Columbia section of Endocrine Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center endocrinesurgery@columbia.edu | 212.305.0444
Columbia Unvierstiy Department of Surgery
Our Specilaty Centers Adrenal Center Neuroendocrine Tumors Center Parathyroid Disease New York Thyroid Center

Finding a Surgeon

As with most types of surgery, the chance of having a successful and safe operation increases with the experience of the surgeon. In particular, thyroid surgery is a highly specialized field which requires significant experience to master. When visiting a surgeon for thyroid disease, keep in mind that the specific title of the surgeon is not necessarily relevant to their experience in thyroid surgery. For example, a head and neck surgeon may not necessarily be an expert in thyroid surgery. It is therefore important that you inquire about the surgeon's specific experience. Do not be afraid to ask how may thyroid and parathyroid operations a surgeon performs each year and what their personal complication rate is. An expert will expect to be asked these questions and should not get offended by them. Research has shown that a surgeon should do more than 50 thyroid and parathyroid operations a year to be considered an expert. In addition, the overall number of thyroid operations he or she has done matters. Use the chart below to determine the experience of your surgeon.

Total No. of Thyroid or Parathyroid Operations Experience Level
< 200 Inexperienced
200-500 Intermediate
>500 Experienced
>1000 Expert

Our New York Thyroid surgeons perform many times that number each year and have each performed thousands of neck operations in their careers.




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Information for physicians

Learn about current research initiatives, conferences, and procedural advances at the Division of Endocrine Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center.
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