Parathyroid Glands

Parathyroid Glands are petite or small glands that exist in your neck and control calcium levels in your bloodstream. Regarding size and shape, these little glands are equivalent to a grain of rice. They help in creating parathyroid hormone (PTH) which is used to maintain the perfect balance of phosphorous and calcium. These glands are made up of round and tiny individual pieces. Most people have four parathyroid glands, and these boost blood calcium levels by enhancing the ability of the body to assimilate calcium from food. Appropriate functioning of heart, bones, kidneys and nervous system is pivotal, and if at any point of time, the levels of blood calcium diminish, parathyroid hormone is released to retain its normal level. Statistics assert that millions of people die every year because of parathyroid diseases.

Dr. Sara Hartsaw & Dr. Jake Rinker
General Surgery

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Most Common Parathyroid Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Osteoporosis
  • Short memory
  • Bone pain
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

Types of Parathyroid Diseases

Hypocalcemia signifies reduced blood level of calcium. Severe hypocalcemia may result in entire body spasm. Significant symptoms are:

  • Muscle twitching
  • Numbness around the mouth
  • Overactive nerves

Hyperparathyroidism: This condition occurs when the gland produces too much parathyroid hormone (PTH) which results in an abnormal tissue outgrowth. In order to eliminate this tissue, surgery is undeniably the best treatment. Primary, secondary and tertiary are some of its types.

Hypercalcemia: High blood level of calcium leads to hypercalcemia. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Mild mental distractions
  • Excessive thirst
  • The treatment is highly based on the cause
  • Frequent urination
  • High blood pressure
  • Heartburn


Parathyroid Surgery: Parathyroid gland removal is a prominent operation performed to remove these glands. Parathyroidectomy is its alternate name. Surgery is the best possible way to eradicate parathyroid diseases. Endoscopic Parathyroidectomy, Video-Assisted Parathyroidectomy, Radio-Guided Parathyroidectomy are the most effective surgeries to date.

Most effective surgeries:
Endoscopic Parathyroidectomy: While performing this surgery, the surgeon makes multiple incisions close to the breastbone and within the neck to diminish visible scarring. One may require a second surgery if the diseased glands are not adequately identified and removed the first time.

Video-Assisted Parathyroidectomy: In this particular type of surgery, veteran surgeons utilize a small sized camera that fits directly into a small incision in the patient’s neck. This kind of surgery can bring instant results, but choosing an experienced surgeon is the key.

Radio-Guided Parathyroidectomy: As the name implies, Radio-Guided Parathyroidectomy is a surgery that includes utilization of radioactive material only absorbed by diseased glands. Your surgeon would make small incisions in your neck to remove the infected gland.

After Surgery

Patients are more prone to experiencing discomfort and pain once the surgery is done. Many people complain about a sore throat. However, many patients get back to their day to day activities within a period of one week. Depending upon the condition of patients, doctors carefully observe blood calcium levels for a few weeks after the surgery. Medical professionals may suggest few patients to take supplements for a quicker recovery.

High Plains Surgical Associates is a medical institution that is known to deliver exceptional healthcare, treatments, and surgeries in all areas concerning parathyroid glands and their natural functions. General Surgeons Dr. Sara Hartsaw and Dr. Jake Rinker have been serving their community since 1994.