Endocrine Surgery

Thyroid and Parathyroid

The thyroid and parathyroid glands are important endocrine glands that secrete hormones. These hormones affect the body’s metabolic rate and the levels of certain minerals in the blood. The thyroid gland and the four parathyroid glands are located in the neck. 

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating many activities in the body, including the rate you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. The parathryroid glands control the body’s calcium levels. When the parathyroid glands are functioning normally they work to keep the body’s blood calcium levels within a very tightly controlled range. Proper calcium balance is crucial to the normal functioning of the heart, nervous system, kidneys and bones.


Dr. Carl Coppola advises his patients that thyroid problems include the following conditions:

  • Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs
  • Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormones
  • Goiter is the enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Thyroiditis is when the thyroid gland swells
  • Thyroid nodules and growths – non cancerous
  • Thyroid cancer – growths and tumors which develop in the thyroid gland and spread to other nearby tissues and other parts of the body.


According to American Cancer Society the incidence of thyroid cancer have been increasing in recent years. Thyroid cancer is more common in women than men. In fact, thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women. Thyroid cancer can occur at any age, but the risk spikes earlier for women (typically diagnosed in their 40s or 50s) than for men (who are usually in their 60s or 70s).

Whereas, cancers of the parathyroid glands are very rare — there are probably fewer than100 cases each year in the United States.

Thyroid cancer can only be accurately diagnosed with a biopsy. After a thorough medical examination and history, Dr. Coppola may recommend a biopsy of the thyroid to determine with the lump or nodule is cancerous. Typically, Dr. Coppola performs the biopsy utilizing a technique called, FNA or fine needle aspiration. Other tests including blood tests, ultrasound or radioiodine scan may also be ordered.


  • Surgery is the treatment of choice for most cases of thyroid cancer, except for some anaplastic thyroid cancers. Once thyroid cancer is diagnosed by a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy, surgery to remove the tumor and all or part of the remaining thyroid gland is usually recommended an a lobectomy or thyroidectomy is performed.
  • Lobectomy is performed is the thyroid cancers are small and show no signs of spread beyond the thyroid gland. The lobe containing the cancer is removed.
  • Thyroidectomy is the surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland. As with lobectomy, this is typically done through an incision a few inches long across the front of the neck.

Dr. Carl Coppola is trained and skilled in the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive procedures to treat child and adult otolaryngology conditions ranging from common inner ear infections to more complex cancers of the head and neck. 

Call, 502-893-3683 or email us via or Contact form with your questions and concerns.