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Scarless Thyroidectomy and Parthyroidectomy

Traditional thyroidectomies and parathyroidectomies leave a visible scar in the middle of the neck. But, advancements in endocrine surgery at Johns Hopkins allow our surgeons to provide a scarless alternative to this procedure. In a scarless thyroidectomy, or scarless parathyroidectomy, the surgeon accesses the gland(s) through the patient’s mouth (called a “transoral” approach.)

"A truly scarless thyroid surgery is one where we have no cutaneous (skin) incisions. What that means to patients is they don't have a small scar...they have no visible scar at all," says Jonathon Russell, M.D.

Transoral 'Scarless' Thyroid Surgery Animation

Watch an animation of transoral "scarless' robotic surgery to learn how it can be used as an alternative to traditional thyroid surgery - leaving patients without a visible neck scar.

 

Why Choose Johns Hopkins for a Scarless Thyroidectomy or Parathyroidectomy?

Patients seeking surgical removal of their thyroid or parathyroid can take comfort knowing Johns Hopkins is the leading scarless thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy center in the United States, completing hundreds of these cases since 2016. Johns Hopkins was also the first hospital to offer a robotic option for scarless thyroidectomy, including utilization of the new Single Port robot.

 

Am I a Candidate for a Scarless Thyroidectomy or Parathyroidectomy?

Candidates for this procedure may include patients diagnosed with: 

Additional screening may be required to determine candidacy. Consult with one of our surgeons for more information. 

 
 

Comparing Results of Traditional Thyroidectomy and a Scarless Thyroidectomy 

Patients can take comfort knowing their surgery won't leave a lasting mark. This can be especially important to those concerned that a surgical scar may be accompanied by a lifetime of burdensome questions. 

Scarless Thyroidectomy
Left: Traditional Surgery | Right: Scarless Surgery

On the left, a traditional thyroidectomy which leaves a scar across the neck. On the right, Kristin Sepulveda four weeks after her scarless thyroidectomy procedure performed by Jonathon Russell, M.D.

Scarless Thyroidectomy
Left: Traditional Surgery | Right: Scarless Surgery

​On the left, a traditional thyroidectomy which leaves a scar across the neck. On the right, Kristin Sepulveda four weeks after her scarless thyroidectomy procedure performed by Jonathon Russell, M.D.

Scarless Thyroidectomy
Left: Traditional Surgery | Right: Scarless Surgery On the left, a traditional thyroidectomy which leaves a scar across the neck. On the right, Kristin Sepulveda four weeks after her scarless thyroidectomy procedure performed by Jonathon Russell, M.D.
Scarless Thyroidectomy
Left: Traditional Surgery | Right: Scarless Surgery ​On the left, a traditional thyroidectomy which leaves a scar across the neck. On the right, Kristin Sepulveda four weeks after her scarless thyroidectomy procedure performed by Jonathon Russell, M.D.
 

Thyroid and Parathyroid Experts

Photo of Dr. Jonathon O Russell, M.D.

Russell, Jonathon O, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Director of Endoscopic and Robotic Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
Director of the Johns Hopkins Multidisciplinary Thyroid Tumor Center
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Benign Thyroid Disorders, Benign Tumors of the Head and Neck, Endocrinology, Goiter, Head and Neck Cancers, Hyperparathyroidism, Minimally Invasive Radiofrequency Ablation, Neck Masses, Oncology, Otolaryngology, Otolaryngology (ENT), Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Paraganglioma, Parathyroid Diseases, Parathyroid Surgery, Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), Radiofrequency Ablation for Thyroid Nodules, Scarless Thyroidectomy, Thyroglossal Cysts, Thyroid, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Diseases, Thyroid Masses, Thyroid Parathyroid
 
Photo of Dr. Ralph P Tufano, M.B.A., M.D.

Tufano, Ralph P, M.B.A., M.D.

Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Charles W. Cummings M.D. Professor
Director, Division of Head and Neck Endocrine Surgery
Expertise, Disease and Conditions: Benign Thyroid Disorders, Goiter, Graves' Disease, Hyperparathyroidism, Minimally Invasive Radiofrequency Ablation, Nodal Metastsis, Otolaryngology, Parathyroid Diseases, Parathyroid Surgery, Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), Radiofrequency Ablation for Thyroid Nodules, Scarless Thyroidectomy, Thyroglossal Cysts, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Diseases, Thyroid Surgery, Thyroid Tumors
 
 
 
Gwen a patient who received a scarless neck surgery

Patient Story

Scarless Parathyroidectomy 

Gwen contacted Jonathon Russell, M.D., to have her thyroid removed after she was diagnosed with a thyroid nodule. Further examination revealed it was her parathyroid that needed to be removed and a scarless surgery was available. Gwen elected to have the scarless surgery. The results: like nothing ever happened. 

Learn more about Gwen and her care at Johns Hopkins.
 
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive  Cancer Center

Multidisciplinary Approach

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery works with the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the highest quality patient care and innovative research.

Learn more about the multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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