More experienced surgeons typically have lower rates of complications after thyroid surgery.
To find an experienced thyroid surgeon, consider traveling to a university hospital or medical center that handles numerous thyroid surgeries.
Before you select a thyroid surgeon, find out how many surgeries he or she performs each year. You want a surgeon who is doing at least 50 or more thyroid and parathyroid surgeries each year.
A surgeon whose practice is entirely dedicated to thyroid surgery, or thyroid/parathyroid surgery, is almost always a better choice than a general surgeon or a head/neck surgeon. You also want a surgeon who has been doing this a while, so ask the total number of thyroid surgeries he/she has performed.
New York's Columbia-Presbyterian, one of the nation's top thyroid surgery centers, rates surgeons as follows, in terms of total number of thyroid/parathyroid surgeries performed:
- Less than 200 surgeries: inexperienced
- 200 to 500 surgeries: intermediate
- More than 500 surgeries: experienced
- More than 1,000 surgeries: expert
NY Thyroid Center, Phone: (212) 305-0442, Fax: (212) 305-0445, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some other referral sources for thyroid surgeons include:
- American Association of Endocrine Surgeons Membership List (PDF)
- The Association of Thyroid Surgeons Find a Surgeon Service
Mary Shomon, About.com's Thyroid Guide since 1997, is a nationally-known patient advocate and best-selling author of 10 books on health, including "The Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough: Overcoming Sexual and Hormonal Problems at Every Age," "The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss," "Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know," "Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism," "Living Well With Autoimmune Disease," and "Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia." Click here for more information on Mary Shomon.
American Association of Endocrine Surgeons Web Site, Online
Association of Thyroid Surgeons, Online Columbia Presbyterian Thyroid Center Web Site, Online.
Shomon, Mary J., Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You That You Need to Know, 2nd Edition, HarperCollins, 2005, Online
Association of Thyroid Surgeons, Online
Columbia Presbyterian Thyroid Center Web Site, Online.
Shomon, Mary J., Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You That You Need to Know, 2nd Edition, HarperCollins, 2005, Online.