, now 2 months post-op.

13 comments:

Outnumbered said...

oh my gosh meg!!! i'll be thinking of you. my sister in law just went to the doctor yesterday for a lump on her thyroid. she has to go get a biopsy later this week.

R.VYAS said...

I do have the thyroblossal cyst apro. from my age 20.right now it is the same one.ofcourse some what become big!very little incresed.There is never found any problem uptil now.This was named by dr.ashok M. thakkar head of surgery in ssg hospital,vadodara,india.right now I have counsult dr. girish vaishnav to remove it.He gone through some photos sonographical work.But it is a thyroglossal cyst it is final.

Anonymous said...

Preop looks like huge double chin:)
the smaller fluid filled cysts are treated with PEI, but success rate for this particular type is about 30%

Anonymous said...

Hi, i had a thyroglosal cyst just like yours on the picture 18 months ago and i had it removed, everything was going great till the other day when i got the same sore throat and lump as before! And surprise, surprise my thyroglosal cyst is back after 18 months, i am gutted and waiting for surgery again!

Megan said...

Oh goodness I'm sorry yours came back. I have been checking my neck frequently. My first pregnancy caused it to fill with fluid and I'm 21 weeks into my second pregnancy.

E Blair said...

Hi, I just read about your ordeal, my 14 year old son and I were looking at pictures of Thyroglossal duct cysts. We went to the Dr.s' today (5-04-09) for an ear ache that he had last Thursday. He said he felt better but I wouldn't be able to cancel the appointment. So took him in anyway, I have had an earache off and on for 3 weeks. Thought it could be the same thing. As he is getting examined I notice this huge lump on his throat, the Dr. checks and tells us it's a Thyroglossal duct cyst. My son and I were wondering how it could have gotten so big without us noticing it before now. Reading up on it explains it all. He has an appointment with an ENT for this Friday. We have already been told he will eventually need surgery. His is only about 2Centimeters now. I am so sorry that you had to go through all that you did. But your after pictures look good. Thanks for posting about your experience. PS he is hoping for a big scar. Leave it to a 14 year old boy. LOL!!

Ivonne said...

OMG, my neck looks EXACTLY like yours pre-op. I always thought I had an abnormally large adams apple. But over the past couple of years, i'ts increased in size. I just went to my Dr. today and she says it's definitely not my adams apple. She says she guesses it might be a goiter, and has referred me to an ENT Dr. But my neck looks exactly like yours! So we'll see what happens. Thank you for sharing. Also, I am 8 weeks pregnant, so I wonder if it is a thyroglossal cyst, if they'd make me wait until after the baby is born for surgery.

Anonymous said...

How was the surgery? And recovery? I had a scan for some spine issues and I noticed in the notes they mention a cyst. Byt the neurologist didn't talk to me about it at all.

shani said...

Hi my name is Shani i have a story for u ...I have been plagued with Thyroglossal duct cyst, my first came at age 14. My doc was afraid to do surgery at that age so he lanced it and drained the fluids anytime it had gotten big enough to do.At 18 i had it removed, at 20 it came back once more i had it removed..NOW as i turn 30 it is back all most 10 yrs latter...So time means nothing, theses thing come and go as often as they want..Today the doc before i was discharged said they would have to remove a part of my thyroid,the middle third of the hyoid bone and follow the “tract” up to the base of tongue...So that i wont be plagued for the rest of my life..IF it comes back please talk to a THYROGLOSSAL cyst specialist and check out this page there is alot of info on it (http://www.thyroidcancer.com/thyroglossal-duct-cyst.htm)..
Until i saw this page i didn't realize that this condition was NOT so rear...So i figured it would be good to tell my story because if it comes back, think ahead!...
Shani

Anonymous said...

great read. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Anonymous said...

I have one two..I got it(meaning it became prominent) shortly after having my son . My doctor drained it with a needle..a whopping 10CC of fluid. I was so happy, my voice came back and it wasn't totally gone but it was tiny and did not bother me. When I became pregnant again with my daughter around 5 months in it began growing back, I am 6 months postpartum and it's bigger than before I think. My ENT said if it came back he would NOT redrain.. but I do not want to go through the surgery for nothing. I read that draining and filling the sac with Ethanol has been effective and has a very low reoccurrence rate.

Kimberly Roy kbillick@tampabay.rr.com said...

I just had this surgery I'm 45 they told me its very rare for my age but common in children from the day I noticed it till surgery was about 1 month total today is now week after surgery I'm still a lot swollen how long till it feels normal again? Also I had 2 the larger one was almost 3 inches :(

Anonymous said...

Had one at the age of 18 (1981)removed it was over 10 cm in size or just over 4 inch's. I am now 54 the problems I had after surgery first I had a few swallowing issues but they mainly went away the biggest issue is the void it left in my throat. I find that every night now this void fills up with fluid and becomes thicker has the night goes on. choking me around 3am. until I clear my throat this usually takes about 30 minutes, but it also causes severe Apnea and it also makes the CPAP unusable, because my right ear drum inflates with the pressure.
Even through it was very large you could only tell when I swallowed it just looked like a guy with a big adams apple