Surgical treatment for hyperparathyroidism
Parathyroidectomy is a surgery to remove one or more of the body’s four parathyroid glands. These small glands are located in the neck and control the body’s calcium levels. Each parathyroid gland normally is about the size of a pea.
We use parathyroidectomy to treat patients with parathyroid disorders. These conditions cause one or more of the parathyroid glands to become overactive, which leads to calcium levels in the body that are too high. Fortunately, in most patients with this disease only a single gland is the cause of the hyperparathyroidism. These are benign parathyroid tumors called parathyroid adenomas.
There are three main types of parathyroid disorders:
- Primary hyperparathyroidism
- Secondary hyperparathyroidism
- Tertiary hyperparathyroidism
How does parathyroidectomy work?
During a traditional parathyroidectomy, a surgeon examines all four of the parathyroid glands. The surgeon then removes any that look or feel abnormal. Successful removal of an overactive parathyroid gland allows the patient’s calcium levels to normal.
Patients have minimal pain after a parathyroidectomy. They usually feel more energetic and less tired because of their improved calcium levels, and they’re able to resume normal routines soon afterward.