Parathyroidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a part or all of parathyroid glands (these glands produce hormones that increase levels of calcium the blood). The treatment is indicated for patients with hyperparathyroidism (high levels of parathyroid hormone caused by a non-cancerous tumor).
Parathyroidectomy is performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes an incision, about 2 to 4 inches in front of your neck to view and access the four parathyroid glands. The procedure is usually performed through smaller incisions with the minimally invasive parathyroidectomy. An injection of nuclear medicine is performed to visualize the parathyroids and an incision of 1 to 2 inches is made for removal.
The diseased gland and the tumor is carefully cut and removed. Sometimes all four glands are removed. In such cases, a part of one of the glands is implanted in the forearm so that its function is not completely lost. The incisions are closed with sutures. Like all surgeries, parathyroidectomy may involve complications such as bleeding, infection, hypoparathyroidism (low levels of parathyroid hormone and calcium) and injury to thyroid gland and nerves in the vocal cord.