14 doctors weighed in:
How soon after full thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer to get scan and start radioactive iodine?
14 doctors weighed in

Dr. Barry Rosen
Surgery
7 doctors agree
In brief: 3-4 weeks
Remnant ablation requires high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (tsh), which will require one to be "hypothyroid".
This means that synthroid (thyroxine) needs to be stopped for approximately 3 weeks in order to achieve these elevated TSH values. For those that cannot tolerate being so hypothyroid, there is a recombinant human TSH that can be given, but this is very expensive and rarely covered expense.

In brief: 3-4 weeks
Remnant ablation requires high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (tsh), which will require one to be "hypothyroid".
This means that synthroid (thyroxine) needs to be stopped for approximately 3 weeks in order to achieve these elevated TSH values. For those that cannot tolerate being so hypothyroid, there is a recombinant human TSH that can be given, but this is very expensive and rarely covered expense.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Barry Rosen
Well, earlier is better, but it also depends on the indication for RAI: is it to check for and eradicate any residual thyroid tissue or to search for cancer outside of the thyroid area?
Dr. Barry Rosen
I understand your concern--earlier is always better. Nevertheless, his treatment is just to eradicate any residual thyroid tissue, so it's really just "dotting the I's and crossing the T's".
3 doctors agree
In brief: 6 weeks
Most radiation therapists and oncologists like to wait at least 6 weeks before doing a 131i scan.
This is even more so if you have had a previous scan before the surgery, since that will need to clear before repeating it.

In brief: 6 weeks
Most radiation therapists and oncologists like to wait at least 6 weeks before doing a 131i scan.
This is even more so if you have had a previous scan before the surgery, since that will need to clear before repeating it.
Dr. Lester Thompson
Dr. Lester Thompson
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Dr. Alen Cohen
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: 4-6 weeks
We usually recommend a thyroid uptake scan and radioactive iodine treatment 4-6 weeks after surgery.

In brief: 4-6 weeks
We usually recommend a thyroid uptake scan and radioactive iodine treatment 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Dr. Alen Cohen
Dr. Alen Cohen
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Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
Surgery - Head & Neck
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Post op RAI
Usually this is given after surgery 4/6 weeks to allow for adequate healing.
The time also USED to allow for thyroid withdrawal which has been largely replaced by pre RAI thyrogen injections.

In brief: Post op RAI
Usually this is given after surgery 4/6 weeks to allow for adequate healing.
The time also USED to allow for thyroid withdrawal which has been largely replaced by pre RAI thyrogen injections.
Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
Dr. Brendan Stack Jr.
Thank
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