Your thyroid gland is one of the endocrine glands that produces hormones to regulate the body. It is responsible for setting your metabolism. The thyroid gland is located in the middle of the lower neck, below the larynx (voice box) and wraps around the front half of the trachea (windpipe). It is shaped like a bow tie, just above the collarbones, with two lobes which are joined by a small tissue bar.
Diseases of the thyroid gland are very common, affecting millions of Americans, mostly women. If your thyroid gland is not active enough, it can cause weight gain, fatigue and difficulty with cold temperatures. If your thyroid is too active, producing more thyroid hormones than your body needs, it can cause weight loss, speed up your heart rate and make you very sensitive to heat. The most common thyroid problems are:
Goiter is the most common anatomic disease, and it is usually caused by an iodine deficiency. When simple goiter occurs in areas of adequate iodine intake, there appears to be a strong genetic component to the disease. In the United States, goiter is usually associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, as the disease progresses to a hypothyroid state.
If you develop significant swelling in your neck or difficulty breathing or swallowing, contact our physicians as soon as possible.
Surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland may be required if the enlargement is compressing other organs in the neck or if malignancy is suspected. Thyroid cancer is the most common tumor of the endocrine system. The biologic behavior of the different histologic types of thyroid neoplasms varies greatly.
During the operation, Dr. Leeman typically removes the lobe of the thyroid gland containing the lump and possibly the tissue that connects the lobes. Sometimes surgeons may decide not to remove any additional thyroid tissue, or proceed to remove the entire thyroid gland, and/or other tissue in the neck. This is a decision usually made in the operating room, based on findings at the time of surgery. Dr. Leeman will discuss these options with you preoperatively.
There may be times when the definite microscopic answer cannot be determined until several days after surgery. If a malignancy is identified in this way, your surgeon may recommend that the remaining lobe of the thyroid be removed at a second procedure.
Dr. Leeman can diagnose thyroid function abnormality or a thyroid mass by taking a medical history and a physical examination. Blood tests and imaging studies or fine-needle aspiration may be required as well. As part of the exam, your physician will examine your neck and ask you to lift up your chin to make your thyroid gland more prominent. You may be asked to swallow during the examination, which helps your physician feel the thyroid and any mass in it.
Physicians who specialize in otolaryngology diagnose and treat conditions of the ear, nose, throat and head and neck disorders. Commonly referred to as ENT physicians, otolaryngologists like Dr. Leeman are trained in head and neck surgery, as well as medical management for patients with hearing, balance, speech, voice, taste and smell disorders.
Yes, our physician provides leading care to patients of all ages, including children.
Our highly trained surgeons perform procedures to alleviate disorders and injuries of the ear, nose and throat, as well as the head and neck and related structures. Common procedures include septoplasty, sinuplasty, tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, reconstructive facial surgery and the removal of cancers.
Yes, our physicians can perform tests to determine the substances to which you are allergic and your sensitivity to each. Dr. Leeman will then prescribe a treatment method to manage your specific needs.
Depending on the cause of your snoring, our ENT specialists can employ methods to correct the issue. Treatment options include modifying your diet and lifestyle, medication and surgery.
Yes, our licensed audiologist, Dr. Deyanira Gonzalez, can perform a hearing evaluation to assess hearing loss determine which hearing aid is best suited to your lifestyle.
We accept and file most insurance, because we want you focused on your health, not your finances. Some of our accepted insurance carriers include:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
Coordinated Care Network
National Choice Care
Private Healthcare Systems
Seton Health Plan
Teachers Retirement System
Some insurance providers do require a referral in order to cover a visit to specialist like Dr. Leeman. If you are unsure of your coverage, please contact your health insurance provider.