Understanding Endocrine Surgery | UCLA Health

The Center for Endocrine Surgery at UCLA is globally renowned for its Center for Endocrine Surgery, performing approximately 1,000 endocrine operations annually. Among the prevalent conditions treated are thyroid nodules, a common issue affecting nearly half of the population.

A notable portion of these cases may necessitate thyroid cancer surgery due to suspicious or cancerous findings. Post-surgery, an impressive 92 to 94 percent of our patients achieve disease-free status within a year. Additionally, we specialize in managing hyperparathyroidism, introducing advanced 4D CT imaging for accurate diagnosis. With streamlined procedures lasting just 15 to 20 minutes, most patients can return home within four hours. The cure rates for parathyroid disease are exceptionally high, ranging from 98.5% to 99%, offering a cost-effective means to prevent future osteoporosis and fractures.

There are instances of cancers that may potentially spread to the adrenal gland, known as metastasis. In the past, surgical intervention involved a significant open procedure beneath the rib cage, resulting in a prolonged hospital stay and extensive recovery period. However, advancements in medical techniques now allow for a minimally invasive approach through a few small laparoscopic incisions. At leading centers such as UCLA, procedures are commonly conducted via the back, eliminating visible scarring in the front and reducing recovery time significantly. UCLA has been at the forefront of innovative techniques, being the first in the U.S. to publish results on single-incision adrenalectomy, demonstrating our commitment to utilizing advanced laparoscopic methods for improved patient outcomes.

Whenever possible, we try to help our patients avoid surgery. Our significant investment in cutting-edge technology aims to provide individuals with thyroid tumors the option to sidestep surgery if deemed unnecessary. Alongside specializing in endocrine surgery, we collaborate with partners to effectively manage various endocrine conditions. Patients who visit us undergo a comprehensive process - meeting with an endocrinologist, undergoing ultrasounds with on-site imaging facilities, and receiving personalized care. Our reputation attracts patients globally, many of whom benefit from our distance program tailored for those residing two hours or more from UCLA. Upon initial consultations through phone or telehealth, patients visit us for in-person meetings, necessary imaging, and surgery scheduling, all in a single trip to Los Angeles. The following day, assuming all is well, patients can return home with follow-up care conducted via phone or video appointments. At the core, our approach to surgery is centered on fostering trust and lasting connections with our patients. Ensuring individuals never feel adrift or unsupported, we stand by them until they achieve complete recovery and well-being.


  • UCLA's endocrine surgery program is one of the busiest in the world
  • Thyroid nodules are a prevalent issue, and early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial to identifying potential cancers.
  • The use of advanced imaging techniques and laparoscopic surgeries has revolutionized the treatment of hyperparathyroidism, resulting in shorter operations and higher cure rates.
  • Laparoscopic surgeries for adrenal gland conditions have replaced the need for open surgeries, leading to faster recovery and fewer complications.
  • UCLA's distance program and telehealth options make their expertise accessible to patients worldwide, reducing the need for extensive travel.
  • Building trusting relationships with patients is a core value of UCLA's endocrine surgery program, emphasizing the importance of compassionate care.
  • UCLA's investment in new technology showcases their commitment to finding innovative solutions and providing the best possible care for patients.

Find your care

We deliver effective, minimally invasive treatments in a caring environment. 
Call 310-267-7838 to connect with an expert in endocrine surgery.

Find a provider | Request an appointment | Our locations