Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
When thyroid or parathyroid surgery is recommended, the specialized surgeons at Franciscan Health have a variety of minimally invasive options to promote healing, reduce pain and improve outcomes.
Minimally Invasive Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
The thyroid and parathyroid glands are part of the body's endocrine system. The thyroid helps regulate metabolism, while the parathyroid - which are located behind the thyroid gland in the neck - helps your body control calcium levels in the blood.
Your doctor may recommend surgery due to:
- Small growths, such as nodules or cysts
- Thyroid or parathyroid cancer
- Noncancerous tumors that are causing problems
- Swelling or goiters that makes it hard for you to breathe or swallow
- Hyperparathyroidism - Parathyroids are producing too much parathyroid hormone
Nerve Integrity Monitoring for the safest thyroid and parathyroid surgery
Minimally invasive surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands is a relatively safe procedure in the hands of a skilled surgeon. At Franciscan Health, our surgeons use real-time Nerve Integrity Monitoring during thyroid and parathyroid operations to help reduce the risk of damaging nearby nerves. A complement to the surgery, Nerve Integrity Monitoring gives your surgeon a unique set of tools to identify hard to locate nerves, trace and confirm the nerve path and monitor nerve function in real-time to help preserve nerve function and improve patient safety.
Types of thyroid and parathyroid surgery
The specific type of surgery depends on where the diseased glands are.
Types of surgery include:
- Minimally invasive: You may receive a shot of a very small amount of radioactive tracer before this surgery. This helps highlight the diseased glands. If you have this shot, your surgeon will use a special probe, like a Geiger counter, to locate the gland. Your surgeon will make a small cut (one to two inches) on one side of your neck, and then remove the diseased gland through it. This procedure takes about one hour.
- Video-assisted: Your surgeon will will begin with two small incisions in the neck. One is for instruments, and the other is for a camera. Your surgeon will use the camera to view the area and will remove the diseased glands with the instruments.
- Endoscopic: Your surgeon will make two or three small cuts in the front of the neck and one cut above the top of the collarbone. This reduces visible scarring, pain and recovery time. This cut is less than two inches long.