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I have a Thyroglossal Duct Cyst? Really??


Friday, April 02, 2010

It all started 1 week ago. Friday morning, when I woke up my throat felt a little sore when I swallowed. It took me a minute or two to discover the soreness wasn't from the inside of my throat, but from a lump on the outside of my throat. Strange, I don't remember having a lump there before. I had my hubby check it out and we thought it was probably a swollen lymph node. I have had plenty of those pop up in my neck before, so no biggie.

By Saturday, the lump was larger, but I was too busy to worry about it because I was helping my brother and sister-in-law pack up to move from Esko, MN to Mayville, ND.

Sunday morning, there was no denying the lump. It was now visible beside my throat and the size of a large grape and it was sore. I noticed it every time I swallowed. My hubby wanted me to go into the Dr. to have it checked out, but on Sunday evening I googled "lump in neck" and became convinced that it was a lymph node and I should wait two weeks to see if it resolved itself.

Monday morning, I went to my 6:00 AM Cardio-Mix class and had my best girlfriend check out my neck lump. She immediately said it didn't seem right and I should go to the Dr. That kind of scared me because I liked the "wait and see" path I had decided on previously. Later that morning, I called the nurse and got a Dr. appointment for late in the afternoon. I did some more googling on neck anatomy. My lump wasn't in the right place for a lumph node... it also wasn't in the right place for a salivary gland stone. I read about a "thyroglossal duct cyst" and that seemed more like what I had. I then got to thinking that my Dad had some type of a lump removed from his neck 20 years ago, but all I remembered about that was that his was HUGE {baseball-sized}. I called my mom and asked her more details about Dad's lump. She told me it was a thyroglossal duct cyst and I immediately knew that was also what I had. However, I figured since mine wasn't that big it was probably just an infection and I would get some antibiotics and be done with it. WRONG!

My Dr. knew within 60 seconds of examining me that it was a thyroglossal duct cyst and referred me to the ENT specialist. She told me that it would have to be surgically removed and that it would just continue to get larger. There was no other treatment for it. That freaked me out. Surgery? Really?? But I am training for a Half Marathon. I don't want to have my neck cut open. Surgery? Really??

I saw the ENT Dr. on Wednesday. He confirmed the diagnosis. He told me I could wait until after May 22 to have the surgery to remove it, but said it may become infected and may continue to enlarge. I thought of my dad's baseball sized cyst and knew I didn't want mine to get like that. The Dr. said I would have to have some additional tests to verify that my thyroid gland was functioning normally before the thyroglossal duct would be extracted. He described the surgery, the recovery, the risks and all that information began swimming around in my head. Surgery? Really??

I had some blood drawn for a TSH level test. I have an appointment for a radioactive iodine update test and scan of the thyroid for next week. And I have surgery scheduled for Tuesday, April 20th. The recovery is 7-10 days, but I am not sure if I will be able to bounce back quick enough to be prepared for the May 22nd Half Marathon I am entered in. I am going to hope for that, but will have to see. First I need to get through the tests coming back normal for my thyroid. I am praying that the cyst doesn't continue to enlarge (it is the size of a ping-pong ball now) or become infected. I really felt sorry for myself yesterday and my vanity isn't really excited about the 3 inch scar across my throat, but it certainly isn't the worst thing to have. I am lucky that it is treatable. I am grateful that it was diagnosed so quickly. I will get through this.

Anyone heard or know of someone with this condition? How did it go for him/her?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SPIEDALUE 8/30/2013 1:32PM

  The same thing is happening to me right now. I can't get an appointment until tuesday which is 4 days away. I guess I can expect this to get worse...

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IMOJANE 4/7/2010 11:41AM

    Wow, what a crazy thing to suddenly happen! But, although it seems worrying for training, I really wouldn't worry about it. I only say that because I had about a two an a half week gap not very long ago and I'm seriously fine now. I did not keep to my schedule all the time but I know I can still make it. Just as long as you work up to about 10.5 miles, the rest your mind will take you through. You can work through this I'm sure. I'm really sorry to hear about the cyst though. Keep your spirits high and leave time to properly recuperate after the surgery.
Thinking of you :-)

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TBNTR99 4/6/2010 1:43PM

  Hello..I am 41 years old and had a thyroglossal duct removed when I graduated college, age 22. It has grown to the size of a golf ball by then but NEVER was infected the entire time. With being a college kid, I always lost my voice and started having problem swallowing which led me to finally tell my parents and led me the ENT.
The surgery went OK, had to stay a day and had a couple of week recovery. Unfortuntately, the surgeon must have left part of the tract and the cyst came back 15 years later! I have gotten 2-3 opinions and they are sketchy about taking it out as too much scar tissue in my neck and may not get it all. I will deal with the 2-3 times a year on antibiotics and hope it does not get worse.
As it turns out, my now 6 year old son was diagnosed with one at 3 years old! was dormant for the past 3 years and just reappeared after getting infected following a cold1 he is having surgery to remove it July 8th as the recovery is quicker as a kid than an adult. Did I mention there is not a known hereditary component - just bad luck!
I recall at the time, that there was a few days of jello and liquids and then pain the next area. My dr says my son should be up and around in a day and reduced activity for a while until the scar heals over.
Do not be afraid - they are almost never cancerous and more of a nusence...The infections now I get can be very painful but at least I know when one is 'coming' so I callt he dr. and get a rx asap.


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TBNTR99 4/6/2010 1:43PM

  Hello..I am 41 years old and had a thyroglossal duct removed when I graduated college, age 22. It has grown to the size of a golf ball by then but NEVER was infected the entire time. With being a college kid, I always lost my voice and started having problem swallowing which led me to finally tell my parents and led me the ENT.
The surgery went OK, had to stay a day and had a couple of week recovery. Unfortuntately, the surgeon must have left part of the tract and the cyst came back 15 years later! I have gotten 2-3 opinions and they are sketchy about taking it out as too much scar tissue in my neck and may not get it all. I will deal with the 2-3 times a year on antibiotics and hope it does not get worse.
As it turns out, my now 6 year old son was diagnosed with one at 3 years old! was dormant for the past 3 years and just reappeared after getting infected following a cold1 he is having surgery to remove it July 8th as the recovery is quicker as a kid than an adult. Did I mention there is not a known hereditary component - just bad luck!
I recall at the time, that there was a few days of jello and liquids and then pain the next area. My dr says my son should be up and around in a day and reduced activity for a while until the scar heals over.
Do not be afraid - they are almost never cancerous and more of a nusence...The infections now I get can be very painful but at least I know when one is 'coming' so I callt he dr. and get a rx asap.


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TADTURC 4/2/2010 9:57AM

    Im in school for ultrasound and we just finished the Thyroid Chapter. My textbook has them listed as a congenital anamoly. Hopefully your TSH and Nuc Med test come back normal so you can get the cyst removed and just move on to your marathon.

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BUNNYBLUE36 4/2/2010 9:48AM

    No, I never heard of this before and I wish I could help. I will keep you in my prayers. I hope all goes well for you.

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