Parathyroidectomy - series

Toggle: English / Spanish

Normal anatomy

The 4 parathyroid glands are located near or attached to the back side of the thyroid gland. The parathyroid glands secrete a hormone that controls blood levels of calcium.

Normal anatomy

Indications

Parathyroidectomy is recommended when one or more of the parathyroid glands are producing excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone (PTH). This condition is called hyperparathyroidism.

Hyperparathyroidism leads to excess calcium levels in the blood, which may result in symptoms such as muscle spasm or tetany, bone loss (osteoporosis), kidney disease, including kidney stones, psychiatric problems, including depression, irritability, fatigue, and anxiety, as well as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Indications

Procedure

An incision is made in the neck, usually just under the Adam's apple. The 4 parathyroid glands are located and the abnormal parathyroid glands are removed. The incision is then closed.

In a partial parathyroidectomy, 1 to 3 of the glands are removed, leaving one to help prevent the body from producing too little parathyroid hormone (PTH). This condition is called hypoparathyroidism.

In a total parathyroidectomy, all 4 glands are removed. In some cases, the surgeon will implant parathyroid tissue in the forearm muscle of the patient to provide residual parathyroid function.

Procedure

Aftercare

The incision usually heals very well and there will be a light scar. Normal activity can usually be resumed within a few days.

Aftercare

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 12/10/2012
  • Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: April 14, 2014

         
Average rating (0)