Endocrine Surgery

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U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology care

Nationally Ranked in Endocrinology

UT Southwestern Medical Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's top 15 hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology care.

Endocrine surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center provide expert surgical care for disorders of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, and neuroendocrine system.

UT Southwestern is a recognized leader in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions related to the endocrine system. For patients who require surgery, our skilled team offers care that is second to none in North Texas and among the best in the world for endocrine disorders.

The Division of Endocrine Surgery at UT Southwestern is home to seven of the 10 fellowship-trained endocrine surgeons in all of North Texas. It is one of the largest groups of endocrine surgeons in the country and includes internationally recognized leaders in their fields.

Our surgeons take a multidisciplinary approach to care, collaborating closely with specialists in endocrinology, mineral metabolism, radiology, and pathology to establish a plan of care for each patient.

Conditions We Treat with Endocrine Surgery

We offer expert care for the range of conditions that affect the integral parts of the body’s endocrine system: the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands, as well as the complex mechanisms that regulate those parts through the neuroendocrine system.

We use the latest techniques and technology available to treat diseases such as:

Adrenal conditions

  • Adrenal cancer
  • Adrenal incidentaloma
  • Adrenal adenoma
  • Cushing's syndrome and Cushing’s disease
  • Hyperaldosteronism/aldosteronoma/Conn’s syndrome
  • Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma
  • Metastatic disease to the adrenal gland

Neuroendocrine conditions

  • Benign and malignant tumors of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes
  • Insulinoma
  • Gastrinoma
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Somatostatinoma
  • VIPoma

Parathyroid conditions

  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Tertiary hyperparathyroidism
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Parathyroid cancer
  • Reoperative parathyroid surgery

Thyroid conditions

  • Thyroid nodules
  • Graves’ disease
  • Goiter/multinodular goiter
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Thyroiditis
  • Thyroid cancer, including lymphoma and papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer

Endocrine Surgeries We Offer

UT Southwestern’s endocrine surgeons offer the most advanced treatments for endocrine conditions, leveraging specialized expertise in groundbreaking treatments for complex thyroid and parathyroid cancers, including metastatic diseases.

Our surgeons have a comprehensive range of treatments at their disposal, which enables them to use the most effective technique for each patient. These techniques include:

  • Conventional surgical approaches
  • Laparoscopic techniques, such as adrenalectomy
  • Minimally invasive endocrine surgery, such as directed parathyroidectomy
  • Robotic surgery

Our team of experienced endocrine surgeons performs procedures that include:

Adrenal surgery

  • Cortical-sparing adrenalectomy: A procedure that removes adrenal nodules, tumors, or cancer but does not remove the cortex, the part of the adrenal gland that makes the hormone cortisol. This prevents adrenal insufficiency, which can occur in patients without a cortex.
  • Laparoscopic/robotic adrenalectomy: Removal of an adrenal gland with nodules, tumors, or cancer. This minimally invasive surgery helps reduce postoperative pain and scarring.
  • Open adrenalectomy: A traditional surgical technique that is used for patients with larger adrenal tumors. Open adrenalectomy usually requires a longer hospital stay and recovery period.

Parathyroid surgery

  • Bilateral neck exploration: A procedure in which the surgeon examines both sides of the neck to look at all four parathyroid glands, often using minimally invasive techniques. By examining the size, color, and texture of the parathyroid glands, the surgeon can identify and remove the diseased gland(s).
  • Focused (directed) parathyroidectomy: Removal of one or more parathyroid glands. In this technique, the surgeon has successfully identified the diseased gland(s) using localizing tests, such as an ultrasound or sestamibi scan, of the neck. Whenever possible, our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques for parathyroidectomies.

Thyroid surgery

  • Thyroid lobectomy (or hemithyroidectomy): Removal of half the thyroid. Surgeons perform lobectomies for several thyroid diseases, including substernal goiters and thyroid nodules that are growing. A lobectomy can also be a diagnostic tool for patients with indeterminate lesions, which can be a sign of cancer or of benign thyroid disease.
  • Total thyroidectomy: Removal of the entire thyroid. Whenever possible, our surgeons use minimally invasive surgical options for thyroidectomy, which results in a much smaller scar. After a total thyroidectomy, patients must take daily thyroid replacement pills.

What to Expect with Endocrine Surgery

Before surgery

Before surgery, the patient will have a separate appointment that will include the following:

  • A physical examination, including complete medical history
  • Bloodwork and tests, including diagnostic imaging and biopsy if needed
  • An overview of what to expect on the day of surgery, plus instructions for the patient and family members

During surgery

On the day of surgery, UT Southwestern staff will admit the patient and take him or her to the preoperative area. The nursing staff will help the patient get ready for surgery. The patient will meet with members of the surgical team and the anesthesiologist before being taken into the operating room. The patient’s guests will be taken to the waiting area.

The duration of the operation will depend upon the type of surgery and the severity of the patient’s condition.

After surgery

After surgery, the patient will have a chance to rest in a recovery room, and the surgeon will explain the outcome of the surgery. During this time, nurses on the recovery team will closely monitor the patient.

The length of time the patient stays at the hospital will depend on the type and location of the surgery. Before the patient goes home, our team will provide detailed instructions on postoperative care and schedule any necessary follow-up appointments, as well as answer any questions.