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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Thyroid Nodules Pressure and Neck Pain
I have an enlarged thyroid with a 2.5 cm nodule on the left and a smaller one of the right. They have been biopsied and are beign; however I have a very uncomfortable feeling and pressure on the left side of my neck. I also have ear and jaw pain on the left. My thyroid levels are normal but I do have symptoms of hyper and hypo. Can an enlarged thyroid press on nerves in the neck and cause unbearable pressure and discomfort? I am searching for answers as I am trying to make the decision to have my thyroid removed. Thanks.
An enlarged thyroid can cause the symptoms you describe in your left neck but it would be unusual to cause the jaw and ear pain. 2.5 cm is not so large as to usually cause a lot of symptoms. The generalized hypo and hyper symptoms are not likely due to your nodule if your thyroid blood levels are normal. You should discuss your particular symptoms with a thyroid surgeon in person as well as the risks and potential complications of surgery to help make a decision. A second opinion is also sometimes helpful. If surgery is not done, then you should have follow up to be sure the nodules are not enlarging.
Jeffrey J Sussman, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati