Parathyroid surgery is used to treat primary hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid gland). In 95% of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism the parathyroid surgery (parathyroidectomy) will cure their disease.
Parathyroid Surgery explained
Only the parathyroid glands in the neck that are enlarged or have a tumor need to be removed. The procedure lasts 1 -2 hours and in some cases can be performed with only a very small incision in the neck .
An elevated level of calcium in the blood is an indication of hyperparathyroidism. After diagnosis, an endocrinologist or your surgeon may order additional tests which can include a nuclear medicine localisation scan called a sestamibi scan. They may ask about your diet and medications, inexplicable aches and pains, fatigue, thirst or frequent urination, problems concentrating or forgetfulness, and feeling down.
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Possible Complications of Parathyroid Surgery
There are relatively few risks associated with parathyroid surgery :
- In 1% of parathyroid operations, the nerve that controls the voice is permanently affected, leaving your voice hoarse.
- Failure to cure primary hyperparathyroidism occurs in roughly 5% of patients. The most common reason is another enlarged parathyroid that was not seen on initial imaging. These can be found at a second operation.
- There is a small risk of bleeding into the wound. If this happens, it may be necessary to have a second operation to evacuate the blood so it does not interfere with your breathing.
After the Procedure
You will most likely be discharged from hospital the next day with instructions for care of your incision , taking pain medications, diet and activity at home. Adjustments in activity to reduce neck strain and diet can help the healing process.
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