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.

Hyperparathyroidism

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
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Poor memory

Treatment

The most common treatment for parathyroid disorders is surgery. At the Thyroid Institute of Utah, we offer and specialize in minimally invasive parathyroid surgery. 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 the patients.

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 call us today!