Parathyroidectomy is surgery to remove the parathyroid glands or parathyroid tumors. The parathyroid glands are right behind your thyroid gland in your neck. These glands help your body control the calcium level in the blood.
Removal of parathyroid gland; Parathyroidectomy; Hyperparathyroidism - parathyroidectomy; PTH - parathyroidectomy
You will receive general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free) for this surgery.
Usually the parathyroid glands are removed using a 2- to 4-inch (5- to 10- cm) surgical cut on your neck. During surgery:
- The cut is usually made in the center of your neck just under your Adam's apple.
- Your surgeon will look for the four parathyroid glands and remove any that are diseased.
- You may have a special blood test during surgery that will tell if all the diseased glands were removed.
- In rare cases, when all four of these glands need to be removed, part of one is transplanted into the forearm. This helps ensure your body's calcium level stays at a healthy level.
The specific type of surgery depends on where the diseased parathyroid glands are. Types of surgery include:
- Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy: You may receive a shot of a very small amount of radioactive tracer before this surgery. This helps highlight the diseased glands. If you have this shot, your surgeon will use a special probe, like a Geiger counter, to locate the parathyroid gland. Your surgeon will make a small cut (1 to 2 inches; or 2.5 to 5 cm) on one side of your neck, and then remove the diseased gland through it. This procedure takes about 1 hour.
- Video-assisted parathyroidectomy: Your surgeon will make two small cuts in your neck. One is for instruments, and the other is for a camera. Your surgeon will use the camera to view the area and will remove the diseased glands with the instruments.
- Endoscopic parathyroidectomy: Your surgeon will make two or three small cuts in the front of your neck and one cut above the top of your collarbone. This reduces visible scarring, pain, and recovery time. This cut is less than 2 inches (5 cm) long. The procedure to remove any diseased parathyroid glands is similar to video-assisted parathyroidectomy.