A parathyroidectomy is a surgery to remove abnormal parathyroid glands. There are four parathyroid glands located in the neck. The glands make parathyroid hormone, which is used to control calcium levels in the blood.
The surgery is done to remove one or more abnormal parathyroid glands. The glands can be abnormal due to cancer or for other reasons.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a parathyroidectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Talk to your doctor about these risks before the surgery.
Your doctor will:
General anesthesia will be used. It will block any pain. You will stay asleep through the surgery. In some cases, local anesthesia may also be used.
The surgeon will make a 2 to 2-½ inch (5-6 centimeter) cut in the neck. He will need to move away neck muscles and the thyroid to locate all the glands. Once the abnormal gland is located, he will cut it out and remove it. A drain may then be placed in the area where the surgery was done. The cut will be closed with stitches.
20 minutes to several hours (depending on how many glands need to be removed)
This procedure is done in a hospital setting. The usual length of stay is 1-2 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if you have any problems.
The hospital staff will:
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS)
The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
National Cancer Institute
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
Farndon JR. Postoperative complications of parathyroidectomy. In: Holzheimer RG, Mannick JA. Surgical Treatment: Evidence-Based and Problem-Oriented. Munich, Germany: Zuckschwerdt; 2001. National Center for Biotechnology Information website. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6967/ . Accessed February 19, 2011.
Parathyroid surgery. The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.endocri... . Accessed February 19, 2011.
Parathyroidectomy. Baylor College of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.debakey... . Updated February 18, 2011. Accessed February 19, 2011.
Parathyroidectomy. Cedars-Sinai website. Available at: http://acromegalys... . Accessed February 19, 2011.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
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