Parathyroid Cancer
Surgery & Treatment

Jump to: Parathyroid Gland | Common Signs | Treatment | Expectations

Being diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism or parathyroid cancer may result in a good deal of confusion and questions because you may not even be aware of the function of the parathyroid glands or the conditions that can affect them. Even within the medical community, hyperparathyroidism is frequently underdiagnosed, and it may not be treated effectively without the use of surgery to remove affected glands and tumors impairing their function.

With our help at The Surgery Group of Los Angeles, you can gain a better understanding of hyperparathyroidism and your treatment options available through our skilled surgical team.

What Are the Parathyroid Glands?

parathyroidThere are four parathyroid glands located in the neck, just behind the thyroid. These glands and the thyroid are both essential parts of the endocrine system. While they share very similar names, they have completely separate functions in the body. The parathyroid glands are very small—typically about the size of an apple seed—and they are responsible for regulating the levels of calcium in the body.

Because calcium plays so many roles in the human body, from the building blocks of the skeletal system to the contraction of muscles, to the communication of nerves, even a small imbalance of this mineral can cause widespread health issues. Most commonly, calcium imbalances related to parathyroid disorders are caused by an over-activity of these glands due to the growth of non-cancerous tumors, which is known as hyperparathyroidism

What Are the Signs of Parathyroid Issues?

The symptoms of hyperparathyroidism can vary greatly, and many overlap with symptoms of other conditions—including common thyroid disorders. Therefore, it is important to take a broad look at a patient’s health with a complete blood panel to accurately diagnose hyperparathyroidism.

Below, you can get a look at some of the most likely signs and symptoms of parathyroid malfunction, which may prompt you to seek specialized care and parathyroid treatment from The Surgery Group of Los Angeles.

  • High calcium levels
  • Low vitamin D
  • Kidney stones
  • Bone aches and pains
  • Mood and/or memory disturbances
  • Gastric reflux disease
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure

How Are Parathyroid Problems Treated?

Because hyperparathyroidism is often a result of a benign tumor of the parathyroid glands, parathyroid surgery is often necessary to address the condition. Unlike an overactive thyroid that can be treated with medication and other conservative treatments, the parathyroid glands will not return to normal function until tumors have been removed.

Fortunately, modern surgical techniques have facilitated procedures that leave minimal scarring, with reduced damage to healthy tissues for more successful surgical outcomes. Our parathyroid surgeon Dr. Cohen and his team specialize in minimally invasive surgery. Unlike traditional parathyroid surgery, you don't need to worry about an unsightly scar across your neck.

What to Expect From Surgery

sensitive after surgery

The thought of being put to sleep and having an area on your neck operated on can induce all sorts of worries and fears. You can rest assured that you are in safe hands during the duration of the procedure. Our team will work to ensure we successfully complete the operation and that you are comfortable afterward.

With parathyroid surgery, you will be unconscious after being administered general anesthesia. Because the glands are so small, this surgery can take up to four hours. Your surgeon will need to spend time locating the glands, and then carefully removing them to avoid disrupting nerves and blood vessels in the area. The complication rates for this type of surgery are extremely low.

After surgery, you will more than likely be released to go home. You will want to ensure that a loved one can transport you to your house, as it’s unsafe to drive after surgery. There are a few side effects of surgery, including:

  • Soreness or mild pain in your neck
  • Pain in the incision area
  • Swollenness and/or bruises
  • Tingling, numbness, and tightness

These symptoms are entirely normal and may last for weeks after surgery. You will want to take it easy the first week, post-surgery. Avoid strenuous activity, as well as excessive chewing and talking, as this can irritate your incision. It’s important to get clearance from your parathyroid surgeon before exercising or participating in other physical activity.

Do you have questions or concerns about surgery? Want to learn what treatment options you have for endocrine diseases? If so, we’re here to help! To learn more about modern parathyroid surgery in Los Angeles, connect with The Surgery Group of Los Angeles on our website.

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