Dr. Kolachalam, Endocrine Surgery
Endocrine Surgery is the discipline of surgical management of endocrine disorders including the understanding of the disease process, technical mastery and comprehensive care of surgical endocrine disease of the neck and abdomen.
What does the Endocrine system do for my body?
Although we rarely think about them, the glands of the endocrine system and the hormones they release influence almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies.
What is a Gland?
A gland is a group of cells that produces and secretes, or gives off, chemicals. A gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them, and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body.
What organs are considered apart of the Endocrine System?
- Hypothalamus – Located in the lower central part of the brain, is the primary link between the endocrine and nervous systems. Nerve cells in the hypothalamus control the pituitary gland by producing chemicals that either stimulate or suppress hormone secretions from the pituitary
- Pancreas – produces (in addition to others) two important hormones, insulin and glucagon. They work together to maintain a steady level of glucose, or sugar, in the blood and to keep the body supplied with fuel to produce and maintain stores of energy.
- Thyroid – The thyroid, located in the front part of the lower neck, is shaped like a bow tie or butterfly and produces the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones control the rate at which cells burn fuels from food to produce energy. Thyroid hormones also play a key role in bone growth and the development of the brain and nervous system in children.
- Parathyroid – Attached to the thyroid are four tiny glands that function together called the parathyroids. They release parathyroid hormone, which regulates the level of calcium in the blood with the help of calcitonin, which is produced in the thyroid.
- Adrenal Glands – The two adrenal glands are responsible for making hormones. These hormones enable the body to respond to stress, regulate blood pressure and the amount of fluid in the body, and are involved in the regulation of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.
- Pituitary Gland – no bigger than a pea, the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain just beneath the hypothalamus, is considered the most important part of the endocrine system. It’s often called the “master gland” because it makes hormones that control several other endocrine glands.
- Pineal Gland – The pineal body, also called the pineal gland, is located in the middle of the brain. It secretes melatonin, a hormone that may help regulate the wake-sleep cycle.
- Gonads – the main source of sex hormones.
What does the Endocrine System do?
The endocrine system is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, and metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes.
The endocrine system is made of eight major glands, which are groups of cells that produce and secrete chemicals. A gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them, and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. Almost every organ and cell in the body is affected by the endocrine system.
The endocrine system gets some help from organs such as the kidney, liver, heart and gonads, which have secondary endocrine functions.
Common Conditions of Endocrine Insufficiency
Too much or too little of any hormone can be harmful to the body. For example, if the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, a child may grow excessively tall. If it produces too little, a child may be abnormally short.
- Adrenal insufficiency- This condition is characterized by decreased function of the adrenal cortex and the consequent underproduction of adrenal corticosteroid hormones.
The symptoms include:
- abdominal pain
- skin changes
- Cushing syndrome – Excessive amounts of glucocorticoid hormones in the body can lead to Cushing syndrome. It is known as Cushing’s disease if the condition is due to a tumor in the pituitary gland.
The symptoms may take years to develop and include:
- Growth failure
- Muscle weakness
- Easy bruising of the skin
- High blood pressure
- Psychological changes
**Depending on the specific cause, doctors may treat this condition with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or drugs that block the production of hormones.
- Type 1 diabetes – When the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, type 1 diabetes (previously known as juvenile diabetes) occurs. Type 1 diabetes can cause long-term complications, including kidney problems, nerve damage, blindness, and early coronary heart disease and stroke. To control their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes complications.
***If you have diabetes, always consult your primary care physician about a surgical procedure if needed.
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive hunger
- Excessive urination
- Excessive weight loss
- Type 2 diabetes:
Unlike type 1 diabetes, in which the body can’t produce normal amounts of insulin, in type 2 diabetes the body is unable to respond to insulin normally.
The symptoms and possible complications of type 2 diabetes are basically the same as those of type
- Growth hormone problems:
Too much growth hormone, if still growing will make the bones and other body parts grow excessively, resulting in gigantism. This is rare, usually caused by a pituitary tumor and is treated by surgical removal. Too little growth hormone, when the pituitary gland fails to produce adequate amounts of growth hormone, height is impaired.
The levels of thyroid hormones in the blood are excessively high.
Symptoms may include:
- Weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Protruding eyes
- Swelling in the neck from an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).
The levels of thyroid hormones in the blood are abnormally low.
Symptoms may include:
- Slow heart rate
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- In kids, slowing of growth and delayed puberty.
- Precocious puberty-
Body changes associated with puberty may occur at an abnormally young age in some kids if the pituitary hormones that stimulate the gonads to produce sex hormones rise prematurely