ABOUT Parathyroidectomy Procedure - Maximed Turkey
What Is Parathyroidectomy?
A parathyroidectomy is a surgery to remove one or more of the four parathyroid glands. It's done when the gland produces too much or too little of the hormone parathormone, which controls calcium levels in your blood.
When one or more of your four parathyroids are removed, it lowers the chances that you'll have hyperparathyroidism. Which can lead to bone loss and kidney stones, among other things.
This surgery is a common treatment for people with hyperparathyroidism because it lowers their chances of developing related problems in future years—in some cases by up to 76%.
In 2014, about 1 in every 11,000 people in the United States had a parathyroidectomy. In many cases, especially for depressed or nonfunctioning parathyroid glands, a non-invasive procedure called a minimally invasive parathyroidectomy is performed to remove the gland.
After surgery, you should expect some pain and swelling as well as other symptoms that may last for a few weeks after surgery.
A parathyroidectomy uses general anesthesia to keep you asleep and pain-free during surgery. Some minimally invasive procedures can be performed using local anesthesia with sedation—you'll be awake but relaxed during the procedure.
Where Are The Parathyroid Glands?
Your parathyroid glands are four tiny glands that sit on the very tips of your thyroid gland—they look like butterfly wings. Each of them is about the size of a grain of rice, and they release parathormone, which helps control your calcium levels.
When one or more of them is removed, calcium can no longer be regulated and may build up in your blood, leading to health problems such as osteoporosis and kidney stones.
How Are Parathyroid Glands Formed?
Pregnant women produce the proteins necessary to develop the four parathyroid glands, but not all of these proteins are expressed in every individual.
During early development, some people produce too much of the protein SLC25A12, which is needed for parathyroid gland formation.
This can lead to hyperparathyroidism – a condition where more than two of the four glands develop – and is usually corrected surgically within 3 months after birth. Other times, however, SLC25A12 may not be produced and hyperparathyroidism may not be corrected.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperparathyroidism?
A parathyroid gland that's too active, or hyperactive, can cause problems.
When one or more of your parathyroids is too active, it increases how much calcium is in your blood, which may lead to problems with bones and teeth. These types of problems are called "secondary hyperparathyroidism."
Hyperparathyroidism may also cause kidney stones because the blood's calcium levels tend to be too high in people with this condition.
If kidney stones build up in your kidneys, they can lead to kidney damage and even kidney failure. About 7% of people with hyperparathyroidism will develop kidney stones in the future.
Treatment For Hyperparathyroidism
There are many medical treatments for hyperparathyroidism. The most common is parathyroidectomy, which removes one or more of your parathyroids.
What Are The Possible Risks Of Parathormone (PTH) Treatment?
Treatment to lower your blood calcium levels will sometimes lead to short-term problems with kidney function in about 1% of people who have surgery.
If you're getting this type of treatment, you will need to monitor your blood levels very carefully after surgery to prevent this condition from developing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Parathyroidectomy Safe?
Yes, if you choose a highly experienced and skilled surgeon. A parathyroidectomy is a very common and safe procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon.
What If My Doctor Suggests Parathyroid Hormone Stimulation Or Suppression?
If your doctor suggests you get PTH testing, ask him or her about the risks and benefits of these services.
If your doctor says you will need treatment with PTH, be sure to ask about the benefits and risks of these treatments and how they compare to surgical options.
You can also contact our Know Your Options: Parathyroid Hormone Suppression tool for more information on the risks of this treatment option.
What's The Difference Between Minimally Invasive And Open Surgery?
An open parathyroidectomy is an operation in which one or more of your parathyroids are removed through an incision in your throat.
A minimally invasive parathyroidectomy involves making very small cuts (incisions) to your neck, but it does not require having your throat opened. The procedure requires general anesthesia, so you'll be asleep throughout the operation.