Author: Dr. Kirk Faust

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. It is positioned on the front of the breathing tube (trachea) and partially wraps around it just below the “adams apple” (larynx). It is divided into right and left halves (lobes) connected to each other by a thin strip of thyroid tissue called the …Read More »

Multi-Nodular Goiter (MNG)

Multi-nodular goiter (MNG) is a medical term describing an enlarged, lumpy thyroid gland. While iodine deficiency is a common cause world-wide, this is not true in the US. In the US, the cause is usually multifactorial and, in a given individual, frequently hard to determine. It is more common in women than men. It may …Read More »

Thyroid Nodules

Significant thyroid nodules are solid and larger than 1 cm (about 1/2 inch) in greatest dimension. Thyroid nodules are very common and are not usually cancer. Small nodules may come and go. Generally, nodules over 1-2 cm have about a 20% chance of enlarging over time Some nodules may have both solid and fluid components. …Read More »

Thyroid Cancer

Generally, well-differentiated thyroid cancer is indolent in nature and slowly progressive. It uncommonly represents a risk to the patient’s life if treated in a timely and appropriate manner. It is one of the most treatable and curable cancers. Surgery is the primary treatment. Sometimes, after surgery, treatment with radioactive iodine is indicated. Chemotherapy and radiation …Read More »

Papillary Thyroid

PTC is the most common thyroid cancer (about 80% of all thyroid cancers). Most cases present as a painless nodule that is relatively firm. Sometimes it is found on an ultrasound or CT scan done for other reasons. The diagnosis is usually made by needle biopsy (FNA). Generally, PTC has a good prognosis. Female sex, age …Read More »

Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are paired glands that sit on top of the kidneys in the posterior upper abdomen. Each gland has an inner part (the medulla) and an outer portion (the cortex). The medulla makes epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine, which mediate the body’s “flight or fight” response. These hormones increase heart rate and blood pressure. …Read More »

Adrenal Cortical Cancer (ACC)

ACC is rare, the cause is unknown. Smoking may increase the risk of ACC. It occurs more often in women than men. It can happen at any age but the typical patient is about 50 years old. About 50% of these tumors are functional and 50% are non-functional. A variety of hormones can be produced …Read More »

Idiopathic Hyperaldosteronism (IHA)

IHA is the most common cause of hyperaldosteronism. The over-growth of the aldosterone producing cells of the adrenal gland is usually diffuse and occurs in both glands equally. IHA causes 70% percent of hyperaldosteronism . The degree of hormone over-production is usually relatively mild. It is important to differentiate hyperaldosteronism due to IHA from hyperaldosteronism …Read More »

Primary Adrenal Hyperplasia (PAH)

PAH is a very uncommon cause of primary hyperaldosteronism. Rarely, a patient is found to have primary hyperaldosteronism. Imaging studies are performed but are negative. AVS is performed and a clear asymmetric secretion of aldosterone is found suggesting that the excess aldosterone is coming from only one adrenal gland. (Remember both glands over-secret aldosterone in …Read More »