Removal of parathyroid gland; Parathyroid gland removal
Parathyroidectomy is surgery to remove parathyroid glands or parathyroid tumors.
Parathyroidectomy is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free). An incision is made in the neck just under the Adam’s apple. The four parathyroid glands are located.
For partial parathyroidectomy, three of the glands are removed, leaving one to help prevent hypoparathyroidism (low levels of parathyroid hormone).
For a total parathyroidectomy, all four glands are removed. The incision is then closed. With this procedure, some of the parathyroid gland tissue is usually re-implanted in the forearm or neck muscles so that some parathyroid hormone will still be produced in the body and hypoparathyroidism can be avoided.
Parathyroidectomy is recommended when the parathyroid glands produce excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism).
Risks for any anesthesia include the following:
- Reactions to medications
- Problems breathing
Risks for any surgery include the following:
Additional risks for parathyroidectomy include the following:
- Injury to the thyroid gland
- Hypoparathyroidism (leading to dangerously low calcium levels)
- Injury to the vocal cord nerves
Expectations after surgery
Complete healing without complications usually occurs within 4 weeks. The long-term outlook is excellent.
Serum calcium levels should be monitored daily for several days after this procedure.
Normal activity can be resumed within a few days. Vigorous activity may need to be avoided for up to a month.
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.
All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.