Comprehensive Surgical Care for Endocrine Conditions and Disorders
Loyola Medicine offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to endocrine surgery to treat endocrine disorders and conditions. Because the endocrine system is responsible for hormones that regulate the body, a slight imbalance can have significant effects. Our highly experienced endocrinologists work as part of a clinically integrated care team, partnering with gastroenterologists, surgical oncologists, otolaryngologists and other specialists to provide state-of-the-art surgical techniques and minimally invasive approaches for many types of surgery.
Our endocrine surgeons are fellowship-trained and have vast experience treating endocrine disorders, including:
- Adrenal gland disorders
- Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors
- Pancreas disorders
- Parathyroid gland disorders
- Thyroid gland disorders
Why Choose Loyola for Endocrine Surgery?
Loyola provides truly integrated clinical care for endocrine disorders, bringing together specialists in endocrinology, gastroenterology, surgical oncology and otolaryngology to provide adults and children with advanced care in a compassionate environment.
As part of an academic medical center, Loyola’s expert clinicians perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments in numerous locations across the Chicago area. All of our endocrine surgeons are fellowship-trained and provide training and education to surgeons at other hospitals.
For patients with cancerous conditions, Loyola’s highly skilled surgical oncology team specializes exclusively in the diagnosis, biopsy and surgical removal of many types of cancer. In addition, our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care.
What Conditions are Treated with Endocrine Surgery?
Loyola’s endocrine surgery team is comprehensive and compassionate in the treatment of patients with endocrine disorders. Our team is versed in the full spectrum of benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) endocrine conditions, including:
- Adrenal gland disorders — Your adrenal glands are located on the top of each kidney and responsible for producing hormones that regulate blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, stress response and the levels of salt and potassium in the blood, among others. When the body makes too much or too little of a hormone, disorders of the adrenal glands occur. Loyola’s endocrine surgeons provide treatment for endocrine conditions, including adrenal cancer, adrenal incidentaloma, Conn’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, adrenal tumors and pheochromocytoma. These may be caused by genetic mutations, infections or medications.
- Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors — Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors affect the hormone-releasing cells in the GI system and often occur in the small intestines, rectum and appendix. These tumors may be surgically removed or treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
- Pancreas disorders — The pancreas is vital to maintaining health and balance in the body. It produces hormones—including insulin, somatostatin, gastrin and glucagon—that play an important role in maintaining sugar and salt balance. Loyola’s endocrine surgeons are skilled in the treatment of gastrinoma, insulinoma, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and paraganglioma.
- Parathyroid gland disorders — The four parathyroid glands in your body produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which is responsible for regulating calcium levels in the blood. Loyola’s endocrine surgeons are skilled in the treatment of hyperparathyroidism, parathyroid adenoma and parathyroid cancer.
- Thyroid gland disorders — The thyroid gland secretes several hormones, which affect metabolism, growth, development and body temperature. Loyola’s endocrine surgeons are skilled in the treatment of benign thyroid tumors and nodules, hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, thyroiditis and thyroid cancer.
Endocrine Surgeries Available at Loyola
Loyola’s endocrine surgeons specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) endocrine conditions. For malignant conditions, your healthcare team will collaborate with our highly skilled surgical oncology program for the best possible outcome
Our endocrine surgery team has received specialized training to diagnose complex conditions and provide the most advanced treatment options. Loyola offers state-of-the-art interventions that are not available at other medical centers. Your doctor will develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition, which may include:
- Adrenalectomy — For patients with benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors on the adrenal glands, surgery to remove the affected gland(s) may be recommended. This procedure may also be used to treat cancer which has metastasized (spread) from another organ. If one adrenal gland is removed, the other gland will take over its function. If both are removed, steroid supplements will be required. Loyola’s skilled surgeons offer minimally invasive options including laparoscopic and robotic adrenalectomy surgery.
- Fine needle aspiration (FNA) — For patients with thyroid nodules or masses, FNA is the most common method of performing an evaluation and biopsy of the tissue. The majority of thyroid nodules are benign (noncancerous). This procedure will provide diagnostic information that allows your doctor to plan an effective course of treatment, if necessary.
- Parathyroidectomy — For patients with hyperparathyroidism, your doctor may recommend the surgical removal of one or more of your four parathyroid glands. This treatment is effective in correcting the overproduction of parathyroid hormone (PTH) caused by hyperparathyroidism. Loyola’s skilled endocrine surgeons offer minimally invasive radioguided parathyroidectomy (MIRP), which uses a small amount of radioactive material to identify the overactive gland and remove it through a very small incision.
- Thyroidectomy — A thyroidectomy procedure may be considered for patients with thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism, large goiters, thyroid nodules, thyroid cysts and Graves’ disease. This procedure can involve the removal of the entire thyroid, or just one side of the gland. A total thyroidectomy is preferred for patients with larger tumors and more aggressive cancers; after this surgery, patients require daily treatment with thyroid hormone.
Whenever possible, your experienced Loyola endocrine surgeon will recommend non-surgical or minimally invasive surgical options, such as laparoscopy, robotic-assisted laparoscopy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or thermal ablation. Advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques provide several benefits, including less pain, less scarring, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, smaller incisions and shorter recovery time.
Ongoing Research and Clinical Trials to Improve Endocrine Treatments
Loyola’s expert endocrine surgery program is actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes, including the following research projects:
- Effects of alcohol on the reproductive system
- Growth hormone therapy
- Paget’s disease
- Role of vitamin D deficiency in osteoporosis
- Role of testosterone on bone disorders, brain and lipid metabolism
As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.