The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons defines endocrine surgery as "the discipline of surgical management of endocrine disorders including the understanding of the disease process, technical mastery, and comprehensive care of surgical endocrine disease of the neck and abdomen." As such, endocrine surgery is a sub-specialty of general surgery that focuses on both benign and malignant disorders of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. Endocrine surgeons also specialize in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.
An endocrine surgeon will perform comprehensive management of all types of thyroid nodules, including biopsy, surveillance, and surgery. Conditions that typically require surgery include thyroid cancers, symptomatic goiters, and toxic thyroid nodules. Thyroid conditions that are not effectively controlled medically may also benefit from surgical intervention, including refractory Grave’s Disease.
Primary hyperparathyroidism is often underdiagnosed and is typically discovered incidentally after detecting a high serum calcium level on routine bloodwork or during workup for osteoporosis. Patients with long standing renal failure are at risk for the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism. Surgery is curative for hyperparathyroidism and can help prevent serious health complications as well as promote bone recovery.
Adrenal gland tumors are often also found incidentally and as such are referred to as "incidentalomas." These tumors when discovered require further testing to determine if they are either hormone producing or malignant. Hormonally active adrenal tumors can have serious health consequences including refractory hypertension or Cushing’s syndrome. These tumors are usually removed laparoscopically and generally only require a one night stay in the hospital.
Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors
An endocrine surgeon is uniquely trained to workup and treat neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Most commonly, these include small bowel or appendiceal carcinoid tumors. Hormonally active pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are also treated.
Endocrine Surgery at Valley
Justin Yozawitz, M.D. is one of the few fellowship trained endocrine surgeons in New Jersey. Dr. Yozawitz comes to Valley Medical Group from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was an assistant attending surgeon, and served as a clinical instructor in surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Yozawitz received his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University. He completed a general surgery residency at North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, and a fellowship in endocrine and metabolic surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Yozawitz is a member of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the American Thyroid Association, and the American College of Surgeons.
While Dr. Yozawitz performs all aspects of general surgery, he specializes in minimally invasive surgery of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands.
For more information on Dr. Yozawitz’s services, please call 201-634-5690.
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