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Thyroid Surgery

Thyroid Surgery treatment in Germany

The term endocrine surgery refers to surgery involving the human body’s hormone-producing glands, predominantly the thyroid and parathyroid.

Thyroid disease is common and can cause numerous health problems. In Germany alone, some 115,000 thyroid operations are carried out every year. Many people are unaware of their condition, since the disease does not always manifest itself in the form of a swollen gland (goitre). Careful diagnosis is essential in order to identify the cause and scale of the disease.

Following a study of the patient’s medical history (anamnesis) and a clinical examination, this involves a blood test, ultra-sound and, in the case of certain diseases, a ultrasound medical image scanning procedure (scintigraphy), a particular form of therapy will then be recommended on the basis of the results obtained.
At Paul Gerhardt Diakonie, thyroid and parathyroid diseases are treated at the Center for Thyroid Surgery. Dr. med. Hannelore Heidemann, who directs the center as well as conducting operations, has achieved international recognition and built up tremendous experience in the field in the course of over 5,000 interventions.

Thanks to close collaboration with the pathologists, the center can perform an intraoperative rapid section examination with immediate diagnosis or rapid section with the results in less than 36 hours.

Thyroid surgery services:

We offer the full spectrum of operations for diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid:

  • All benign and malignant diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid including
    • Surgery in case of Graves’ Disease (autoimmune disease)
    • Surgery in case of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (inflammation caused by autoimmune system)
    • Recurrent interventions (condition after preoperation)
    • Surgery in case of diving goitre (extension into chest cavity)
    • Surgery in case of congenital diseases involving thyroid and parathyroid
  • Primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • The clinic has considerable experience in operations on elderly patients and children.
  • Minimally invasive video-assisted procedure given relevant indications.


The intervention is conducted by means of a small incision in the skin of the throat depending on the patient’s condition and using the latest technology. Every operation is carried out using magnifying spectacles and a device to monitor the functioning of the vocal cords. Alongside the atraumatic operating technique employed, including delicate instruments, neuromonitoring helps to minimize any paralysis of the vocal cords. Indeed, the rate of vocal cord paralysis at our center is less than 0.5 percent, below the national and international average. The use of a seperate device to seal the vessels and tissues allows us to perform an almost ‘sutureless’ operation.

In the case of certain diseases, e.g. where there are small nodules or parathyroid adenomas, we use a minimally invasive video-assisted (MIVA) technique through an incision of approximately 15 mm.

An intraoperative parathyroid hormone assay (IOPTHA) is performed for every intervention on the parathyroid. The parathyroid hormone is formed by the parathyroid, and it is possible to predict the outcome of a surgical intervention during the actual operation by measuring the fall in the concentration of PTH in the blood after removal of the diseased parathyroid. In the case of prolonged operations, this can be an important tactical aid to the surgeon.

You are not required to donate your own blood at our center for operations involving the thyroid or parathyroid.