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The parathyroids are four pea-sized glands, which sit behind the thyroid gland in the neck. Though their names are similar, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are completely different. The parathyroid glands make parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps your body maintain the right balance of calcium and phosphorous in the bloodstream.
Occasionally a growth can develop on one or multiple of these glands. This can cause the gland to begin over producing PTH, which in turn can cause you to have too much calcium in your blood. If there is not enough calcium available to satisfy the parathyroids’ demands than calcium will begin to be taken from the bones. This can cause osteoporosis, kidney stones and even cardiac issues like high blood pressure or irregular heart rhythm. A simple blood test to check both your PTH and ionized calcium level can be done to diagnose this condition and often this is how it is first found. Once diagnosed you will most likely be sent to have a nuclear medicine parathyroid scan to determine if an adenoma, or tumor, can be identified prior to surgery. The absence of a tumor on this study does not mean you do not need surgery, but instead means the surgeon will need to look at all four glands during the procedure to identify the gland in question.
If you have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism you will be advised to have the problem gland removed. In some instances there are even multiple glands that need to be removed. This is a procedure that is done in the hospital. You will spend one night there, and will go home the next day. You will be given general anesthesia, and an incision will be made in the front of the neck. This incision is placed strategically in a natural neck crease, so that when it heals it will not be noticeable. The gland or glands are then removed, with care given to protect and preserve the laryngeal nerves. The incision will then be closed with absorbable sutures. No bandage will be placed over the incision to avoid irritation on the skin from tape. You will discharged the next day with instructions to return to the office for follow up in 1-2 weeks. You will have no restrictions on your activities any may resume full duty. You may be sent home on calcium and vitamin D supplementation. You will then be advised to have you PTH and ionized calcium checked with your annual lab work to ensure you do not develop another tumor in the future.
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Parathyroidectomy is a very technically challenging procedure. It is vital that you choose a surgeon with a great deal of experience with this surgery, as doing so greatly reduces your chance of having complications. Our surgeons have this type of experience. Contact our office today to discuss what options are right for you! We have two convenient locations in Lake Mary & Orange City, FL.
Are you needing an Appointment? Please call today (386) 775-0333 or