Treatment of non-cancerous thyroid nodules generally
just involves monitoring of the nodule. Surgery is not necessary.
There are some circumstances in which surgery would be recommended.
The surgery is usually performed by a specializing thyroid surgeon.
If removal is not performed, the nodule should be checked every
6 to 12 months. The doctor may also prescribe the drug Levothyroxine
or a similar drug that slows the production of thyroid hormone
T4. This is a special case only treatment and is not typical.
Nodules can also be treated by laser therapy or ethanol injection.
Surgery is necessary if the
nodule is cancerous or causing your thyroid to be overactive.
It would also typically be performed if and accurate diagnosis
cannot be made as to whether it is cancerous or not. If it results
in symptoms that cause difficulty such as breathing or swallowing
issues, it is also usually removed. Removal is also recommended
when the nodule is getting bigger.
Another treatment involves radioactive
iodine. This is used to reduce the activity and the size
of the nodule in the event that the nodule is overactive. In some
rare cases, this can cause hypothyroidism and thyroid gland inflamation.
This is called radiation induced thyroiditis. This treatment is
not for pregnant women.
The good news is that the problem of thyroid
nodules is generally curable, and rarely is life threatening.
If you think you may have a thyroid nodule, you need to see your
doctor so that he can get the correct diagnosis.