The four, pea-sized glands (two on each side of the neck) that sit on the back of the thyroid are called the parathyroid glands. They work with the kidneys to help control the calcium levels in our bodies. In some people, one or more of these glands becomes hyperactive by producing too much parathyroid hormone, leading to a condition known as primary hyperparathyroidism. This disease causes patients’ calcium levels to be too high. If not treated primary hyperparathyroidism can cause kidney damage and weak bones (osteoporosis).
Symptoms of primary hyperparathyroidism can vary greatly, and may include:
- Bone pain
- Kidney stones
- Broken bones from bone weakening
- Chronic fatigue (tiredness)
- Stomach problems
- Lack of concentration
- Memory Problems
Parathyroid surgery is the main treatment for people with primary hyperparathyroidism. This helps improve their symptoms and prevents long-term complications of parathyroid disease.
Some of the most expert parathyroid surgeons in Michigan operate at Henry Ford. Our parathyroid surgeons use a number of advanced technologies to provide the best chance of safely and successfully curing your parathyroid disease. Many of our patients undergo endoscopic parathyroidectomy or minimally invasive parathyroidectomy, also known as “mini parathyroid surgery”. These surgeries are safe, cause little pain, and are usually done through small incisions resulting in a minimal parathyroid scar. These surgeries can often be performed under local anesthesia, without the need for general anesthesia.