complications and contraindications

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The major complication is hypothyroidism and is seen in up to 80% of patients within 20 years of first receiving radioactive iodine.

Short term effects are minor but may include a transient soreness of the neck or a thyrotoxic crisis in the elderly.

Radioactive iodine is contraindicated in pregnancy since it will ablate the fetal thyroid with consequent cretinism and mental retardation. The patient must not be pregnant at the time of treatment and must not become so within the following 4 months.

The long term effects are outlined in the menu item.

Last reviewed 01/2018