Expertise in Thyroid Surgery
Our entire thyroid team of surgeons, nurses and operating room techs have dedicated their careers to caring for patients with thyroid disease and thyroid cancer.
Personalized Thyroid Surgery Care
Thyroid nodules, goiters and cancers are extremely variable. The thyroid surgeons at the Hospital for Endocrine surgery have multiple treatment options available and thus each thyroid patient receives a customized and personal care plan. We offer both traditional thyroid surgery, and scarless, robotic thyroid surgery. This assures that our patients have the opportunity to receive the correct amount of surgery for their situation. An expert analysis of the thyroid and neck lymph nodes allows our highly experienced thyroid surgeons to consult with you about your best options for treatment.
What are Thyroid Nodules?
Thyroid nodules are lumps or growths within the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are fairly common, occurring in more than half of people by the time they are 50 years of age. Thyroid nodules are more common in women, and increase in prevalence with age. By the time a woman is 25 years of age, she has a 15% chance of having a thyroid nodule over 1cm. By the time she is 50 years of age, she has a greater than 60% chance of having a significant thyroid tumor that needs examined and/or biopsied. The rates for thyroid nodules in men are about 5-10% lower than women.
Five Types of Thyroid Cancer
There are five types of thyroid cancer and all have surgery as the primary means of treatment. Most thyroid cancers are very curable if the surgeon performs an adequate operation, making sure to remove the appropriate amount of the thyroid gland and any potentially cancerous lymph nodes. Papillary thyroid cancer, Follicular thyroid cancer, and Hurthle Cell thyroid cancers are each curable in most patients. Numerous scientific publications have shown that surgeons who perform thyroid surgery weekly, or even daily, have much higher cure rates for thyroid cancer.
Two types thyroid cancers are more dangerous and require a very high degree of expertise. This includes Medullary thyroid cancer, and Anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Ultrasound for Nodules and Cancers
At the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery, we have ultrasound techs who perform thyroid ultrasound exclusively. Our head technician was recruited from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where she lead their thyroid cancer ultrasound program. During your thyroid ultrasound, we "map" your thyroid and neck lymph nodes allowing our thyroid surgeons a very detailed look at your nodule and any potential for thyroid cancer in the thyroid or lymph nodes.
Any thyroid nodule that is suspicious for thyroid cancer will receive a needle biopsy of the nodule (or nodules). This is done within the ultrasound suite with just a little bit of local anesthesia. We have pathologists who have specialized fellowship training in endocrine pathology. We typically return a thyroid biopsy result in under one hour--this is dramatically different than the typical 1-2 week turn around time at most hospitals and centers.
Robotic and Scarless Thyroid Surgery
Removing a thyroid nodule or cancer without making a neck scar is a relatively new technique. By placing small incisions under the arms, the surgeon can remove thyroid glands, goiters, and many thyroid cancers without a neck scar of any kind. This very advanced operation is only offered at a few hospitals in the US and we are one of the highest volume centers in the U.S. We have a full page on Robotic Scarless Thyroid Surgery.