Thyroid Surgery - The best approach
This team approach of two highly experience thyroid surgeons in every operation is a tremendous patient benefit. This rarely if every occurs in operations elsewhere. In teaching institutions, the "trainee surgeon" is in fact, an indisputably inexperienced surgeon. Our least experienced thyroid surgeon in any operation has performed at least three thousand thyroid operations! In most circumstances, most thyroid surgeons will never perform this number of thyroid operations in their career. In thyroid surgery, experience means everything! Your least experienced thyroid surgeon in your operation in our Center, is still one of the most experienced thyroid surgeons in the world! You can see what our patients say about their surgery and their experience on our Google Reviews and Health Grade reviews here.
It is estimated that nearly 250,000 patients per year undergo some type of thyroid operation annually in the United States. Unfortunately, almost 90% of these operations are performed by surgeons that perform 10 or less thyroid surgery operations per year! This is a truly terrifying statistic. The critical nerves of the voice box that control sensation and movement of the vocal cords must be identified and preserved in every thyroid operation. In addition, the parathyroid glands that control calcium in the body, must also be identified and spared. Although many different surgeons have been “trained” in thyroid surgery, volume of experience is everything. Never consider any thyroid surgery a “simple” or “easy” surgery. The concept that a thyroid operation is a “minor” surgery is erroneous. Thyroid surgery is most frequently small and minimally invasive, but that does not mean it is minor. Inexperienced thyroid surgeons is only one piece of the puzzle. Everyone needs to be an expert. Your surgeons, your ultrasound team, your care team, your anesthesia, and pathology and laboratory support. This is the expert team that is necessary to care for you in the best possible fashion.
Thyroid surgery is an art form! All of the critical structures identified and spared in thyroid operations include the jugular vein, carotid artery, recurrent laryngeal nerve, external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve, and the upper and lower parathyroid glands.
We have perfected our approach to thyroid surgery
- Our Thyroid Center surgeons perform more than 600 operations per year! The average thyroid surgeon in the United States performs less than 10 operations per year.
- All patients amenable to minimally invasive surgery undergo minimally invasive thyroid surgery.
- We do neck dissections for thyroid cancer every day.
- The neck dissection for thyroid cancer is different than the neck dissection for any other type of head and neck cancer.
- If only half of your thyroid gland is removed, you will be able to leave the hospital approximately two hours after your operation. All other patients stay only overnight with rare exceptions.
Editors note: Patients have to ask the right questions and be there own best advocate. Many patients with thyroid cancer will never know they have a thyroid cancer until they have undergone their first thyroid operation (and often times the wrong operation). Follow the following link to learn more about questions to ask your surgeon. Questions to ask your surgeon.
What to read next
- Thyroid Cancer Overview - An introduction to thyroid cancer, what it is, and the prognosis of the different thyroid cancers.
- Thyroid Nodules - what are Thyroid Nodules and how are they treated (or not treated)?
- Types of Thyroid Cancer: Papillary, Follicular & Medullary.
- Surgery for Thyroid Cancer - learn about the different types of surgery and when they are appropriate.
- How to become our patient