Explore This Program

About the Program

The Massachusetts General Hospital Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery’s Endocrine Surgery Program 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.

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.

When appropriate, our endocrine surgeons may also conduct virtual visit so patients may connect from home. For more information on the Mass General Telehealth offerings, please see the Mass General Telehealth website or speak to our care coordinator at 617-643-7359.

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.

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
  • Hyperthyroidism (over-activity of the thyroid gland, resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream, including Graves’ disease and toxic nodules)
  • Thyroid cancers (including papillary, follicular, poorly differentiated, medullary, anaplastic, metastatic, recurrent and advanced thyroid cancers)
  • 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
  • Adrenal Disorders
  • 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)
  • Hyperparathyroidism (over-activity of the parathyroid gland(s), resulting in elevated calcium levels in the blood)
  • Nonfunctional adrenal tumors (tumors that do not produce hormones and are usually benign)
  • Parathyroid tumors (growths of the parathyroid gland(s) that are usually benign)

Our Procedures

Our surgeons perform a range of endocrine procedures, including:

  • 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)
  • Intraoperative nerve monitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerves
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (a minimally invasive approach for the removal of an adrenal gland)
  • Lymph node excision (removal of nearby lymph nodes)
  • Parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid, including four-gland explorations and minimally invasive parathyroidectomy)
  • Sistrunk procedure (removal of thyroglossal duct cysts)
  • Thyroid lobectomy (removal of one lobe of the thyroid and the isthmus)
  • Thyroid ultrasound and fine needle aspiration (including sending the cells for analysis by cytology and specialized molecular/gene expression profiling where indicated)
  • Total thyroidectomy (removal of the entire thyroid gland)
  • Treatment of recurrent and advanced thyroid cancers

Learn more about how to prepare for thyroid surgery

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.

Collaborative Approach to 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.