Surgical Endocrinology Care
University of Chicago specialists in surgical endocrinology are internationally recognized for their expertise in the treatment of complicated endocrine disorders -- including diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands. Our endocrine surgeons are particularly knowledgeable in the management of thyroid cancer, goiter, hyperparathyroidism, gastrinomas, insulinomas, glucagonomas, carcinoid tumors, and adrenal tumors. Our expert team offers evaluation for genetic risk of endocrine tumors and the full range of treatment options for endocrine cancers.
We perform more than 200 parathyroid operations a year -- including surgeries to correct primary hyperparathyroidism, parathyroid cancers, and secondary and tertiary hyperparathyroidism for patients who are usually on kidney dialysis. Our surgeons have a 98 to 99 percent cure rate in primary hyperparathyroidism.
Our endocrine surgeons use advanced techniques to locate tumors before surgery and, when appropriate, use minimally invasive approaches that can be performed through small incisions, reducing scarring and pain. Here, our specialists use intra-operative parathyroid hormone monitoring to help ensure that surgery was successful. They also have available the intraoperative gamma probe to help identify abnormal parathyroid glands in select cases.
The endocrine surgeons work with University of Chicago radiologists, endocrinologists, and pathologists to perform pre-operative diagnosis and testing. We use fine needle aspiration of thyroid nodules and laboratory testing to determine which thyroid nodules require surgery. Our multidisciplinary approach to care means that patients receive coordinated care in conjunction with our nationally ranked cancer program, including radioiodine therapy, as well as chemotherapy and radiation for rare and aggressive thyroid cancers.
The University of Chicago Medicine also offers genetic counseling for patients with a potential familial risk of developing thyroid cancers.
University of Chicago endocrine surgeons are experts in surgery for adrenal tumors, such as:
- Cortisol-secreting tumors
- Non-functional tumors incidentally found on CT scans or other x-ray studies
Our surgeons have extensive experience in minimally invasive adrenalectomy -- which uses small incisions to remove the adrenal glands. This laparoscopic surgical approach causes less scarring and pain, and speeds recovery.
We are experts in rare but significant tumors of the pancreas, including the following:
- Insulinomas which cause low blood sugar
- Gastrinomas which cause severe stomach ulcers
- Glucagonomas which cause high blood sugar and skin rash
- VIPomas which cause diarrhea