A parathyroidectomy is a surgery to remove parathyroid glands. There are four parathyroid glands located in the neck. The glands make a hormone that balance the level of calcium in the blood.
Call Your Doctor
It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the hospital. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
- Tingling or numbness in the fingertips, toes, hands, or around the mouth
- Twitching or cramping of muscles
- Redness, warmth, drainage, or swelling around the area where surgery was done
- Difficulty swallowing, talking, or breathing
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
A parathyroidectomy is a surgery to remove parathyroid glands. There are four parathyroid glands located in the neck. The glands make a hormone that balance the level of
in the blood.
Parathyroid Glands and Thyroid Glands (Back View) Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
What to Expect
Reasons for Procedure
The surgery is done to remove one or more abnormal parathyroid glands. The glands can be abnormal due to cancer or for other reasons.
A minimally invasive approach is usually done if only one gland needs to be removed. If more than one gland needs to be removed or if the doctor needs to do additional surgery in the neck, a conventional approach may used instead, which involves making larger incisions.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Low calcium levels in the blood (more common if all four glands are removed)
- Wound infection
- Reaction to the anesthesia
- Skin tethering—tissues and skin may become attached to the voice box or windpipe
- Blocked airway
- Damage to nerves (which can cause problems like paralyzed vocal cords)
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity