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Bruce E. Freedman, M.D., F.A.C.S.
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Due to abdominal pain I underwent a CAT scan of my abdomen. I was told I have a pancreatic mass. Now what?
You should be referred to a surgeon that is comfortable performing pancreatic surgery. Most pancreatic masses will require surgery. The type of surgery depends greatly on the location of the mass within the pancreas.


I have a palpable mass on my thyroid. Do I need surgery?
Prior to surgery, you should have appropriate blood tests evaluating your thyroid function. You should also have a thyroid ultrasound and most likely, a fine needle aspirate (FNA) of the thyroid mass. FNAís help decide who should have surgery based on what the cells look like under a microscope. Patients may also be considered surgical candidates if they have obstructive type symptoms such as breathing problems from compression, difficulty swallowing or severe pain.


I was told I have an adrenal mass. Do I need surgery? Can it be done with a minimally invasive technique?
Surgery for adrenal tumors depends upon the size of the mass and whether or not it is a functioning tumor. Some adrenal tumors secrete certain compounds that do make surgery necessary. Tumors of the adrenal gland that are five centimeters or larger are recommended for removal because of the risk of being cancer. Most patients with an adrenal tumor are candidates for a laparoscopic approach, as long as your surgeon has the experience necessary to perform such surgery.


Six months ago I had severe pancreatitis and now Iíve been told my follow-up CAT scan shows a pancreatic pseudocyst. This is causing me severe pain. What can be done?
Large, symptomatic, mature (thick walled) pseudocysts usually require surgery. These are usually drained into the stomach or small intestine. Itís possible this can be addressed laparoscopically.

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