Endocrine Surgery

An Introduction to Endocrine Surgery

Surgery for the endocrine system refers to procedures that focus on hormone secreting organs within the body. These include the adrenal glands, pancreas, thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Common disorders of this system include:

  • Pancreatic pseudocysts
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Adrenal adenomas
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Thyroid cancer

Pancreatic Surgery

Pancreatic surgery is performed to remove cancerous and benign lesions that are either obstructive or causing significant symptoms.

Symptoms of a pancreatic disorder include:

  • Issues with regulating blood sugar
  • Abdominal pain radiating to the back
  • Jaundice (yellow appearing)
  • Itching
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Changes in stool consistency and smell

Adrenal Surgery

Adrenal surgery is done to remove one or both adrenal glands if they have been affected by tumors. These glands are small, triangular shaped and sit above the kidneys. Adrenal glands produce hormones like aldosterone, cortisol, and adrenaline, which are needed for the proper functioning of your body.

Symptoms of adrenal disorders include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Thyroid Gland - The thyroid gland is the largest gland in the neck that secretes metabolic hormones important to the growth of the human body. Sometimes due to over secretion of hormones, your thyroid may also form structural problems, like swelling and cysts or nodules, which may require surgery. Thyroid surgery is also indicated when a cancerous lesion is present.
  • Parathyroids - The parathyroid glands consist of four tiny endocrine glands, situated in the neck region, that regulate the body's calcium levels. They secrete the parathyroid hormone but are not related to your thyroid gland. Hyperparathyroidism, a parathyroid disease, can be treated with surgery.

Symptoms of Thyroid/Parathyroid Disorders

These are some of the common symptoms of neck disorder that may require immediate medical attention:

  • A lump in your neck
  • A fever
  • A headache
  • Swollen glands
  • Weakness
  • Numbness/tingling in lips, hands or feet
  • Muscle cramping
  • Unexplained weight loss/gain


In order to perform the diagnosis of a endocrine disorder, your doctor will carry out a physical test after thoroughly reviewing your medical history. You may also have to undergo one or more of the imaging studies and tests as suggested by your doctor to help determine the reason for your symptoms.

Types of Diagnostic Tests

Options for diagnostic testing related to cervical spine disorder could include:

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound Biopsy
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Sestamibi scan (for parathyroid glands)

Treatment Options

Treatment for endocrine disorders can be decided on the basis of their precise cause. Most options include

  • Close monitoring of condition with imaging and blood tests
  • Medications to control symptoms
  • Radiation therapy

Why Choose Far North Surgery

Far North Surgery offers superior general surgery options in Alaska. We help the patients by applying minimally invasive surgical techniques, resulting in less pain and faster recovery time when applicable.

Call us at 907-276-3676 to learn more about the latest treatment options for disorders of the endocrine system.