Parathyroid surgery is reserved for patients with problems on the four rice-sized glands located on the backside of the thyroid gland. At La Peer Health Systems, our world-renowned head and neck surgeons are keenly aware of the symptoms of parathyroid problems, and we provide the most advanced and minimally invasive treatment options for our patients with parathyroid gland problems.
Oftentimes, a patient may experience problems with his or her parathyroid glands and be unaware of such issues. In many instances, patients are sent back from their primary care physician without a diagnosis of their problem. This is why it is important to consult with experienced endocrinologists or head and neck surgeons because their medical specialty is ideally suited to diagnose disorders of the parathyroid gland.
At La Peer Health Systems in Los Angeles, our unique team approach utilizes parathyroid experts with experience from top medical schools from around the globe. We focus entirely on providing our patients with excellent care, and we believe this is predominantly achieved by bringing only the best parathyroid doctors together under one roof.
To learn about the LA Peer Health Systems difference, contact us today at (855) 360-9119.
What Is the Parathyroid?
The parathyroid glands are a group of four rice-sized glands located on the backside of the neck. The butterfly-shaped gland is known as the thyroid.
Parathyroid Gland Function
The parathyroid glands produce the parathyroid hormone and serve a different purpose than the thyroid gland. In fact, parathyroid glands maintain the body’s calcium levels so that all the organs in the body can function properly.
Calcium is extremely important to every cell in our body because it is needed for communication inside the cells as well as in-between cells. Think of calcium in the body as the charge that goes through a phone that transmits a signal. Each of the body’s nerve cells relies on calcium to send signals. If a person’s parathyroid gland is malfunctioning, this could potentially result in severe neurological problems because of the important role that calcium plays in the body’s communication.
Parathyroid Gland Removal
Parathyroid gland removal addresses hypercalcemia, which occurs when the body produces too much calcium. Excess build-up of calcium in the arteries and heart valves may cause coronary artery disease, kidney failure and other long-term health issues.
Parathyroid Problems and Symptoms
Problems often arise within our parathyroid glands and may lead to hyperparathyroidism, a condition that causes the parathyroid glands to become overactive due to too much hormone production. This has to do with any of the following problems:
- Parathyroid Adenoma: A benign tumor that causes hyperparathyroidism. Common parathyroid adenoma symptoms include bone fractures, excess urination and kidney stones.
- Parathyroid Hyperplasia: Occurs when all four parathyroid glands are overproducing. Common parathyroid hyperplasia symptoms include bone fractures, constipation, muscle pain and nausea.
- Parathyroid Cancer: Causes malignant (cancer) cells to develop in parathyroid gland tissues. Common parathyroid cancer symptoms include constipation, fatigue, frequent urination, loss of appetite and weight loss. Parathyroid cancer is rare, and various tests may be used to diagnose this cancer.
Most Common Symptoms of Parathyroid Disease
The symptoms of parathyroid disease can vary in severity. Below are the most commonly reported symptoms of parathyroid disease:
- Poor sleep
- Stomach acid issues
- Bone pain
- High blood pressure
- Body ache
- Kidney stones
At LA Peer Health Systems, we take a team approach to treat patients with parathyroid disease. Throughout the surgical process, you will work with parathyroid expert Dr. Babak Larian and a team of radiologists and anesthesiologists to make sure your surgery delivers the optimal results.
Additionally, our renowned head and neck surgeons will work as a team with your primary care doctor and endocrinologist to treat and follow-up with a variety of parathyroid problems. The care you will receive at LA Peer Health Systems is focused on providing a comfortable and relaxing environment while giving you only the best treatment possible from an expert parathyroid surgeon.
BENEFITS OF MINIMALLY INVASIVE PARATHYROIDECTOMY
If a patient needs a portion or the entire parathyroid gland removed, one of the best surgical options is known as minimally invasive parathyroidectomy. Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy is much less traumatic to the tissue compared to its surgical counterpart.
Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy only requires a small incision in the neck, which allows for a faster recovery and a much shorter hospital stay than traditional surgery. Expert ENTs Dr. Babak Larian, Dr. Mani Zadeh and Dr. Michel Babajanian are skilled parathyroid surgeons with knowledge in head and neck surgery and provide treatments that patients won’t find anywhere else.
The thoroughness of minimally invasive parathyroidectomy provided by our expert La Peer surgeons is equal to traditional parathyroid surgery, though the risks and complications are greatly reduced. Benefits of the surgery include, but are not limited to:
- Less pain and pain medications
- Quick recovery
- Small incision
- Minimal blood loss
Complications of Parathyroidectomy
Potential parathyroidectomy complications include:
- Bleeding: Bleeding sometimes occurs after surgery. However, a surgeon takes every precaution to prevent bleeding at the end of an operation.
- Infection: There is a risk that general anesthesia may cause chest infection.
- Vocal Cord Paralysis: The nerves that control the vocal cords are located near the parathyroid glands. If these nerves are cut, a patient’s speech may be affected. If one vocal cord is paralyzed, a patient’s speech becomes abnormal. Or, if both vocal cords are cut, it becomes difficult for a patient to speak.
- Low Calcium Levels: The removal of excess parathyroid hormone (PTH) from the bloodstream causes blood calcium levels to plummet. When this occurs, a patient may experience muscle spasms.
- Ineffective Surgery: Parathyroidectomy generally is successful, but in some instances, the surgery does not work. In these cases, a surgeon may require additional blood tests, scans and treatments to ensure a patient can achieve the optimal results.
A surgeon will discuss potential parathyroidectomy complications prior to surgery. The surgeon will also respond to any parathyroidectomy complications concerns to ensure a patient understands the possible risks associated with the procedure.
Revolutionary Local Anesthetic Approach for Parathyroidectomy
Parathyroidectomy anesthesia is common to ensure pain-free treatment. Anesthesia for thyroidectomy is administered by an anesthesiologist who will monitor a patient throughout a surgery.
Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy can be performed under local anesthesia, which ensures a patient will be much more comfortable upon completion of the surgery. Local anesthesia differs from general anesthesia in the sense that it does not affect every major organ in your body, which ultimately results in a less lethargic feeling after the minimally invasive parathyroidectomy is completed. A patient also may choose to receive general anesthesia.
Because our head and neck surgeons are pioneers in the field of parathyroid disorders and the performance of minimally invasive surgeries, we’re able to offer patients a truly revolutionary anesthetic approach. Performing the procedure under local anesthesia means our patients have a much easier recovery and can return home the same day that their surgery was performed. Receiving the surgery under local anesthesia is very safe and does not have the additional risk factors associated with general anesthesia.
If you think you might be suffering from a parathyroid condition, please call LA Peer Health Systems in Los Angeles today to learn more about our excellent department of head and neck surgery treatments.
Recovery After Parathyroid Surgery
The surgeons at LA Peer Health Systems offer expert insights into all aspects of the parathyroidectomy recovery process. That way, patients will know exactly what to expect after surgery.
What to Expect After Parathyroidectomy Surgery
Following parathyroidectomy surgery, a patient will enter a recovery room where he or she will be monitored by nurses for about an hour. A patient usually spends one night in a hospital after surgery, but patients who receive minimally invasive parathyroidectomy may return home the same day.
For patients who go home directly after surgery, a friend or family member should provide transportation. Oftentimes, it is beneficial for a patient to have a family member or friend nearby to provide support immediately following treatment.
A patient may experience neck bruising and swelling in the initial days after treatment. He or she may require a bandage wrapped around the neck. This bandage can typically be removed within one to two days of surgery.
A plastic drain may be inserted into the skin to remove fluid. This drain will be monitored in a recovery room or hospital, or a patient may be allowed to return home with the drain in place. For patients who return home, they will receive instructions about how to manage the drain.
Blood calcium levels are monitored in the hours and days after surgery. Patients may need to take supplemental oral calcium as well. If patients experience numbness of the arms, feet or lips, they should contact their surgeon. These symptoms are abnormal and must be addressed immediately.
Patients should keep their head elevated as much as possible after surgery. This helps reduce the risk of neck swelling due to edema. Patients may require assistance to get in and out of bed and use the bathroom. Additionally, a soft, cool and light diet is recommended to minimize the risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting.
Antibiotics may be ordered after surgery.
Sutures are removed within about one week of surgery. Routine follow-up care varies depending on any problems that develop.
Patients should avoid strenuous activity in the first week after treatment. Alcohol and tobacco should be avoided immediately following surgery, and tanning is discouraged for at least six months.
Within three weeks of surgery, a patient should be able to return to light activities. If bleeding or excess swelling persists at this time, a patient should consult with his or her surgeon.
Will I Lose Weight After Parathyroidectomy Surgery?
Parathyroid patients may be more susceptible to weight loss or weight gain than others, but research indicates weight loss or weight gain affects only a small portion of patients. Fatigue is common after surgery, which may cause patients to become less active. Meanwhile, weight loss is more common than weight gain following treatment.
CONTACT OUR LOS ANGELES PARATHYROID SURGEONS
At La Peer Health Systems in Los Angeles, we have highly trained surgeons that believe compassion and caring for patients is just as important as surgical technique. Our Beverly Hills parathyroid surgeons are experts in their field and utilize state-of-the-art techniques to treat problems in that parathyroid gland.
If you think are suffering from parathyroid problems, please call us at 855-360-9119 and ask to speak with the Department of Head and Neck Surgery. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to improve your symptoms, condition, and overall quality of life.
For more information, please visit the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery website dedicated 100% to parathyroid surgery.