Deborah Norville Says Thyroid Surgery Was 'Very Scary for Me'

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Deborah Norville has returned to Inside Edition after undergoing surgery to remove most of her thyroid following a cancer scare. 

The procedure, though routine, was not without risk.

“The area where the thyroid is located is also where the nerves that control your voice box are located and it was very, very, scary for me and let's face it, I talk for a living,” she told Inside Edition. “The challenge was to remove the right lobe of my thyroid without damaging the all-important nerves that power my vocal cords.”

Her surgeon, Dr. William Kuhel of Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, is the best in the business, and he took no chances.

“Deborah understood the nerves were at risk and it was possible that they could be injured,” he said before the operation. 

The surgery, which is usually a three-hour procedure, stretched to over four hours.

He said he “wasn’t in any hurry” with her operation, which is why it took as long as it did. 

But the long wait made her husband, Karl Wellner, nervous.

“By four hours and 20 minutes all kinds of things start playing out in my mind,” Karl said. “All kinds of crazy thoughts like, ‘What happened?’ ‘They found something else,’ and I started to think about funeral arrangements.” 

Another concern was would she be left with a scar?

“When you talk on TV, you want people to look at your face and focus on what you are saying, you don’t want them to zoom in on this thing right here,” she said. 

To minimize scarring, the doctor placed the stitches under her skin. In a few months, the two-inch incision will be barely noticeable. 

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