Parathyroid Surgery - Dr. Ayman Harakeh, MD, FACS
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Parathyroid Surgery

This surgery is required if the patient has tumors called adenomas, which are most often benign and rarely turn into cancer, cancerous tumors on or near the glands or parathyroid hyperplasia, a condition in which all four of the parathyroid glands are enlarged.
There are different types of parathyroid surgeries that can assist in removing the diseased parathyroid glands.

In the traditional method, the surgeon explores all four glands visually to see which are diseased and choose the ones to be removed. This procedure is called a bilateral neck exploration. If the imaging shows only one diseased gland prior to your surgery, patients are likely to have a minimally invasive parathyroidectomy with just a very small incision. Here are a few methods which are used during the surgery.

Types of Parathyroid Surgeries

There are different types of parathyroid surgeries, which include

Radio-guided parathyroidectomy

In a radio-guided parathyroidectomy, the surgeon uses radioactive material that all four parathyroid glands will absorb. A special probe locates the source of the radiation from each gland in order to orient and locates the parathyroid glands. If just one or two on the same side are diseased, only a small incision to remove the diseased glands is made.

Video-assisted parathyroidectomy also called endoscopic parathyroidectomy

In a video-assisted parathyroidectomy, the surgeon uses a small camera on an endoscope. With this method, the surgeon makes two or three small incisions for the endoscope and the surgical instruments on the sides of the neck and one incision above the breastbone. This minimizes visible scarring.

Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy allows for a quicker recovery. However, if not all of the diseased glands are discovered and removed, the high calcium levels will continue, and there may be a need for a second surgery.

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