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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago


Endocrine Surgery at Northwestern Memorial

Northwestern's Program is comprised of a team of experienced surgeons and clinicians who are dedicated to the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of endocrine system disorders. These pages provide patient and referring physicians with information about our program, our experience and what to expect as one of our patients.

Our Program is led by specialist endocrine surgeons, Cord Sturgeon, MD, and Dina Elaraj, MD, perform comprehensive assessments of endocrine surgical disease, including diseases and tumors of the:

  • Thyroid
  • Parathyroid
  • Adrenal glands
  • Endocrine pancreas

We welcome patients interested in initial consultations and second opinions. Our clinics are equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, so patients can have complete evaluation of the thyroid and parathyroid glands during their clinic consultations.

To provide the most rapid and accurate assessment of thyroid nodules, both Drs. Sturgeon and Elaraj perform their own ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsies within the clinic.

Our surgeons are specialists accustomed to managing complex surgical problems, such as:

  • Thyroid cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or recurred
  • Persistent or recurrent hyperparathyroidism
  • Parathyroid cancer
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Functional adrenal tumors
  • Insulinoma
  • Gastrinoma

We approach all of our patients with the goal of providing a minimally-invasive solution to their medical condition. The majority of patients who require surgery will qualify for minimally invasive procedures, such as:

  • Minimally-invasive parathyroid surgery (including surgery under local or twilight anesthesia for selected patients)
  • Minimal-incision thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid)
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (removal of the adrenal gland/s)

In addition, we are involved in multiple clinical research projects to continuously improve the way that we treat endocrine surgical problems.

What to Expect

While the information on this site is intended to provide you with an overview of our Program, your best next step is to call us at (312) 695-0900 and arrange a consultation with our patient access representatives.

Preparation for your first visit

So we may serve you best during your first visit, please review the following information:

  • Complete the Endocrine Surgery Patient and Symptom Form and the Patient Health History Form. Please bring these completed documents to your first visit.
  • Please fax all medical documents (operation reports, lab results, radiology reports) pertaining to your current diagnosis to us at (312) 695-2543.These documents should be faxed well in advance of your appointment so we may review them prior to your visit. If you are unable to fax them, please bring them with you to your appointment.
  • Request copies of all medical images (ultrasounds, X-rays, CT scans) pertaining to your diagnosis and bring them to your first appointment.
  • If your insurance requires a referral, please obtain one from your primary care physician before your first visit.
  • Make a list of questions that you wish to ask our surgeons and nurses. If you do this in advance, it will help prevent you from forgetting pertinent questions.
  • Please bring your insurance card, a list of medications that you are taking and the contact information of the physician who referred you.

Your first visit

When you arrive at the Galter Pavilion, take the elevator to the 17th floor. If you need assistance with directions, visit the Patient Services Center on the first floor of the Galter Pavilion. Upon arriving, you will check in with the receptionist, who will ask you to review your demographic and insurance information and will collect your referral or authorization form, if applicable.

During your visit, our staff will review your medical history and examine you. Your physician may wish to perform more diagnostic tests, which may include radiologic studies, bloodwork or laboratory tests.

You may also need an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy, which Dr. Sturgeon or Dr. Elaraj will perform during your visit. If surgery is needed, we will schedule a preliminary date with you. Depending on your age and medical history, you may need further evaluation before surgery.

Please allow ample time for your appointment. Due to the unpredictable nature of our practice, you may, on occasion, have to wait to be seen. Please understand that we strive to make the best use of all of our patients' time and will provide the same care and attention to you.

Last UpdateOctober 26, 2012


To make an appointment with a physician, please call 1-877-926-4664.

New patients can request an appointment online.