Endocrine Surgery at Memorial Hospital of Tampa

Memorial Hospital of Tampa is home to some of the world’s leading experts in thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal gland function and disease. Our multidisciplinary team consists of board-certified radiologists, endocrinologists and surgeons who are experts in their field specializing in the evaluation and surgical treatment of thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal disorders.

Memorial Hospital’s Endocrine Surgery Services program is dedicated solely to parathyroid, thyroid, and adrenal patients. As a result, our staff is highly experienced in all facets of diagnostic testing and treatment. Our surgeons are world leaders in their field and perform innovative, minimally invasive procedures thousands of times each year to treat thyroid cancer, parathyroid, and adrenal disorders. Patients from all areas of the United States come to our hospital to receive the care they need from experienced physicians who can properly diagnose and treat their conditions.

Endocrine conditions we treat:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Adrenal function and cancer
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Adrenal pheochromocytoma
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer
  • Calcium/bone disorders
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Graves’ disease
  • Gynecomastia
  • Hirsutism
  • Hormonal infertility
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lipid disorders
  • Metabolic/weight issues
  • Neuro-endocrine tumors
  • Pituitary function and cancer
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Testosterone and ovary disorders
  • Thyroid function and cancer
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Type I diabetes
  • Type II diabetes

Endocrine Surgeries We Perform

Adrenal surgery

Adrenal gland tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). The most common adrenal problems are the development of benign, non-cancerous tumors inside the adrenal gland which may be overproducing adrenal hormones (“functional” adrenal tumors). Adrenal tumors can cause different symptoms and may be removed surgically through a laparoscopic adrenalectomy and in some cases, an open adrenalectomy.

The specific adrenal procedure used will be determined by the size of the adrenal tumor, what hormone the adrenal is overproducing, and whether or not cancer is suspected. Almost all adrenal tumors can now be removed using minimally invasive techniques. Large tumors and tumors that are suspected to be malignant, especially if they are invading surrounding structures such as the kidney, liver, spleen, pancreas, bowel, or major vessels, often require open standard adrenalectomy.

Our highly-skilled and experienced surgeons consider a number of factors when determining which adrenal operation is best for each patient as an individual. They take into consideration the size of the tumor, type of adrenal tumor, appearance of the tumor on an imaging study, and the patient’s history of previous surgeries. Based upon their findings, the surgeons will select the specific surgery for each patient.

Parathyroid surgery

Surgery is the treatment for parathyroid disease, or hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism occurs when one (or more) of the parathyroid glands located in the neck develops a tumor which makes too much parathyroid hormone (PTH), causing an abnormal increase in blood calcium levels along with other symptoms such as chronic fatigue, moodiness, and osteoporosis.

At Memorial Hospital, utilizing the latest advances in technology, our world-class surgeons perform minimally invasive radioguided parathyroid (MIRP) surgery (mini-parathyroid surgery). Compared to the traditional, open surgical parathyroid procedure, the minimally invasive surgery offers the following advantages:

  • Better outcomes and cure rate - MIRP surgery has the highest cure rate of all parathyroid operations, using only minimal anesthesia
  • Greater accuracy - Intraoperative nuclear imaging and mapping allow the physician to visualize exactly which parathyroid glands are normal and which ones have a tumor or are enlarged before starting surgery. Using the traditional, open surgical method surgeons had to remove parathyroid glands based upon what they saw after opening the neck, sometimes leading to errors.
  • Faster - the MIRP surgical procedure takes less than 20 minutes, and patients can be home in approximately 1-2 hours following surgery. A traditional parathyroid surgical patients usually remains in the hospital for several days. Patients return to normal activities almost always by the next day.
  • Safer - The incision in the neck is approximately 1-inch, which greatly reduces the chances of damaging the other parathyroid glands. After traditional parathyroid surgery, the healthy parathyroid glands may temporarily stop functioning if disturbed during the procedure.

Thyroid surgery

The most common reason a person may require part or all of his or her thyroid removed is due to a worrisome mass or nodule. Many times, these have been biopsied through fine needle aspiration (FNA) and the nodule has been found to be abnormal. It may have been found to be a cancer, a nodule highly suspicious for cancer or inconclusive and in need of further testing. In these instances, surgery is usually the next step. In some instances, a person may need his or her thyroid removed due to its extreme size, bothersome symptoms caused by size or over-functioning or as a treatment for difficult-to-control hyperthyroidism.

There are three basic types of thyroid surgery:

  • Thyroid Lobectomy: removal of one-half of the thyroid gland.
  • Sub-total thyroidectomy: removal of almost the entire thyroid, where only a small amount of the thyroid gland is left behind.
  • Total thyroidectomy: removal of the entire thyroid gland.

Most thyroid surgery is traditionally accomplished through a small incision on the lower neck. However, new scarless thyroid surgery techniques are available which can be performed two different ways: robotic and transoral. The goal of scarless thyroid surgery is to provide the highest cosmetic satisfaction and confidentiality benefits for our patients, combined with high-standard results.

  • Robotic Scarless Thyroid Surgery: For most patients, this is the best option and involves the surgeon entering through the arm pit, using a robotic arm. There is no visible scar on the neck, but rather hidden or hard to see in the arm-pit area.
  • Trans-Oral Thyroid Surgery: This option is suitable for patients with smaller thyroid nodules and involves an incision placed on the inside of the lip and scopes are used.
  • Traditional Options: For patients who are not good candidates for robotic scarless thyroid surgery, we continue to provide exceptional care with traditional thyroid surgery.