Parathyroidectomy Surgery – Overview
A parathyroidectomy surgery is a form of major surgical procedure that is helpful in removing diseased or damaged parathyroid glands from the neck region.
Parathyroid glands are small pea-shaped glands that are usually 4 in number and are located two-to-a-side close to the thyroid gland in the neck. These parathyroid glands are usually 4 in number and consist of a minor and a superior gland on each side. There are usually four parathyroid glands in the human body, although at times, these may be fewer or more in numbers.
A parathyroid gland is responsible for producing the parathyroid hormone (PTH), which helps regulate the level of calcium in the body.
A parathyroidectomy surgery is considered to be an ideal treatment method for hyper-parathyroidism.
In hyperthyroidism the parathyroid glands start to produce excess amounts of PTH. This causes the calcium to be removed from the bones and enter the blood stream. In case excess amounts of calcium is absorbed by the intestine the level of calcium in the urine and blood increases to dangerous levels causing various complications such as kidney stone, decreased bone density, depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, etc. in order to avoid these life-threatening conditions the doctor will recommend a parathyroidectomy surgery to treat the condition.
Need for a Parathyroidectomy Surgery
A parathyroidectomy is required ideally when the calcium levels in the body are increased to excessive levels or if there are complications related to hyper-parathyroidism seen in the patient, such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, bone weakening, etc.
Parathyroidectomy Surgery procedure
The doctors use the latest and most modern treatment techniques to perform the parathyroidectomy surgery with additional convenience and ease to the patient. This is the most commonly used technique to perform a parathyroidectomy procedure today.
Focused parathyroidectomy – In this type of parathyroidectomy surgery the surgeon directs the surgical efforts towards the removal of a particular parathyroid gland. It is also known minimally invasive parathyroidectomy, directed parathyroidectomy or targeted parathyroidectomy as well. The surgeon may use image-guidance techniques, radio-guided or video-assisted techniques in performing the surgical procedure. This procedure is most useful if one of the parathyroid glands is damaged and needs removal.
The surgery requires administering general anesthesia to the patient to avoid pain and discomfort during the procedure. The surgeon will then make small incisions along the sides of the neck that has the damaged parathyroid gland. These incisions are used to access the parathyroid glands after shifting aside the soft tissues and muscles under the skin of the neck.
Once the surgeon is able to access the damaged parathyroid gland, they will use specialized instruments to gently remove the damaged gland. This procedure is performed using advanced minimally invasive methods to provide efficient and convenient treatment for the patient.
Risks associated with Parathyroidectomy Surgery
As is seen with any form of major surgical procedure the parathyroidectomy procedure also carries certain risks, such as damage to the laryngeal nerve along the parathyroid gland can cause weakness, paralysis of one or more vocal cords and may also lead to breathing and speech difficulties.
In rare cases, a parathyroid adenoma may be found along with a damaged parathyroid gland and this may require removal of the thyroid gland as well while retaining the healthy parathyroid glands.
Recurrence of the condition is also one of the rare risks that are seen, as individuals react differently to different situations. Bleeding or hematoma may also be seen and require a blood transfusion to be treated, damage to the remaining parathyroid gland may result in affecting the calcium level in the body, more aggressive surgery may be required at rare times in case more of the parathyroid glands suffer damage after an initial surgery to remove a previously damaged parathyroid gland as well as other complications.
The doctor/surgeon will take every possible precautionary measure in order to ensure that the above-mentioned complications and their risks are avoided altogether.