The body's four, small parathyroid glands produce and release parathyroid hormone to control the level of calcium found in the bloodstream. The parathyroid hormone also helps to regulate your kidneys to either release the hormone into your urine or retain it in the bloodstream so that the tissues within the body have a constant supply. Tumors known as adenomas are benign but can wreak havoc on the parathyroid glands and prevent them from functioning properly, when your parathyroid glands become diseased, it can result in either too much or too little parathyroid hormone being released.
Parathyroid Gland Diseases and Treatment
Hyperparathyroidism - the release of too much parathyroid hormone - leads to an excessive amount of calcium in the bloodstream. This can cause bones to weaken, lead to the formation of kidney stones and bring about a host of other problems including headache, depression, and hypertension. For many patients, the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism are relatively mild and may not cause alarm. Indeed, the condition is often not uncovered until a patient's yearly physical examination.
In contrast, the symptoms associated with hypoparathyroidism - the production of too little parathyroid hormone - can be much more extreme. When there is not enough calcium in the bloodstream for the muscles and nerves to function properly, this may result in muscle aches, cramping, dry skin, brittle nails/hair, fatigue, numbness and tingling, and even seizures.
With both hyperparathyroidism and hypoparathyroidism, parathyroid surgery may be recommended. While bilateral neck exploration is often used in the treatment of cancer and the removal of larger tumors, mini-parathyroid surgery can be an acceptable alternative if only one or two of the small parathyroid glands are diseased. MIRP surgical procedures are safe and minimally invasive, which means a shorter recovery time and much less risk of infection.
Parathyroid Gland Location
The four, pea-sized parathyroid glands are located directly behind the larger butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the center front portion of the neck (the general area of the "Adam's apple"). During a minimally invasive surgical procedure, incisions are mostly made in the upper portion of the hollow of the throat. Because of the smaller incision, there is less risk of infection and patients have a much shorter recovery period.
Parathyroid of Texas
If you have questions or concerns about your parathyroid glands or are experiencing symptoms associated with hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism, call and schedule an appointment today! As a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the parathyroid gland, Parathyroid of Texas can provide you with state-of-the-art treatment options that are both safe and effective.