Serving the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire of Georgia and South Carolina.

Endocrine Surgery

At SouthCoast Health Surgery, E. Stephen Yeager, MD, Jeffrey S. Mandel, MD and Christa L. Jillard, MD are experienced in thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and pancreatic disorders. Dr. Yeager received specialized training in endocrine surgery during his residency at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Jillard received completely dedicated training in endocrine surgery during her post-residency fellowship at the prestigious Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Specifically, Drs. Yeager and Jillard belong to the small distinguished group of surgeons who are highly trained in endocrine surgery. Dr. Yeager received specialized training in endocrine surgery during his residency at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Jillard received completely dedicated training in endocrine surgery during her post-residency fellowship at the prestigious Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She was one of only twenty-six endocrine surgery fellows in the country at the time of her training. Both Drs. Jillard and Yeager are active members of the national organizations American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) and Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO).

It is well established that surgeon experience (number of endocrine surgeries performed) directly correlates with patient outcome in endocrine surgery. As a result, it is strongly recommended for patients to choose a specialized endocrine surgeon for their surgery. As a result, it is strongly recommended for patients to choose a specialized endocrine surgeon for their surgery.

Thyroid Surgery

There are numerous conditions of the thyroid for which surgery is indicated. These include hyperfunction, goiters or enlarged thyroids that press on the windpipe, suspicious nodules and cancer. Our surgeons utilize the latest traditional and minimally invasive surgical methods and will recommend the best approach based on the patient's individual condition. Sometimes half of the thyroid needs to be removed (lobectomy); sometimes the entire thyroid needs to be removed (total thyroidectomy). Sometimes half of the thyroid needs to be removed (lobectomy); sometimes the entire thyroid needs to be removed (total thyroidectomy). While the ultimate priority is to treat the endocrine disease, Dr. Jillard also strives for superior cosmetic results, such that neck scars are not a constant reminder of the disease treated. See photos of Dr. Jillard’s patients’ results post-surgery below.

Patients’ neck scars from thyroid surgery.

Parathyroid Surgery

Parathyroid disease is rare. It involves one or all four of the parathyroid glands that sit behind the thyroid gland in the neck. Surgery is indicated in the setting of high calcium levels, kidney disease, or cancer. Typically very small glands (the size of a dime) enlarge and need to be removed. There are many kinds of parathyroid surgery and specific ones are chosen depending on the disease process. Because the procedure is complex, it is important that it be performed by a surgeon, like Dr. Yeager or Dr. Jillard, who have extensive parathyroid experience. Minimally invasive approaches with outpatient surgery are available, and both surgeons perform these regularly.

Showing location of thyroid in neck

Adrenalectomy

The two adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. Generally, patients are referred for an adrenalectomy after an abdominal medical imaging study reveals an enlarged adrenal gland. At SouthCoast Health Surgery, our specialists can perform adrenalectomy with either conventional or laparoscopic surgery, depending on the patient’s unique condition.

Pancreatic Disease

As an endocrine gland, the pancreas produces and releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. There are many types of tumors that can develop in the pancreas and affect its functions. Dr.s Yeager and Dr. Mandel can accurately assess your condition and recommend the appropriate surgical approach. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that may be acute or chronic. For patients whose pancreatitis is the result of gallbladder disease or an obstructed pancreatic duct, traditional or minimally invasive surgery may be necessary.

Visit our Patient Education Guide to learn more about Endocrine Surgery.