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#1 June 5, 2018 10:24:19

Turquoise
Registered: 2018-06-02
Posts: 3
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Follow up visits after radioactive iodine therapy

I'm scheduled for treatment at the end of the month. I've only seen my endocrinologist twice: an initial visit following referral from a primary care doctor for exam/lab tests; and a follow-up to review test results and discuss treatment. She hasn't provided a lot of detail about follow-ups, although her office told me to schedule a visit four weeks after the treatment, which I did, and I'm sure the nuclear medicine staff will provide information after the treatment. This doctor is out of my insurance network, and the follow-up will be the last of the three visits authorized by the referral. If I have to see her regularly, I'll need to get a new referral, perhaps on an ongoing basis. I thought she said at some point that the primary care doctor could handle routine follow-ups. Since he's in-network, that would be preferable. Can someone explain exactly what the normal process is, and who can do what? I understand that I will need to be monitored frequently and indefinitely but am trying to avoid any short-term complications that might occur due to the “rules” of my insurance plan, as well as the endocrinologist's extremely busy schedule, which could make it challenging to book necessary follow-ups on short notice.

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#2 June 5, 2018 16:11:37

Kimberly
Online Facilitator
Registered: 2008-10-14
Posts: 4057
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Follow up visits after radioactive iodine therapy

Hello - I went the antithyroid meds route, so hopefully, others who have had RAI will chime in.

It can take 6-18 weeks for the RAI to do its work - and regular monitoring is needed - so you might need to get your insurance company to authorize some additional visits.

After treatment, you'll want to contact your endo’s office ASAP for new labs if you feel hypO symptoms coming on. Every patient is different, but symptoms of hypOthyroidism can include fatigue, joint pain, unexplained weight gain, constipation, dry skin, cold intolerance, and slow pulse.

It’s really critical to catch hypothyroidism early post-RAI, so hopefully, the insurance company can cut you some slack. In a pinch, your primary care provider could fill in, but it's good to have the additional expertise.


Kimberly
GDATF Forum Facilitator

…through nature's inflexible grace, I'm learning to live…
– Dream Theater

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