The endocrine system consists of glands that make hormones in the human body. Some of these glands are no larger than a grain of rice, but they have a huge impact on everything from mood, growth and development, to reproduction. Many patients ask, “what is minimally invasive endocrine surgery?” so we’ve created this resource to help explain a few of the common procedures.
Minimally invasive endocrine surgery is any procedure treating endocrine diseases affecting the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal systems of the body.
With our minimally invasive endocrine surgery techniques, many patients experience reduced recovery time and scarring, allowing them to return to normal activities and daily life as quickly as possible.
Minimally invasive endocrine surgery has been shown to treat conditions such as:
- Adrenal cancer
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Grave’s disease
- Parathyroid carcinoma
- Thyroid cancer
These conditions can cause a host of uncomfortable, debilitating, and sometimes dangerous symptoms, from weight gain, menstrual irregularities, and sweating, to high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
The type of surgery to correct these illnesses depends on your condition and the part of the endocrine system affected. However, our minimally invasive techniques reduce pain and scarring and lessen the risk of excessive blood loss and infection.
Types of Minimally Invasive Endocrine Surgeries
Minimally Invasive Adrenal Surgery
There are two small adrenal glands that sit just above your kidneys. These organs produce hormones to regulate your blood pressure, blood sugar, immune system, metabolism and other essential functions.
Disorders of the adrenal gland cause this organ to produce too much or too little hormone. These malfunctions can be caused by infections, autoimmune disorders, tumors, or other types of problems affecting this delicate organ.
Adrenal cancer occurs when abnormal cells cause the formation of tumors in the adrenal gland. These tumors can cause problems such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, depression or other symptoms that are debilitating and potentially dangerous.
Patients suffering from adrenal tumors undergo minimally invasive adrenal surgery called partial adrenalectomy to remove the tumor from the adrenal gland. Or, you may require adrenalectomy, which is the removal of the entire adrenal gland.
While the procedure we recommend depends upon the size and type of tumor or the condition affecting the adrenal gland, in each process, we use minimally invasive laparoscopy to perform the surgery, with very positive results for our patients.
Mini-Incision Parathyroid Surgery
Within the endocrine system of the body, there are four tiny parathyroid glands that rest in the neck behind the thyroid. The job of these organs is to regulate your body’s calcium in the blood, bones, and throughout the body. It’s an important job; the proper amount of calcium is critical to organ functioning in the body. If one or more of the parathyroid glands develops cancer or otherwise malfunctions, you can develop parathyroid disease.
The complications from parathyroid disease can include osteoporosis, kidney stones, heart disease, or other symptoms that are nonspecific and may not seem related to parathyroid function. To correct these conditions, your doctor may recommend parathyroid surgery.
In mini-incision parathyroid surgery, Chetan J. Patel, M.D., a board-certified general surgeon and fellowship-trained in advanced gastrointestinal, minimally invasive, and bariatric surgery, removes one or several parathyroid glands through a small neck incision. This technique makes healing faster with minimal scarring.
Mini-Incision Thyroid Surgery
The thyroid is also part of the body’s endocrine system. Despite the similarities in the name, the thyroid has a different function from the parathyroid, but it is just as critical to healthy body function.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck just below your Adam’s apple. These two lobes on either side of your trachea (windpipe) produce the hormones regulating your metabolic function. A properly functioning thyroid helps regulate most systems in the body, including the heart, digestion, muscle and bone, and brain.
When the thyroid malfunctions, you can experience hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and these disorders can contribute to a host of problems such as heart disease, infertility, joint pain, and obesity.
When something goes wrong with the thyroid gland, it can affect many of the systems in the body, and ultimately, the quality of your life and health.
When necessary to restore health, doctors can remove all or part of this gland in a thyroid lobectomy (removal of one lobe) or a full thyroidectomy (removal of the entire thyroid gland). Minimally invasive thyroid surgery removes one half or the entire thyroid gland through a small neck incision.
What to Expect After Minimally Invasive Endocrine Surgery?
Experienced surgeons can leverage tiny scopes and other instruments, including state-of-the-art robotics, to ensure your endocrine surgery is minimally invasive. Using these innovative techniques lessens surgical recovery time substantially from the more invasive traditional surgeries.
Traditional surgeries of the endocrine system can leave sometimes prominent scarring and increase the risk of health complications. Today, specialized surgeons with the best training, like Dr. Patel at Nona Minimally Invasive Surgery, can effectively use minimally invasive techniques to improve patient health and get them back on track as quickly and safely as possible.