photo

Endocrine Surgery Program (Thyroid, Parathyroid and Adrenal)

The Massachusetts General Hospital Endocrine Surgery Program provides comprehensive, expert treatment for diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands, including thyroid cancer.

The Endocrine Surgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital provides specialized treatment for diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. Our program is one of the largest in the nation, with seven specialists who perform a high volume of endocrine procedures. This specialization requires highly focused training in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine diseases.

Collaborative Approach to Patient Care

Each patient's treatment plan is developed and managed by a multidisciplinary team of experts, including specialists from the Center for Endocrine Tumors in the Mass General Cancer Center, as well as Mass General’s Endocrine Unit.

We bring together the expertise of endocrinologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists and pathologists in the management of patients with both benign and malignant thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal conditions. Each patient’s condition is seen from all perspectives, providing a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan.

Conditions We Treat

Our surgeons have extensive experience in all aspects of endocrine care, including assessing thyroid nodules, and performing thyroid biopsies and thyroid surgeries. We are also highly skilled in the evaluation and management of more complex thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal conditions, such as familial, recurrent or multi-gland diseases.

We perform high volumes of surgical procedures for a variety of conditions:

Thyroid Disorders

  • Thyroid nodules, cysts and goiters
  • Thyroid cancers (including papillary, follicular, poorly differentiated, medullary, anaplastic, metastatic, recurrent and advanced thyroid cancers)
  • Hyperthyroidism (over-activity of the thyroid gland, resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream, including Graves’ disease and toxic nodules)
  • Thyroglossal duct cysts (congenital cysts that occur in the track of the thyroid during fetal development, often presenting during childhood but can also occur in adults)

Parathyroid Disorders

  • Parathyroid tumors (growths of the parathyroid gland(s) that are usually benign)
  • Hyperparathyroidism (over-activity of the parathyroid gland(s), resulting in elevated calcium levels in the blood)

Adrenal Disorders 

  • Nonfunctional adrenal tumors (tumors that do not produce hormones and are usually benign)
  • Functional adrenal tumors and nodules (tumors that do produce hormones and are sometimes benign, including Cushing’s disease, primary hyperaldosteronism, pheochromocytoma and sex hormone secreting tumors)

Our Procedures

Our surgeons perform a range of endocrine procedures, including:

  • Thyroid ultrasound and fine needle aspiration (including sending the cells for analysis by cytology and specialized molecular/gene expression profiling where indicated)
  • 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)
  • Parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid, including four-gland explorations and minimally invasive parathyroidectomy)
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (a minimally invasive approach for the removal of an adrenal gland)
  • Sistrunk procedure (removal of thyroglossal duct cysts)
  • Treatment of recurrent and advanced thyroid cancers
  • Intraoperative nerve monitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerves
  • Ethyl alcohol (ETOH) ablation (under ultrasound guidance, ETOH is injected into benign thyroid nodules and lymph nodes with small amounts of thyroid cancer cells, as an alternative therapy to surgery in appropriate cases)

Seamless Access for Patients and Referring Physicians

We pair patients and their referring physician with an experienced care coordinator who helps assess patient needs and coordinates all necessary appointments and tests. Our goal is to schedule patient appointments within one to two weeks, depending on each patient’s situation. In order to expedite the scheduling process, we encourage patients to confirm coverage options with their health insurance company and/or obtain a referral from their primary care physician prior to their first visit. Patients may request an appointment online, and physicians may refer a patient online, or call 617-643-7359 to speak with our care coordinator.

Patient Experience

At your first appointment, you will meet with one of our experienced surgeons who will create a personalized treatment plan for you and will continue to lead your care. As part of your assessment, we will review your medical history, symptoms, and any imaging and laboratory results. We may also perform an ultrasound and/or ultrasound-guided biopsy. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, your surgeon will coordinate your care plan with the other members of your endocrine surgery care team.

If you require surgery, your procedure may be scheduled at one of several locations, including Mass General in Boston, Newton-Wellesley Hospital or Mass General North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers. We are typically able to schedule patients for surgery very quickly. For all procedures, we employ the latest technology and techniques.

Innovative Research

The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing, making research in this area and other endocrine disorders vital. We invest in research through our basic science laboratories, health services research programs, tissue bank, clinical endocrine database and ongoing clinical trials, encouraging collaborative research studies among surgeons, pathologists, oncologists and endocrinologists at Mass General. Our research focuses on innovation and outcomes, and leverages our institutional experience.

Investing in Future Leaders

We are committed to educating up-and-coming clinicians specializing in endocrine surgery. Our Endocrine Surgery Fellowship is dedicated to developing independent, skilled surgeons with a wide range of academic interests.

Our annual continuing medical education (CME) course, Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands, has been attended by surgeons and endocrinologists from around the world for nearly two decades. Learn more

Adrenal Tumors / Pheochromocytoma

Tumors of the adrenal glands can cause many problems by excess secretion of certain adrenal-produced hormones, most often resulting in high blood pressure, which can be extreme.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism means overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid is underactive (i.e., it is producing an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones).

Parathyroid Tumor

A parathyroid tumor is a growth inside a parathyroid gland. Parathyroid tumors may cause increased levels of parathyroid hormones secreted by the parathyroid glands, leading to hyperparathyroidism.

Primary Hyperparathyroidism

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

Thyroid tumors are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) growths.

Thyroid surgery frequently asked questions (PDF)

Information for patients and families about the thyroid gland and thyroid surgery.

Thyroid Nodule Program frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions on thyroid nodules and goiters, including causes, diagnosis and treatment options.

Parathyroid surgery frequently asked questions (PDF)

Information for patients and families about the parathyroid gland and parathyroid surgery.

Adrenalectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing an adrenalectomy (removal of an adrenal gland).

Parathyroidectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing a parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid).

Partial thyroidectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing a partial thyroidectomy (removal of the part of the thyroid).

Total thyroidectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing total thyroidectomy (complete removal of thyroid).

American Association of Endocrine Surgeons

A patient education website with information on diseases of the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and neuroendocrine system.

Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program

Information, facts and statistics on thyroid cancer from the National Cancer Institute.

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.

Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands

The Department of Otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital present “Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands.” This CME reviews surgical techniques, molecular genetic analysis, and advances in treatment for diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Thyroid surgery frequently asked questions (PDF)

Information for patients and families about the thyroid gland and thyroid surgery.

Thyroid Nodule Program frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions on thyroid nodules and goiters, including causes, diagnosis and treatment options.

Parathyroid surgery frequently asked questions (PDF)

Information for patients and families about the parathyroid gland and parathyroid surgery.

Adrenalectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing an adrenalectomy (removal of an adrenal gland).

Parathyroidectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing a parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid).

Partial thyroidectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing a partial thyroidectomy (removal of the part of the thyroid).

Total thyroidectomy postoperative care instructions (PDF)

Postoperative discharge instructions for patients undergoing total thyroidectomy (complete removal of thyroid).

American Association of Endocrine Surgeons

A patient education website with information on diseases of the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and neuroendocrine system.

Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program

Information, facts and statistics on thyroid cancer from the National Cancer Institute.

Endocrine Surgery Program

Massachusetts General Hospital
15 Parkman Street, WACC 4
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-643-7359
Email: MGHendocrinesurgery@partners.org

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

We also see patients in the following locations:

Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
102 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923

Newton-Wellesley Hospital
2014 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02462