Global Health Initiatives: Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery

Members of the Division of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear have actively participated in global surgical teaching for many years. Each year, members of the Division provide goiter surgery in Migori, Kenya and other underserved regions, where they not only care for patients but also train local physicians to work toward sustainable health care for patients suffering from goiter and other conditions. This team includes surgeons Drs. Paul Konowitz, David Lesnik, and Gregory Randolph, along with Harvard Otolaryngology resident Dr. Dunia Abdul-Aziz and Mass. Eye and Ear thyroid nurse specialist Nancy Kotzuba.

2014 india thyroid groupIn January of 2014, Drs. Randolph, Konowitz, Kamani, and Abdul-Aziz teamed up with ENT surgeons from across India at the Neeti Clinic in Chikhaldara, India. They were there to care for patients with goiter and thyroid disease and to educate junior Indian ENT surgeons on thyroid surgical technique including neural monitoring through hands on experience, interactive video surgical conferencing and formal lectures.

Dr. Paul Konowitz video conferencing techniques during operation
Dr. Paul Konowitz instructing via video conference during the trip to India in 2014.

Dr. Dunia Abdul-Aziz presenting during CME course
Dr. Dunia Abdul-Aziz presenting at a course in India in 2014.

Kenya Thyroid mission group
From Left to Right: Dr. Paul Konowitz, Dr. Dunia Abdul Aziz, Division Director Dr. Gregory Randolph, Mass. Eye and Ear thyroid nurse specialist Nancy Kotzuba, and Dr. David Lesnik. Migori, Kenya 2013.

Thyroid surgery in kenya 2012
The above photograph depicts Drs. Konowitz, Lesnik and Abdul-Aziz operating in a small clinic in Migori, Kenya in February 2012. The team brought nerve-monitoring equipment along with them so that they could monitor nerve function for these patients as they do at their home institution. A surgical pre-op checklist was also implemented during this particular trip to Kenya.

In addition to the annual mission to Kenya, Dr. Randolph and his team have also brought surgical techniques and intraoperative nerve monitoring to the Chernobyl region of Russia, the Ukraine and southern China.

Thyroid surgery in russia
Dr. Gregory Randolph and Dr. Ilya Malikin performing thyroid surgery in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Greg Randolph teaching in the Ukraine
Dr. Gregory Randolph and Dr. Cristian Slough teaching local physicians how to utilize nerve monitoring during thyroid surgery in the Ukraine.

neural monitoring demo in Russia
Dr. Gregory Randolph demonstrating neural monitoring in Russia.