News | Published March 9, 2012

Bellefonte woman expresses gratitude after thyroid surgery

Monica Musser of Bellefonte was a little nervous about the surgery she needed to remove a large nodule on her thyroid. The nodule had been detected during a preventative screening provided by her employer. After the screening, she followed up with her primary care doctor, who ran an ultrasound and biopsy and then referred her to James Freije, MD, an otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) doctor with Mount Nittany Physician Group.

"The ultrasound and other tests could not determine whether the nodule was cancerous or not," said Musser. "Dr. Freije was very thorough in explaining all the options to me about what could be done, from surgery to doing nothing and just waiting and watching. I was glad I went ahead with the surgery, which was really not that bad. I know I would have worried about this nodule constantly if I hadn't had the surgery," she concluded.

"Thyroid nodules are very common and often diagnosed by an ultrasound of the neck. In most cases, a needle biopsy (fine needle aspirate) is performed to help determine whether the nodule is benign or possibly represents thyroid cancer," said Dr. Freije. "Observation alone is frequently done for nodules that are stable in size and that have a benign appearance on fine needle biopsy. Surgical removal is indicated if there is any suspicion of cancer or if a definitive determination of the nature of a nodule is desired."

Monica spent only one night at Mount Nittany Medical Center. She went in at 9:30 am one morning and was discharged at 9:00 am the next day. "The nurses and medical staff were so accommodating that I even wrote them a thank you note to recognize their excellent care! They made me feel very comfortable under the circumstances," said Musser. She also noted that Dr. Freije provided very clear expectations regarding the surgery and that he came to visit her after the surgery. Monica is now back to her normal routine, thanks to the outstanding care she received at Mount Nittany.