Parathyroid disease may sound confusing at first, and this is likely due to the name of the glands involved. Even though they are called "parathyroid" glands, they have nothing to do with the function of the much-larger thyroid gland—rather, their name simply refers to their location. Typically, the four parathyroid glands sit behind the thyroid, with two on each side of the neck near the throat.
What do the parathyroid glands do?
The parathyroid glands regulate the amount of calcium in your body. It is essential for this mineral to be tightly regulated, as too much blood calcium can create kidney stones while too little causes the mineral to leach from your bones and results in osteoporosis.
The most common parathyroid problem is tumor development. Typically, parathyroid tumors are benign and only affect one of the four glands, causing excessive production of parathyroid hormone (PTH) that results in symptoms like kidney stones, insomnia, osteoporosis, depression, irritability and more.
What to do about a problematic parathyroid gland
A tumorous parathyroid gland must be surgically removed, at which point the remaining glands will easily pick up the slack in terms of hormone production.
There are a few ways for surgeons to go about locating the parathyroid glands and removing those with tumors. Using a scan to determine the size of the glands and then surgically removing the enlarged one(s) is a conservative approach that can miss smaller tumors, while making a large incision in the neck to fully explore the area and remove the necessary glands can be hard on the body.
Minimally invasive radioguided parathyroid mini-surgery is one of the latest surgical solutions to address these shortcomings. More commonly referred to as MIRP, this is considered to be the best type of parathyroid operation. MIRP involves the use of a small probe to check the parathyroid glands and measure their output; after the gland producing too much hormone is found, it is removed. This surgery is far less traumatic and much more precise than traditional exploratory surgery.
Learn more about parathyroid surgery
One of the best ways to learn more about this type of operation is to watch parathyroid surgery videos that explain the process in a simple, step-by-step way, helping you gain a better understanding of the condition and the steps taken to treat it.
If you need parathyroid surgery, don't wait any longer, as parathyroid tumor treatment delays only allow the problem—and your symptoms—to get worse. Make an appointment with Parathyroid of Texas today to set up a consultation or a surgery.