Parathyroid Surgery: What You Need To Know

Overview and Purpose of Parathyroid Surgery

Parathyroid surgery involves the removal of one or more parathyroid glands, which are small, pea-sized glands located in the neck behind the thyroid. These glands play a crucial role in regulating calcium levels in the blood.

This surgery is primarily performed on individuals with hyperparathyroidism, a condition characterized by the overproduction of parathyroid hormone, leading to elevated calcium levels in the blood. Symptoms associated with hyperparathyroidism include:

The objective of the surgery is to restore the balance of calcium levels in the body by removing the glands causing the imbalance. Depending on the case, the procedure may involve the removal of a single gland (a uniglandular operation) or multiple glands (a multiglandular operation).

Parathyroid surgery is an effective method for addressing hyperparathyroidism, aiming to alleviate symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.

Find Top Surgery Clinical Trials

Choose from over 30,000 active clinical trials.

Preparation and Imaging Tests for Parathyroid Surgery

Preparing for parathyroid surgery involves several steps. The process begins with a physical exam where the doctor checks the neck for any abnormalities.

  • Blood tests are also necessary, measuring levels of calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the body.

  • Imaging tests play a crucial role in the preparation process.

    • Sestamibi scans are often used to locate abnormal parathyroid glands before the operation. This involves the injection of a small amount of radioactive material, which the overactive gland absorbs more than normal tissue.
    • Another imaging test is the ultrasound scan, which uses sound waves to create images of the neck area, aiding in the identification of any problematic glands.
    • Additionally, CT scans or MRI scans are utilized to provide detailed pictures that show both normal and diseased tissues.

Preparation is considered essential for the outcomes of parathyroid surgery.

Outcomes and Long-Term Issues Post-Parathyroidectomy

A parathyroidectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the parathyroid glands, which are small glands located near the thyroid and play a crucial role in calcium regulation in the body.

Following the surgery, patients might experience fluctuations in calcium levels, potentially leading to symptoms such as tingling sensations or muscle cramps. These are typically managed with medication and close monitoring.

  • While long-term complications are uncommon, there is a possibility of damage to the vocal cord nerves during the procedure, which could result in changes to the voice or difficulties in swallowing.

Regular follow-ups are important for identifying and addressing any issues that may arise post-surgery. Research, including clinical trials and patient experiences, contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the outcomes and potential long-term issues associated with a parathyroidectomy.