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Endocrine Surgery


Thyroid Surgery

Located in the neck just below the larynx, the thyroid gland regulates your body's energy levels and releases hormones that regulate your metabolism. Thyroid hormones influence virtually every organ system in the body, telling organs how fast or slow they should work. We perform over 200 thyroid procedures per year. We diagnose thyroid conditions using ultrasound surveillance and ultrasound-guided biopsies.

Types of Thyroid Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery, you may need to have all or part of the thyroid removed.

  • Lobectomy - If nodules are located in only one lobe of the thyroid, your surgeon will remove that lobe alone.
  • Total Thyroidectomy – Removal of the entire gland (both lobes and the isthmus) and the lymph nodes surrounding the gland.

We also use Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring to enable us to identify, confirm, and monitor motor nerve function to help reduce the risk of nerve damage. Click here to learn more about Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring.

Recovery from Thyroid Surgery 

Thyroid surgery usually takes between 1 to 3 hours. After the procedure you may feel soreness in your throat because of the breathing tube that was inserted. You will be hospitalized for about 24 hours following the operation and will be able to return to normal day-to-day activities in a few days. You should not engage in strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or vigorous sports, for at least 10 days after the operation.

Expectations after Thyroid Surgery 

Patients may develop hypothyroidism after surgery, which requires treatment with thyroid hormone. Hypoparathyroidism is under functioning of the parathyroid glands which control your body's calcium levels. If the parathyroids are damaged during surgery, this can cause temporary or permanent shutdown, resulting in a lowered calcium level, called hypocalcemia. Permanent hypoparathyroidism is rare and occurs most often in surgeries for thyroid cancer.

The success of a thyroidectomy to remove thyroid cancer depends on the type of cancer and whether it has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body. You may need follow-up treatment with radioactive iodine to treat cancer that has metastasized or to help prevent the cancer from returning.

Click here to visit our Patient Information page to download any patient forms you may need.


Parathyroid Surgery

The parathyroid glands are four small glands in the neck that are part of the endocrine system. They produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which maintains calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. The primary disease associated with the parathyroids is overproduction of PTH, known as hyperparathyroidism.

Hyperparathyroidism involves an excessive production of PTH, regardless of the amount of calcium in the blood. Although not a cancerous condition, hyperparathyroidism is often caused by a tumor on the parathyroid gland, known as an adenoma, which enlarges the affected gland and causes it to continuously secrete PTH. Symptoms are often subtle and may include:

  • Weakness, fatigue, and depression
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and constipation
  • Impaired thinking and loss of memory
  • Bone pain, osteoporosis, fracture
  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney stones/Gallstones

Parathyroid Surgery

Although medication is available to treat hyperparathyroidism, certain levels require surgery, which has a 95 percent success rate.

Surgical removal of one or more parathyroid glands is called a parathyroidectomy. During the operation, you will be given a general anesthetic. Your doctor will make a small incision in your neck and remove the affected gland. Your particular problem will determine how many of the parathyroid glands need to be removed. Some parathyroid tissue must be left in place to help prevent hypoparathyroidism and resulting hypocalemia, which can be dangerous.


Pituitary Gland Surgery

The pituitary gland, located within the skull, connects to the hypothalamus and links brain activity with hormone production to help maintain the function of organs throughout the body. Considered the master gland of hormone production, the pituitary regulates all other glands within the body.

Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop within the gland and may affect hormone production throughout the body, as well as causing symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Vision loss
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain or loss

The cause of pituitary gland tumors is unknown, although some cases do run in families. Although usually non-cancerous, these tumors require thorough treatment to ensure proper pituitary gland function.

Surgery for pituitary gland tumors is the most common form of treatment, and involves removing the entire tumor endoscopically through the nose or the top of the skull, depending on the size and location of the tumor. Utilizing advanced surgical techniques such as endoscopy and image guidance and in cooperation with our neurosurgical team, these procedures are performed effectively with shorter recoveries, less scarring and a lower risk of complications.

 

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