The three main minimally invasive endocrine surgeries address conditions related to the thyroid, parathyroid, or adrenal glands. The benefits of minimally invasive endocrine surgery include reduced blood loss, smaller incisions, and a quicker recovery.
Minimally Invasive Thyroid Surgery
The different types of minimally invasive thyroid surgery include:
- Total Thyroidectomy: Removal of the entire thyroid gland
- Thyroid Lobectomy: Removal of a thyroid lobe - approximately half of the thyroid gland
- Thyroid Lobectomy and Isthmusectomy: Removal of a thyroid lobe and the isthmus - the portion that connects the 2 lobes
- Minimally Invasive Thyroidectomy: Removal of the entire thyroid gland through a small incision
- Endoscopic Video-Assisted Thyroidectomy: Thyroidectomy performed through small incisions, aided by an endoscope - a flexible tube consisting of a small camera at its end
You may be administered general anesthesia or local anesthesia, also called a regional block.
- To administer general anesthesia, you will be monitored for laryngeal nerve injury.
- A local or regional block is given in the neck with light general sedation.
- Then a small incision is made in the center of your neck.
- For a video-assisted or endoscopic thyroidectomy, your doctor will use an endoscope to get a magnified view of the internal tissues.
- The damaged tissue is removed through surgical incisions which are then closed.
Minimally Invasive Parathyroid Surgery
Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery involves the removal of one or more parts of the parathyroid glands through a small incision in the middle of the neck. It is similar to minimally invasive thyroid surgery. To locate the parathyroid, you would have a preoperative neck ultrasound and a visualization of the parathyroid gland known as a Sestamibi scan.
Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery can be performed under regional or general anesthesia.
- An incision is made along the natural skin crease.
- The damaged parathyroid tissue is removed through the surgical incision.
- Then the incision is closed using biodegradable, dissolvable sutures or skin glue.
Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery can also be performed with the help of an endoscope or video assistance to improve the surgical outcome through a magnified view of the parathyroid glands and surrounding tissues.
Minimally Invasive Adrenal Surgery
Minimally invasive adrenal surgery may involve partial or total removal of the adrenal glands, known as an adrenalectomy. It is performed for the excision of an adrenal tumor or pheochromocytoma, or to remove any abnormal adrenal nodules or lumps.
Minimally invasive adrenal surgery is performed under general anesthesia with the help of a laparoscope through the back or via the abdomen.
- Laparoscopic adrenal removal through the abdomen is known as a laparoscopic transabdominal lateral adrenalectomy.
- Laparoscopic adrenal removal through the back is known as laparoscopic posterior retroperitoneal adrenalectomy.
The injured tissue or tumor is removed and the incision is closed. However, larger adrenal tumors may need to be removed through open adrenalectomy with a larger incision.
Benefits/Advantages of Minimally Invasive Endocrine Surgery
The advantages of minimally invasive endocrine surgery include:
- Minimum scar formation
- Minimized pain
- Quicker recovery
- Shorter hospital stay
- Reduced time for surgery
Visit your doctor to learn more about the different endocrine surgeries, the benefits of minimally invasive endocrine surgery, and to choose the approach that is best suited to you.