Through Lifescreen, a nodule was found on the left side of my thyroid. They told me to take it to my doctor. When I saw her, she did an ultrasound, then nothing happened. 6 months later I had still had symptoms so another ultrasound was done. But I was told my symptoms were likely just related to getting older.
Then I saw a program on television about thyroid problems. It mentioned the symptoms I had been feeling. I ordered a book and it confirmed the relationship of these symptoms to thyroid problems. At this point it had been 2 years since my last ultrasound. When I mentioned it to my doctor, I was told I needed to see an endocrinologist.
I went to see Dr. Maletkovich at UCLA Porter Ranch. The ultrasound she did showed the nodule had grown. She did a biopsy and found cancer. She then referred me to Dr. Livhits at UCLA Westwood.
What an amazing person Dr. Livhits is - warm, caring. My decision to stay at UCLA was easy as everyone is incredibly caring and on top of things. My report of symptoms was not minimized and everything was explained to me.
Dr. Livhits removed my thyroid. She originally thought she could take only the left side but in surgery she found it was invasive into the muscle and vocal nerve and she removed 3 lymph nodes. She was thoughtful enough to have a nurse notify the friend who was waiting for me so she wouldn't worry that the surgery was taking longer than anticipated. I also liked the fact that I had an all female surgery team.
I was very hoarse after the surgery but now my voice is back to normal in less than 3 weeks!
Tags: biopsy, Cancer, cancer, Dr. Maletkovich, Dr. Masha Livhits, Endocrine, Endocrine Surgery, endocrinologist, Endocrinology, lymph nodes, patient stories, surgery, thyroid, thyroid problems, UCLA Porter Ranch, ultrasound