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Thyroid & Parathyroid Disorders

Find out more about Thyroid & Parathyroid Disorders services.

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones and is responsible for regulating your body’s metabolism, controlling everything from body temperature and bone growth to how quickly you burn calories. Diseases of the thyroid gland are very common, affecting millions of Americans. The most common thyroid problems are:

  • An overactive gland, called hyperthyroidism (e.g., Graves’ disease, toxic adenoma or toxic nodular goiter)
  • An underactive gland, called hypothyroidism (e.g., Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
  • Thyroid enlargement due to over activity (as in Graves’ disease) or from under-activity (as in hypothyroidism). An enlarged thyroid gland is often called a "goiter."

Thyroid treatments depend upon exactly which disorder you are dealing with. Many are treated with medications. Thyroid surgery is often recommended for patients suffering from hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, and goiters. If the whole thyroid gland is removed, patients must take thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives.

Our Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat (OENT) physicians all specialize in surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Five years of postgraduate training concentrated specifically on disorders of the head and neck, including these glands, make our physicians highly qualified to perform minimally invasive, outpatient surgeries on the parathyroid and thyroid glands. Both benign and malignant conditions can be diagnosed and treated, whether limited to these glands or involving adjacent lymph nodes or other structures in the neck.

During your consultation, your physician will carefully examine your neck and thyroid gland. We will view your larynx and vocal cords, looking for any evidence of early weakness that sometimes results from thyroid disease. If a suspicious lump is seen, ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy can help determine whether a lump can be safely observed or should be removed.

We strive to help you obtain the most accurate diagnosis and quick treatment of your thyroid or parathyroid disease. The prognosis is excellent for most people with thyroid disorders. Those who receive proper treatment for hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid nodules can effectively control their condition without any long-term ill effects.