February 23, 2017 – Thyroid Nodules


Anchor lead: There is a way to make thyroid surgery scarless, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Masses in the thyroid gland that require surgery are very common, with over a hundred thousand taking place each year in the United States. Jon Russell, a head and neck surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says many patients are women younger than fifty.

Russell: Unfortunately we might tell a young woman with no scar that she needs to have her thyroid lobe taken out and we are going to put an incision right across the middle of her neck, and it usually heals up well but you’re always going to have a scar.  :12

Russell says the good news is there’s now an operation that doesn’t leave a scar.

Russell: We just go inside of the mouth in front of the mandible and just come right down on top of the thyroid gland. It works so well, it gives us a very comfortable anatomic visualization of what’s going on. Most importantly it’s safe. If you have a safe procedure that’s also esthetically ideal, that’s what you want. :18

Russell says Hopkins is one of the few places in the US that is capable of using this approach. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.