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Parathyroidectomy is surgery to remove one or more of the four parathyroid glands in the neck. These small glands help control the amount of calcium in the body. They are found on the back of the thyroid gland. When they are too active, these glands cause high levels of calcium. This is called hyperparathyroidism (say "hy-per-pair-uh-THY-royd-iz-um"). The glands also are removed if they contain cancer.
The doctor will take out the gland or glands through a cut in the front of your neck. This cut is called an incision. You may have a tube in your neck for 1 to 4 days. The tube drains fluid from the incision.
You may be able to go back to work or your normal routine after a few weeks. This depends on the kind of work you do and how you feel.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: November 6, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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