Information About Parathyroid Operations
Find out more about what’s involved with a parathyroid operation. Parathyroid operations are commonly needed and safe procedures. Are you suffering from a parathyroid condition? Are you looking at a parathyroid operation? Are you unsure what the parathyroid glands even are? Well, rest assured, lots of people have been where you are and there’s plenty of information to help you get started. Keep reading to find out more.
The parathyroids are four small glands, about the size of a grain of rice, on the back side of the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. Like the thyroid, they’re part of the endocrine system, a collection of glands that secrete hormones to keep the body’s systems balanced.
The thyroid is responsible for producing three hormones – one, calcitonin, that limits calcium in the blood and two that keep the body’s energy use, sensitivity to other hormones, and generation of proteins on an even keel. The parathyroid glands, though their name is similar, have a different function: They produce just one hormone, parathyroid hormone, or PTH.
PTH, in turn, elevates calcium levels in the bloodstream. Together, PTH and calcitonin keep calcium blood levels in a narrow range – as long as they’re working properly.
But the parathyroid glands can become a problem, making a parathyroid operation necessary. There may be several reasons for this, whether it be an unhealthy cell growth on your parathyroids or an overproduction of PTH.
Hyperparathyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism
The two most common dysfunctions of the parathyroids are hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism. The first results when the glands produce too much PTH, the second when they produce too little.
Hyperparathyroidism is the more likely of the two to lead to a parathyroid operation. There are two kinds: primary, almost always caused by adenoma (a benign growth on the glands) or hyperplasia (increased cell growth in the glands), and secondary, caused by kidney failure, vitamin D deficiency or other medical condition that lowers blood calcium.
Hypoparathyroidism, on the other hand, is caused by heredity, parathyroid surgery, autoimmune disorders, magnesium deficiency and hemochromatosis, among other factors. Both diseases are relatively rare, at least compared to afflictions of the thyroid gland.
What to Expect with a Parathyroid Operation
A parathyroid operation is also known as a parathyroidectomy. The goal is to remove one or more of the parathyroid glands because they’re overproducing PTH or to remove hyperplasia or a tumour. It is used especially in cases where elevated PTH levels lead to osteoporosis and bone loss.
The parathyroid surgery is conducted under a general anaesthetic. The procedure is safe and effective. Recovery time is usually very short.
If you have questions or concerns about parathyroid problems or parathyroid operations see your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.
For more information about parathyroid operations and parathyroid surgery click here.