Preparing for Your Surgery
Before your surgery day arrives, you’ll make a separate visit to the clinic to complete a few final tests. These tests provide us with all the information we need to safely conduct your surgery. During your visit, we’ll also provide you with details about what you can expect on your day of surgery.
Your pre-operative clinic visit will include the following:
- A physical examination including complete medical history: It is important we know your full medical history as well as any medications you take. Depending on your other medical problems, you may need to be seen by another specialist before your operation.
- Bloodwork and tests: Depending on your age, medical condition, and the type of surgery planned, you may be asked to have an EKG (heart tracing), chest x-ray, or blood work completed before your surgery.
- Instructions for you and your family: We will explain what to expect on the day of surgery and answer any questions that you may have, including:
- Where to park
- What to bring
- When and where to arrive
If you have any other questions about your surgery, you’ll have an opportunity to ask those questions now.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form for surgery. By now, your doctor will already have explained to you the details of your surgery and will have answered any questions you might have.
- Anesthesia Evaluation: If you have any medical conditions that might affect the anesthesia you’ll be given during surgery, you’ll be seen by an anesthesiologist in the Preoperative Clinic. Your record will be reviewed, and the type of anesthesia will be planned in advance. If you’re in good health, the anesthesiologist will only see you on the morning of surgery.
Patient Education and Post-operative InstructionsWhen you arrive at the clinic, you will be given detailed instructions on how to take care of yourself once you go home after surgery. Your doctors will be happy to answer any questions you might have. You are also welcome to view and/or print the post-operative instructions available from the links below.
Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
- Post-Operative Instructions (pdf)
- Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy (video)
- Minimally Invasive Video-assisted Thyroid Lobectomy (video)
- Thyroid Cancer Education & Resources
Adrenal Surgery (Adrenalectomy)
General Risks of Any Operation
Modern surgery is quite safe, and your surgeons will always do everything they can to ensure your safety. However, every surgery entails some risk. Some of those risks depend on the patient. For example, surgical complications are more likely in the elderly or in patients with serious medical illnesses.
The following are risks associated with any surgery. If you believe you might be prone to one or more of these problems, make sure to discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor can discuss with you in more detail the likelihood of your developing a complication.
Risks of surgery may include:
- Heart and circulation problems such as heart attack or blood clot formation. Clots which form in the legs can move to the lungs and cause life-threatening problems. Blood clots or debris can also cause a stroke.
- Wound infections are not common, but may be more likely in people with diabetes, those taking steroids, or those who have had radiation treatment.
- Chest infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia can develop after a general anesthetic.
- A keloid may form at the site of the surgical scar. A keloid is an overgrowth of scar tissue beyond the incision site, which may be raised, tender, and irregularly shaped. Keloids are rare but occur more frequently in African Americans. Should one occur, treatment is available to improve the appearance of the scar.
Additional Patient Resources
- American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
- American Thyroid Association
- Hormone Foundation – (The Endocrine Society)
- National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
- National Graves' Disease Foundation
- ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.
- American Cancer Society
- Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
- Cushing's Support and Research Foundation
- Adrenal Cancer Support
- Rare Cancer Support Forum
Contact Us / Make an Appointment
- Call Center: 734-936-5738
For appointments and questions contact the call center (Monday – Friday, 8am - 4pm)
- Hospital Paging: 734-936-6267
For urgent matters on weekends, holidays, or evenings call (hospital paging) and ask for the Endocrine Surgery resident-on-call. You may also call the main hospital number at (734) 936-4000.