There are four parathyroid glands, which are located on the underside of the thyroid. These glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates the amount of calcium in the blood. This is their ONLY job. The most common parathyroid problem is hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which the gland produces too much PTH. This is often the result of a parathyroid adenoma, a benign condition.

Cancerous growths in the parathyroid glands are extremely rare. Idaho Surgical provides exceptional treatment for parathyroid disease including these adenomas. Patients in the Treasure Valley area can expect exceptional, compassionate care from our team.

SYMPTOMS:

When a parathyroid gland develops into an adenoma, it grows at an abnormal rate. In turn, this results in production of an abnormal amount of PTH. Therefore, one of the main symptoms of parathyroid cancer is a result of massive amount of PTH in the blood - well beyond even "excessive" Levels. Extremely high levels of calcium in the blood are the result, leading to possible kidney stones, gallstones, constipation, depression and osteoporosis.

RISK FACTORS:

Parathyroid disease can be usually associated with an inherited defect, so people with a family history of the disease are more at risk. Most cases are random events found as the result of a routine blood test showing a higher than normal calcium level. Contact our office if you believe you are at risk for this disease, and we can schedule a diagnostic exam.

TREATMENT:

Parathyroid adenoma is a slowly developing disease that responds well to treatment, especially if it is caught early on. Surgery is the most common and effective treatment. Usually the parathyroid gland containing the adenoma is removed through a small incision in the neck, leaving the other healthy glands in place with intraoperative PTH testing and the use of the electronic breathing tube monitor (NIM tube) He can identify if the adenoma was indeed in the specimen removed and can locate the nerve to the vocal cord/cords.

POST OPERATIVE:

Much like thyroid surgery , recovery from parathyroid surgery is similar. After a parathyroidectomy, the patient stays in hospital overnight to check calcium and PTH labs the next morning and to assure that there will be minimal swelling. The incision usually heals in a week or so, and most patients are able to return to their regular activities a few days/weeks after the procedure. Some patients may or may not also be prescribed a calcium supplement pills to maintain normal calcium levels while the remaining glands recover. Our team works closely with patients in the days, weeks, and months after surgery to monitor their recovery and help if any complications arise with the close help of the endocrinologists.

PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS

Continue to take all your usual medications in their usual doses. If you normally take any medications for blood pressure or heart problems in the morning, these can be taken with a small sip of water on the morning of your surgery.

Coumadin (Please confirm these instructions with your surgeon)

If you take Coumadin (a type of blood thinner), we will frequently suggest that you discontinue this medication 5 days prior to your operation. Only discontinue this following the specific instructions of your doctor.

Plavix (Please confirm these instructions with your surgeon)

This medication should be discontinued one week prior to surgery. Please check with your doctor for specific instructions.

OTHER MEDICATIONS

Due to the risk of increased bleeding, you should stop any of the following medications at least 10 days prior to surgery:

  • Aspirin
  • Plavix
  • Bufferin ®
  • Excedrin ®
  • Advil ®
  • Motrin ®
  • Ticlid ®
  • Naproxen
  • VIOXX ®
  • CELEBREX ®
  • Voltaren ®
  • Ibuprofen

Any other medications not listed, please discuss with your surgeon. It is okay to take Tylenol.