It is a multidisciplinary group of specialists who are highly skilled and who are committed to working together to provide you with the most appropriate treatment plans. The group of specialists are usually the ones listed below:
- Endocrine Surgeons
- Dietician - consultant
- Mr Bill Fleming – Specialist Endocrine Surgeon
- A/Prof. Julie Miller – Specialist Endocrine Surgeon
- Mr Jason Tan – Specialist Endocrine Surgeon
- Dr Myra Yeo – Endocrinologist
Our Treatment Approach
We work together as a team to ensure you have the best possible care. This means we put you at the centre of the care plan where each of our particular area of expertise comes together to make sure we get the best outcome for your condition.
Conditions that affect the thyroid, parathyroid or adrenal glands often involve both medical and surgical problems. In other words, these glands may produce excess hormones or not enough. An overall understanding of both the surgical and hormone issues is required for the best assessment and management of your condition. A team approach involving medical endocrinologists, endocrine surgeons and radiologists working side-by-side is therefore not only more efficient, but it will provide improved care for you.
In general, endocrine surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Patients are completely asleep and unaware as the surgery takes place.
This is undertaken if the adrenal gland is over-active or has a risk of malignancy. It is usually undertaken laparoscopically. Surgery may take 1-2 hours depending on difficulty. Patients usually stay in hospital for 1-2 nights after laparoscopic surgery but may stay for 5-7 nights after open surgery.
PRA (Posterior Retroperitoneoscopic Adrenalectomy):
The PRA technique represents a major advance in adrenal surgery, offering less pain, less blood loss, and faster recovery than traditional laparoscopic adrenal surgery.
PRA is minimally invasive “keyhole” adrenal surgery through the back. More than half of patients require no prescription pain medicine at all after surgery, and many are able to go home on the day of surgery.
This technique was developed in Europe and brought to Victoria in 2011 by our highly experienced team. Epworth Freemason’s is the only Private Hospital in Victoria where PRA is offered.
A key-hole operation to remove an adrenal gland.
An operation for a very large or possibly malignant adrenal gland that requires an open incision on the abdomen.
An operation undertaken for risk of malignancy, over-activity of the thyroid, compressive symptoms and sometimes for cosmetic issues. The operation takes 1-2 hours and patients are usually in hospital for 1-2 nights.
An operation to remove half the thyroid gland.
An operation to remove all of the thyroid gland.
An operation to remove any remaining thyroid tissue after previous thyroid surgery.
Robotic Thyroid Surgery:
A new approach to thyroid surgery which, in appropriate patients, eliminates the need for the scar on the neck that conventional open thyroid surgery requires. Robotic thyroid surgery is a technique new to Australia. This technique utilises the Da Vinci Robot Surgical System. This provides a 3 dimensional view with 10x magnification as well as instruments which essentially have “wrists”. The incision is placed under the arm, and when healed the scar is easily hidden. At the moment, Epworth HealthCare is the only health care network in Victoria that has the capability to offer this approach.
This is undertaken for overactive parathyroid glands causing hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism can lead to osteoporosis and likely increased fracture risk. It can also cause a host of less well-defined symptoms like bone pain, lethargy and forgetfulness. The surgery may take half an hour to 2 hours depending on difficulty. Many patients will only require overnight stay after surgery.
Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy:
An operation to remove an overactive parathyroid gland that has been localized with radiology via a small incision.
Bilateral Cervical Exploration for Parathyroidectomy:
An operation to find and remove an overactive parathyroid gland(s) which cannot be localized on radiology.
An operation to remove thyroglossal cysts. The thyroid gland originally develops from tissue of the tongue. It migrates downwards to finally rest over the trachea or wind-pipe in the lower neck. Sometimes it does not close off normally and the result can be a thyroglossal cyst. This cyst can get infected or rupture and surgical excision prior to these complications is recommended. The Sistrunk operation involves excision of the cyst as well as the embryological tract which has allowed the cyst to develop. The operation takes about half an hour and patients are usually in hospital for 1-2 nights.