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Endocrine Surgery

Endocrine system disorders include a broad group of health issues that affect millions of people in the U.S. Many of these conditions are successfully managed with medication and lifestyle changes, but others are best treated with surgery.

If your doctor thinks you need surgery, we'll develop an individualized care plan that best meets your needs. And because our surgeons practice the latest minimally invasive techniques, many of our patients see a rapid recovery from surgery.

Many of our patients are referred to UVA's endocrine surgeons from doctors outside of UVA. If that's the case, we'll be sure to keep in touch with your primary care doctor or referring endocrinologist during your time here.

Endocrine Surgery Options

Adrenal Masses

If your doctor finds a mass on one of your two adrenal glands, or finds that one of them is making too much hormone, surgical removal may be your best option. The majority of adrenal problems can now be handled with an adrenalectomy, a minimally invasive techniques using cameras and small incisions; for some patients, open surgery is the best option. Our endocrine surgeons have extensive experience in all types of adrenal gland surgery.

A single adrenal gland is removed without major consequences, but patients who have both removed may require hormone supplements. We also treat adrenocortical carcinoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal glands.

Parathyroid Diseases and Hypercalcemia

If routine lab work reveals high levels of calcium, you may have hyperparathyroidism, a disease of the parathyroid glands. 

Parathyroid surgery is minimally invasive, and almost all patients are discharged within 24 hours of surgery. At UVA, our primary endocrine surgeons each perform about 120 parathyroid operations a year.

Thyroid Masses and Thyroid Cancer 

Surgery is the primary treatment option for thyroid cancer. With surgery, the outcomes most forms of thyroid cancer are treatable. Patients with a higher degree of lymph node involvement may need more extensive surgery.

Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are found throughout the body, especially in the pancreas, lungs and small and large intestines. Types of neuroendocrine tumors include:

  • Carcinoid tumors: Found in the lungs or gastrointestinal system. They secrete serotonin or histamine.
  • Pancreatic tumors: Also called islet cell tumors. These tumors secrete insulin, gastrin or glucagon.
  • Non-functioning NET lesions: These tumors don't secrete hormones.

Endocrine Resources


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