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Endocrine Surgery

Endocrine surgery deals with the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. At Gundersen, our surgeons work with specialists in other departments to make sure surgery is the best course of treatment. We utilize minimally invasive approaches to allow for faster recovery times and better cosmetic results.

Gundersen offers a Thyroid and Parathyroid Service that brings together specialists in Endocrinology, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Surgery, Pathology, Lab and Imaging to diagnose and treat patients with thyroid or parathyroid conditions.

It streamlines the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan for patients. With a referral from a primary care provider, a patient can get the necessary exams and tests to determine if surgery or medical therapy is needed and meet with the necessary specialists, all in a single, streamlined visit.


The thyroid gland releases hormones that control metabolism. When the thyroid gland is not working correctly, it can affect your body’s energy level.

The three most common thyroid problems include:

  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Thyroid nodules

Depending on the diagnosis, the treatment options may include thyroid hormone pills or other medications. In most other circumstances, surgery is the best option.

Surgeries we offer

Thyroid surgery is often advised for patients with thyroid cancer, large thyroid glands and overactive thyroid glands. This surgery will remove part or all of your thyroid gland.


The parathyroid glands are located in the neck, near or attached to the back side of the thyroid gland. They produce parathyroid hormone, which controls calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels within the blood and bone. The most common problem that affects the parathyroid glands is hyperparathyroidism.

Treatment depends upon the severity and cause of the condition. Some patients may be monitored by their doctor during regular check-ups, while others may require surgery remove one of the parathyroid glands.

Surgeries we offer

Your doctor may recommend parathyroid gland removal if you produce too much parathyroid hormone. The surgeon explores all four of your parathyroid glands to see which should be removed. Healthy glands don’t need to be removed. Once the diseased parathyroid glands are taken out, the remaining glands should return your hormone levels to normal.

Adrenal glands

When your adrenal glands—triangular-shaped glands located on top of the kidneys—produce more or less hormones than your body needs, you can become sick. Some adrenal gland disorders include:

  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Adrenal adenomas or tumors

Surgeries we offer

If you have adrenal cancer, you will likely have surgery to remove the adrenal gland—known as adrenalectomy. Your surgeon will remove nearby tissues and lymph nodes—either through open surgery or laparoscopy—offering the best chance for a cure. Tumors that have spread to other parts of the body may be removed as well.

what to expect

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