Division of Endocrine Surgery
The Division of Endocrine Surgery in NYU Langone Health’s Department of Surgery is committed to training the next generation of leaders in the field, conducting research that leads to new evidence-based treatments for endocrine disorders, and providing comprehensive care to people who require surgery for a range of thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal conditions.
Endocrine Surgery Education
We are dedicated to developing new clinical programs and educating surgical residents in the rapidly growing subspecialty of general surgery. NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s two general surgery residencies, one in Manhattan and the other at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, are among the most prestigious in the country. Residents receive training from our faculty, enabling them to incorporate advances in endocrine surgery into their own surgical practices. In addition, our faculty and trainees have access to our robust databases and tumor registries.
NYU Grossman School of Medicine students may choose to spend a four-week rotation in the Division of Endocrine Surgery through the Endocrine Surgery and Surgical Oncology Selective.
Endocrine Surgery Research
Members of our division are engaged in research investigating adrenal tumors, endocrine surgery outcomes, hyperparathyroidism, multiple endocrine neoplasia, and thyroid cancer. Of particular interest is the molecular pathogenesis of thyroid cancer, specifically the identification of molecular factors that may help predict thyroid tumor progression and potentially serve as therapeutic targets.
Endocrine Surgery Clinical Services
Our surgeons are leaders in innovating surgical techniques and procedures. Often working in concert with colleagues at Perlmutter Cancer Center, we provide treatment for thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal conditions, including the following:
- adrenal tumors
- hereditary endocrine tumor syndromes
- hyperthyroidism or Graves’ disease
- multinodular goiter
- thyroid nodules and cancer
Our Surgical Expertise
Led by Kepal N. Patel, MD, our division performs the highest volume of endocrine surgeries in the greater New York City area. Research has shown that surgeons who perform a high volume of specialized surgical procedures have the best outcomes and lowest rates of surgical complications.
Our Commitment to Innovation and Safety
We strive to offer our patients the latest advances in endocrine surgery, with the ultimate goal of their safety and wellbeing.
Molecular Testing for Thyroid Nodules
The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing more rapidly than any other cancer in the United States, with an estimated 52,000 cases in 2019. Although most thyroid nodules are benign, current guidelines recommend fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy of most nodules, particularly those larger than 1 or 1.5 cm.
Thyroid nodules that are biopsied as inconclusive have typically required thyroid surgery for definitive diagnosis, and up to 80 percent of patients who have inconclusive biopsies do not have thyroid cancer.
Our division was among the first institutions in New York to offer advanced molecular testing for thyroid nodules. This type of testing allows surgeons to determine which patients with inconclusive thyroid FNA are candidates for surgery and to assist in planning the extent of surgery. Our goal is to provide appropriate, expert, individualized care for all patients with thyroid nodules.
Minimally Invasive Adrenalectomy
Our experienced endocrine surgeons work closely with specialized endocrinologists, radiologists, and pathologists to provide appropriate, safe, and effective care for people who have adrenal tumors.
Minimally invasive adrenalectomy has become the standard of care for most patients who have adrenal tumors and is a safe and extremely well-tolerated procedure. Most patients are able to go home within one to two days after surgery and recover quickly.
Our surgeons perform this procedure laparoscopically through tiny incisions on the side of the abdomen or retroperitoneoscopically, where the patient lies in a prone, or face down, position, allowing direct access to the adrenal gland. Minimally invasive laparoscopic and retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy is performed by H. Leon Pachter, MD, chair emeritus of Department of Surgery.
Transoral Endoscopic Thyroid Surgery
This relatively new technique is appropriate for only a limited number of patients meeting certain strict criteria related to the size of the nodule and the overall size of the thyroid. The procedure, in which a surgeon gains access to the thyroid through the patient’s mouth, results in no visible scars.
Intraoperative Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring
The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is located in the lower neck, directly behind the thyroid gland. An injury to this nerve during thyroid surgery can result in hoarseness. When thyroid surgery is performed by experienced surgeons, this complication is very rare.
To further decrease the risk of hoarseness, our surgeons routinely monitor the RLN of patients receiving thyroid and parathyroid surgery. We use special monitoring electrodes that enable us to continuously assess the identity and function of the RLN as surgery progresses. The availability of this advanced technique reflects our commitment to patient safety and minimizing the risks of surgery.