Experiencing Parathyroid Disorders in Utah?
What are Parathyroid Glands?
Parathyroid glands and thyroid glands are actually separate glands with
different functions. Parathyroid glands are located in the neck, adjacent
to the thyroid glands. These glands produce a hormone that helps maintain
the proper balance of calcium in your body. Calcium is very important
to the overall health of your body, so when your parathyroid glands are
not working correctly, many problems can result.
When the parathyroid glands produce too many hormones, there is usually
an accompanying spike of calcium in the bloodstream. The resulting condition
is known as hyperparathyroidism, the most common parathyroid disorder
to date. This can cause an imbalance of calcium, leading to health problems
affecting your bones, nervous system, and muscles.
Signs and symptoms vary in severity and can include:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Aches and pain
- Kidney stones
- High blood pressure
- Poor memory
The most common treatment for parathyroid disorders is surgery. At the
Thyroid Institute of Utah, we offer and specialize in minimally invasive
We are the only dedicated medical office in Utah providing comprehensive
and dedicated thyroid and parathyroid care. When you come to us, you can trust that you are receiving the best care
from top surgeons.
At the Thyroid Institute of Utah, we believe in making sure all of our
patients are well informed about their conditions and their treatment
options. We are available to you from start to finish. Our entire team
is dedicated to your overall health and recovery.
What Is Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy
If a Parathyroid Tumor is identified before surgery a "MINI"
parathyroid surgery can be performed, this leads to faster recovery and
a smaller surgical scar, the surgery itself is far shorter. This form
of surgery is Routinely performed at the Thyroid Institute
How should my Parathyroid Tumor be found
There are several methods to look for a parathyroid tumor, we recommend
that you start with an ultrasound performed by an experienced Endocrinologist,
at the Thyroid Institute we can successfully locate your parathyroid Adenoma
in 60-70% of the cases, this is the cheapest and least invasive test to
perform, if negative other modalities are then utilized.
Ultrasound however is operator dependent and experienced Endocrinologists
are your best bet.
How Long Does Follow Up Need To Be After Parathyroid Surgery?
This is a tricky question, especially for patients who get surgery done
by someone who they see once out of state and are told that they are cured
due to their so called “superior surgical skill and technique”
The truth is that recent studies show that post-operative follow up after
parathyroid surgery should be long term. Recent studies have shown that
even patients “cured” by the most effective criteria of using
parathyroid hormone level dropping more than 70 % during surgery, still
resulted in 14.8% recurrence rate in a 10 year follow up!!
And the majority of recurrences happened between 5-10 years after surgery!
(This intra-operative parathyroid hormone level criteria is used by almost
all cutting edge surgeons , though some do not use it , this is mostly
for expediency rather than for good care!)
The take home point here is that any surgeon claiming that he can cure
you with one surgery, not using parathyroid hormone levels during surgery
to confirm cure, and also not committing to long term follow up of your
disease because he/she is out of state, will lead to poor quality of care
and recurrent disease that will be missed.
New Parathyroid Research at the Thyroid Institute of Utah
High calcium blood levels due to an overactive Parathyroid gland can affect
between 1-3% of people. The consequences of this can be severe and include
kidney damage, kidney stones, osteoporosis, fatigue body aches and pains.
Surgery is usually curative, but the traditional approach relied on a
surgeon exploring the neck and looking for an overactive enlarged parathyroid gland.
Recently, experienced medical professionals have found that an ultrasound
can identify this abnormal gland in up to 75% of cases. This makes the
surgeon’s job easier and leads to a “minimally invasive parathyroidectomy”,
or a mini-surgery.
Another treatment modality recently used for localizing these tumors is
the 4 dimensional CT scan. This is reported as being 90% accurate but
is 14 times more expensive and has 50 times more radiation exposure for
A recent research study at the Thyroid Institute compared the two techniques
and found that ultrasound remained superior to the use of this new CT
scan, due to its cost effectiveness accuracy and absence of radiation.
Read the research paper from the Thyroid Institute of Utah.
If you have any questions, please