Primary hyperparathyroidism is the excessive release of the parathyroid hormone. A normal parathyroid reading ranges from 10 to 65 pg/ml; doctors begin to suspect primary hyperparathyroidism when the level rises above this range and the patient complains of common symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, difficulty sleeping, memory issues and loss of bone strength, which occur due to increased levels of calcium in the blood.
According to the Mayo Clinic, patients can also try managing their symptoms with lifestyle changes, including the following:
- Monitor calcium intake: Women over age 50 and men over age 70 should consume at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day, while younger people should aim for a minimum of 1,000 milligrams per day.
- Avoid drugs that raise calcium levels: Some prescription medications, including lithium and diuretics, can increase calcium levels and raise the risk of needing future hyperparathyroid treatment. Patients who know they have hyperparathyroidism should speak to their doctor about finding an alternative medication.
- Stop smoking: There are myriad reasons to stop smoking, including the fact that smoking has a direct link to bone loss.
- Drink plenty of water: Water and other non-caffeinated beverages help to reduce the risk of kidney stones associated with hyperparathyroidism.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise, especially strength training, helps to keep bones strong and healthy.
Although some patients have found success by implementing the lifestyle changes outlined above, many are not able to achieve long-term relief from the symptoms associated with hyperparathyroidism. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that mini parathyroid surgery can help sufferers recover the quality of life they enjoyed prior to developing hyperparathyroidism.
What is minimally invasive hyperparathyroid surgery?
As recently as the 1990s, surgery for hyperparathyroidism involved a surgeon making a large incision in the patient's neck and dissecting the four parathyroid glands. After removing a faulty gland, the surgeon would probe the others to see if they also required removal. Despite the typical half-inch size of a parathyroid tumor, surgeons would often make an incision up to 10 inches in length.
In mini parathyroid surgery, our surgeons know where the tumor is without the need for an exploratory cut. The surgeon begins the procedure by making a small incision in the patient’s neck, then removes the defective gland, and quickly examines the other three. We use technology rather than invasive surgery, and the entire procedure takes just 15 to 20 minutes. In fact, it's offered as an outpatient procedure at Parathyroid of Texas, meaning most patients go home in under three hours.
Are you ready to start feeling better? Schedule a consultation to learn more about our surgical hyperparathyroid treatment today.