Endocrine Surgery




What is endocrine surgery?

EndocrineEndocrine surgery refers to operations on one or more of the endocrine glands. These glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream, and have an important influence over the functions of almost all cells in the body. Endocrine surgeons are surgeons with special expertise and training in operations on a number of the endocrine glands including the thyroid gland, the parathyroid glands, the adrenal glands, the endocrine pancreas, and some neuroendocrine glands. There are a number of other endocrine glands and these are treated by different surgeons. They include the pituitary gland in the brain, which secretes various stimulating hormones and which is treated by neurosurgeons, and the ovaries, which secrete sex hormones and which are treated by gynaecologists. Endocrine surgeons work closely with their medical colleagues (endocrinologists) who are often the doctors who will be responsible for both the initial diagnosis and investigation of endocrine disorders. Endocrinologists may also be involved in long term follow up after endocrine surgery. Endocrine surgeons also work with nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, pathologists, geneticists and anaesthetists, in order to provide the best care for their patients.

Surgery

Use the links below to find out more about each of the endocrine surgical operations:

The thyroid gland

ThyroidThe thyroid gland is shield-like organ located just below the larynx or Adam's apple. It is a small gland that wraps around the trachea or windpipe. The gland converts iodine from the diet into the thyroid hormone, thyroxine. The levels of this hormone control most of your body’s metabolic functions including temperature, heart rate and growth. Click here to learn more about the thyroid gland and its surgery.

The parathyroid glands

ParathyroidThere are normally four parathyroid glands located near or attached to the back surface of the thyroid just below the larynx or Adam's apple. Each gland is no larger than a grain of rice. These glands secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH) which controls the calcium level in your body. Click here to learn more about the parathyroid glands and their surgery.

The adrenal glands

AdrenalThe adrenal glands are yellow triangular shaped glands at the top of your kidneys. They are normally about 2 to 3 cm in size. They produce a number of hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones are responsible for a number of functions including control of blood pressure and dealing with your body's response to stress. The adrenal gland also manufactures some of the sex hormones. Click here to learn more about the adrenal glands and their surgery.

The pancreatic endocrine and neuroendocrine glands

PancreaticThe pancreas is an organ located deep in the abdomen that has two main functions. It produces digestive enzymes (exocrine pancreas) and also has islets of specialised endocrine cells "islet cells" scattered throughout it (endocrine pancreas). These cells secrete important hormones such as insulin, glucagon and gastrin. In addition, clusters of endocrine cells can be found in most organs of the body, especially those associated with an embryological structure know as the "neural crest". Any of these cells can develop special tumours called "neuroendocrine" tumours. The commonest example is the carcinoid tumour which develops in the gastrointestinal tract or the lung. Click here to learn more about the pancreatic and neuroendocrine glands and their surgery.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) refers to a number of inherited syndromes involving tumours of more than one endocrine gland. Click here to learn more about the MEN syndromes.

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Just Updated

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Saturday, April 06, 2019
The Alfred General Surgery Meeting 2019 1 - 2 November 2019 Pullman Melbourne on the Park 192 Wellington Parade, Melbourne, Victoria Early registration closure: 29 September 2019 For more information and to register please visit the meeting website. (https://surgeons.eventsair.com/alfred2019/alfred19) ..Read More

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Save the date for the RACS 88th Annual Scientific Congress 6-10 May 2019 Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre | Bangkok, Thailand  ..Read More

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Thursday, October 29, 2015
Save the date for the 6th Postgraduate Course in Endcorine Surgery 24th and 25th June 2016 Parkroyal Darling Harbour Sydney (Agenda to be published soon)  ..Read More

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Friday, August 09, 2013
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August 2012 Newsletter: James Berry and His Thyroid Clinic

Thursday, August 16, 2012
HISTORICAL NOTE JAMES BERRY AND HIS THYROID CLINIC Berry’s Ligament is certainly the most well known eponymous anatomical structure of relevance to thyroid surgery, tethering the thyroid gland to the trachea and lying, as it does, at the crucial point where the recurrent laryngeal nerve is most likely to be injured. James Berry was a formidable surgeon who established a Thyroid Surgical Clinic ..Read More

July 2011 Newsletter: Rundle and His Curve

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Rundle’s curve is a well known phenomenon, found in many ophthalmology and endocrinology textbooks. It describes the natural history of the orbital changes in Graves’ ophthalmopathy. Whilst all the primary research underlying this observation was undertaken in the London, Rundle was in fact an Australian, and later returned to Sydney to make a significant contribution to the surgic ..Read More

March 2010 Newsletter: Cecil Joll and His Instruments

Monday, September 27, 2010
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November 2009 Newsletter: IAES - The International Association of Endocrine Surgeons

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The IAES owes its origins to Peter Heimann, Professor of Surgery, Bergen, Norway. He was a general surgeon with a particular interest in the thyroid gland, and it was his ambition to polarize the activities of those general surgeons interested in the endocrine system into a special group within the Société Internationale de Chirurgie (SIC). In 1978, Peter Heimann wrote to some of his frien ..Read More

September 2009 Newsletter: A Tale of Two Celts

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Immunogenic thyrotoxicosis is commonly referred to as Graves’ disease after the Irish physician Robert Graves. That however is a case of mistaken eponymous attribution to the wrong Celt, and the disorder should really be called Parry’s disease after the Welsh physician, Caleb Parry, who was the first to describe the clinical features. Robert Graves was born in Dublin in 1797, the son  ..Read More
 

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