Name: Sonia Brown From: Kent
17 years ago, Sonia was doing some research into oesophageal cancer, as her father-in-law at the time
had been diagnosed with the condition. It was during a telephone conversation about this condition that
she was told one of the most common symptoms of oesophageal cancer is a lump in the neck. When
Sonia discovered a lump in her own neck, she immediately made an appointment with her GP, who
referred her to have further tests privately. She had a nuclear X-ray and an aspiration, which told her that
she had a benign goitre.
In November/December 2012, Sonia had a series of chest infections, which she went to the GP about and
was prescribed antibiotics. Despite this, it still wouldn’t clear, and she was left with a very bad cough. Her
GP then sent her for an X-ray, which is when she discovered that the goitre she had been diagnosed with
10 years ago had been growing internally onto her thyroid.
It was only when she found out that the goitre had been growing internally
that she realised this was also the cause of another condition she suffered
from – heavy breathing whilst sleeping – as the goitre was weighing down
on her breathing passage. Her breathing was so heavy and loud that it
would keep her husband awake at night. Previously, she had just attributed
the heavy breathing to being slightly overweight.
After discovering that the goitre had been growing internally, Sonia was
originally referred to a Consultant in Canterbury, where she had a CT
scan and further X-rays. Looking at the results, the Consultant concluded
that there was a chance that Sonia may have to have a special surgical
procedure that would involve going through her breast bone to remove
the goitre. Given this possibility, he recommended that he pass her case
to Mr Simo at London Bridge Hospital, as he felt that his expertise would
provide the best way forward for Sonia’s case.
When Sonia saw Mr Simo at London Bridge Hospital, she had around nine
biopsies, and was told on the same day that all the samples were benign.
Sonia underwent her thyroidectomy, where Mr Simo successfully removed
the whole goitre without having to go through Sonia’s breastbone. Sonia
had 14-15 staples to close the incision, which has healed perfectly.
Post-operation, the goitre was tested again to see if it was cancerous.
There was less than 1cm of cancer detected in the centre, and as the
whole goitre had been removed, this meant that Sonia didn’t require
any further treatment.
Since having the operation, both Sonia and her husband have enjoyed
much more peaceful sleep, undisturbed by any heavy breathing.
A new Integrated Multidisciplinary
Thyroid Centre has been established
at London Bridge Hospital, and is the
product of a collaboration between the
Thyroid Multidisciplinary Team of the
South East London Head and Neck
Cancer Network, and the newly-formed
London Cancer Alliance.
The Integrated Multidisciplinary Thyroid
Centre offers a comprehensive service
for all types of thyroid disorders,
including under-active and over-active
thyroid, thyroiditis, thyroid nodules,
thyroid goitres and thyroid cancer. Our
expert team of clinicians has extensive
experience in the management of all
aspects of thyroid disease, and can
offer effective diagnostic services and
treatments for every thyroid condition –
from abnormalities of thyroid hormone
production, through to highly-complex
The Centre is equipped with advanced
technology to diagnose and treat
thyroid disorders. These include facilities
for blood testing, high-resolution
ultrasounds, guided Fine Needle
Aspiration Cytology (FNAC), nuclear
medicine thyroid scans, computerised
tomography and magnetic resonance
imaging. All necessary investigations
can be done on site, in a short period
London Bridge Hospital
For more information on the Integrated Multidisciplinary Thyroid Centre,
please contact the GP Liaison Team on:
T: 020 7234 2009
Integrated Multidisciplinary Thyroid Centre
Integrated Thyroid Centre
Mr Ricard Simo
Mr Simo is a Consultant
Otorhinolaryngologist and Head,
Neck andThyroid Surgeon, with
a dedicated practice for head and
neck oncological surgery, thyroid,
parathyroid and salivary gland
His areas of expertise lie in head
and neck oncological surgery,
thyroid, parathyroid and salivary
gland surgery. He also has an
interest in complex and revision
head and neck surgery.