By in Health & Fitness

Gamma Knife Induced Thyroid Deficiency

First: I am not complaining. This is merely to explain what has happened in my case, and it is a very small price to pay...

Some years ago, my family physician, much to his credit I might add, discerned despite very limited symptoms, that I had a pituitary tumor. I am ever so glad he did, as during my preparation for treatment, my vision became threatened due to pressure of the tumor on my 6th optic nerve! I might well have gone blind.

Surgery was performed, and it went unusually well for me. I neither suffered any pain, nor felt sick after surgery. In fact, upon waking from the anesthesia, I wished I could have eaten a steak!

But some time later, the tumor began growing back. Symptoms were reasserting themselves. I had some choices to make.

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Have surgery again.
  3. Take special prescription medication.
  4. Undergo Gamma Knife radiation.

I chose number 4. That too was successful, even though many undergoing it have limited to no success from it. I had total success. I say total success, but there was one forseeable issue that did throw a very tiny monkey wrench into the works.

Although focusing the radiation beams is very fine, healthy tissue at the border of the tumor can be damaged along with the unhealthy tissue. Since the pituitary gland is so small, and is a controller of (is it 22?) hormones, one or more of those can be jolted out of kilter.

A few years after the Gamma Knife experience, a deficiency in "Free T4" indicated my thyroid level needs bolstering. Thyroid levels can be caused by the thyroid gland or the pituitary. In my case, of course, it is the pituitary. This condition is a form of hypothyroidism.

So I have been prescribed by my endocrinologist 50 micrograms of levothyroxine. A very small price to pay, indeed.

Image Credit » by skeeze

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Feisty56 wrote on November 23, 2015, 9:26 AM

That is amazing! There are so many medical advances, I had never heard of the gamma knife procedure. Your easily-controlled hypothyroidism is a small price to pay for the potential complications that could have happened without the surgery or even as side results of the surgery.

Rufuszen wrote on November 23, 2015, 9:45 AM

Nothing is cost free, but I agree a small price.

LeaPea2417 wrote on November 23, 2015, 12:05 PM

That is interesting. I have been tested for "hyperthyrodism" but luckily didn't have it.

Lillybell wrote on November 23, 2015, 1:16 PM

Good to hear that you made it through both surgeries with no major problems.

lookatdesktop wrote on November 23, 2015, 3:21 PM

My wife's thyroid gland was ablated by iodine 131 then afterwards she had to take a lifetime dose of daily levothyroxine. Without it she would be hypthyroid. She had this ablation with i-131 because her parathyroid was over active and it threatened her heart by being overactive. Not sure why she was hyperthyroid though.

BarbRad wrote on November 24, 2015, 12:53 AM

Very small indeed. I've been taking that medication for years, and my husband is also taking it. It certainly makes a difference in the quality of life for very little cost.

VinceSummers wrote on November 24, 2015, 7:26 AM

That's great to hear.

paigea wrote on November 27, 2015, 11:51 PM

Yes, that is a small price. Every treatment seems to have a price though.