Endocrine Surgery Program (Thyroid, Parathyroid, and Adrenal)
The Mass General Endocrine Surgery Program (Thyroid, Parathyroid, and Adrenal) is a comprehensive program that provides state-of-the-art treatment for diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, including thyroid cancer.
First row, left to right: Richard Hodin, MD; Roy Phitayakorn, MD; Carrie Lubitz, MD; Randall Gaz, MD. Second row, left to right: Antonia Stephen, MD; Gregory Randolph, MD; Sareh Parangi, MD.
The Endocrine Surgery Program, part of the Center for Endocrine Tumors within the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, provides state-of-the-art treatment for diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. Our surgeons conduct a high volume of endocrine procedures and research has shown that outcomes improve when patients are treated in high-volume facilities.
Each patient's treatment plan is developed and managed by a multidisciplinary team of experts from the Center for Endocrine Tumors, as well as Mass General’s Division of Endocrinology. We bring together the expertise of endocrinologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists in the management of patients with both benign and malignant thyroid conditions.
Learn more about multidisciplinary care for:
What to Expect
Our Endocrine Surgeons
Thyroid Nodule Program
Making an Appointment
We are able to schedule new patient appointments quickly, typically within one week. Before your first appointment, please confirm with your health insurance company whether you need to obtain a referral from your primary care physician.
We provide services near your home:
102 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923
Primary surgeon: Carrie Lubitz, MD, MPH
2014 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02462
Primary surgeon: Antonia Stephen, MD
The Patient Experience
At your first appointment, you will meet with one of our surgeons, who will tailor a personalized treatment program for you. We may perform a biopsy. We then collaborate with Mass General's Endocrine Unit to analyze the results. Having access to these highly skilled specialists helps us to make fast, accurate diagnoses.
We are typically able to schedule patients for surgery very quickly. No matter what the procedure, we employ the latest technology and techniques to make small incisions and minimize visible scarring. We aim to return you to normal physical and work activity as soon as possible.
- Endocrine tumors (PDF)
- Thyroid surgery: Frequently asked questions (PDF)
- Parathyroid surgery: Frequently asked questions (PDF)
Postoperative Care Instructions
Types of Endocrine Surgery
Surgery for Thyroid Diseases
Our surgeons have extensive experience in all aspects of thyroid care, from assessment of thyroid nodules, thyroid biopsies and basic thyroid surgeries to surgeries involving hereditary, recurrent and/or aggressive forms of thyroid cancer. Among the more common procedures we perform are:
- Thyroid lobectomy: Removal of one lobe of the thyroid and the isthmus
- Total thyroidectomy: Removal of the entire thyroid gland
- Lymph node excision: Removal of nearby lymph nodes
Surgery for Parathyroid Diseases
Hyperparathyroidism is the principal parathyroid condition that requires surgery. In many patients, a simple parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid) performed using a minimally invasive technique can cure the problem of excess hormone production and its resultant hypercalcemia (elevated calcium levels in the blood). Our surgeons are also highly experienced in the evaluation and management of more complex parathyroid conditions, such as familial, recurrent or multi-gland diseases.
Surgery for Adrenal Diseases
We have seen an increase in the number of adrenal tumor diagnoses, and specialized expertise is needed in tumor imaging, evaluation and treatment. Our surgeons routinely perform laparoscopic adrenalectomy, a minimally invasive approach for the removal of an adrenal gland.
- American Association of Endocrine Surgeons: The patient education website from the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons provides accurate, unbiased information on diseases of the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, and neuroendocrine system. The information has been written and approved by national experts.
- American Thyroid Association
- American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Research and Clinical Trials
According to the journals Cancer and the Journal of the American Medical Association, the incidence of thyroid cancer of all sizes has increased in both men and women over the last few decades. Research into endocrine diseases may lead to promising therapies. All surgeons, radiologists and endocrinologists treating endocrine conditions at Mass General participate in research into the endocrine system, with collaborative studies involving surgery, medical endocrinology, radiology and pathology.
Our research focuses on innovation and outcomes, and leverages our institutional experience.
- Identifying predictors of follicular thyroid cancers (elastography) using ultrasound
- Use of enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to detect lymph node metastasis in patients with thyroid cancer
- The development of an ultrasound-guided thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA) simulator to increase the accuracy of biopsy results
- Improving FNA technology
- Development of new Thyroglobulin lab testing to learn the effects of the thyroglobulin on thyroid disease
- Developing a risk rule to predict the recurrence of thyroid cancer based on medical and family history
- Comparing methods of screening patients for surgery to correct primary aldosteronism, one of the causes of hypertension
- Assessing the effectiveness of using whole body scans on thyroid cancer patients before beginning treatment
Institutional experience with…
- When it is safe to operate on Graves' (hyperthyroidism) patients
- Use of phenoxybenzamine to treat hypertension before pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland mass) surgery
- Thyrotoxicosis (hyperthyroidism) from Amiodarone, a drug to treat heart arrhythmias
- The Hobnail variant, a new, aggressive subtype of papillary thyroid carcinoma
- Different anesthetics during surgery to stabilize patients with pheochromocytoma
- Hyperparathyroidism due to the use of lithium
Additionally, the Center for Endocrine Tumors conducts clinical trials for patients with advanced endocrine cancers. Ongoing clinical studies that may benefit patients with endocrine tumors include research into:
- The development of a prospective surgical database for all endocrine tumors
- The establishment of tissue banking protocols and database
We are also one of a select few endocrine surgery programs in the United States to host basic science research. Through one such initiative, we are studying molecules in cancer cells that may promote the spread of thyroid cancer. Our laboratory for thyroid cancer research aims to develop targeted therapies through an understanding of the molecular genetics of thyroid cancer. Our research and training is supported by a number of institutional and federal grants. We continue to present our work in national forums and recent publications.
Research and Education
The Endocrine Surgery Division is dedicated to educating trainees as well as the community. Mass General accepts one endocrine surgery fellow per year. The Endocrine Surgery Fellowship program is dedicated to developing independent, skilled surgeons with a wide range of academic interests.
Our annual Fall CME course, "Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands," is attended by surgeons and endocrinologists from around the world.
Links of Interest
Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroiditis.
Hyperthyroidism means overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream.
Underactive parathyroid glands do not produce enough parathyroid hormones. This causes low levels of calcium in the blood.
Hypothyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid is underactive (i.e., it is producing an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones).
Primary hyperparathyroidism is a metabolic disorder in which one (or more) of the parathyroid glands produces too much parathyroid hormone, which can result in the loss of bone tissue.
Thyroid tumors are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) growths.
The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.