Why St. Joseph Healthcare

When you need care from highly-trained, compassionate endocrinology specialists, you can depend on our St. Joseph endocrinology team for the quality of care you need and deserve. St. Joseph’s endocrinology team includes some of the most acclaimed endocrine specialists in MAINE. In addition, several of our physicians have an Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) from the American College of Endocrinology.

Endocrinology encompasses the care and treatment of hormone-producing glands that regulate metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, sleep, and more. The body’s endocrine system includes the pancreas, the thyroid, parathyroid, pineal, hypothalamus, adrenal and pituitary glands, ovaries, testes and other organs which respond to, modify or metabolize hormones.

At St. Joseph Healthcare, we specialize in the treatment of complex thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer, other endocrine and metabolism disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis and testosterone.

Conditions and Procedures:

Thyroid nodules are a common problem. As many as one in 20 people have a lump that can be felt, and over half of normal people will have a very small lump detectable by ultrasound. Over 95% of all lumps large enough to be felt are benign. Decades ago, it was common practice to remove most lumps. Today, however, needle biopsies can determine which nodules require surgery, and which can be safely monitored.

Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has shown an increase, rather than a decline, in recent years. Fortunately, most patients with thyroid cancer do very well, with a survival rate exceeding 97%. Good outcomes require proper treatment and monitoring provides comprehensive, compassionate care for thyroid cancer. Working closely with skilled local and national surgeons, pathologists and radiation oncologists, the center strives for early detection, quality treatment and long-term surveillance for recurrence.

Biopsies are performed in the office, usually at the time of the initial consultation. An extremely small needle is used and the procedure results in very little discomfort. No special preparation is necessary, and full activity is resumed after the biopsy. The needle is inserted for six to 10 seconds and repeated three to four times. Local anesthesia is rarely required, as it tends to sting more than the biopsy itself. As the needle is visualized on ultrasound throughout the procedure, complications are extremely rare. The most common complication is a small bruise on the neck. The specimen is sent to Outpatient Pathology Associates (OPA) in California, experts in thyroid cytopathology

ECNU is a professional certification in the field of neck ultrasonography for physicians who perform consultations and diagnostic evaluations for thyroid and parathyroid disorders through both diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration. The certificate is awarded by the American College of Endocrinology and is approved by the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine. The ECNU credential signifies that an individual has passed the Comprehensive Certification Examination and has successfully completed the Validation of Competency Process.

Meet Our Team

Our team of endocrinology experts is here to help you navigate your health condition from assessment and diagnosis to treatment and follow-up. Click any of the provider names below to view a more detailed background and bio.

Lori Downs, RN CDE

St. Joseph Endocrinology

Mark Henderson, MD

St. Joseph Endocrinology

Poonam Khadka, MD

St. Joseph Endocrinology

Sheryl Sparlin, FNP

St. Joseph Endocrinology

(207) 907-1000