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572927 tn?1217369781

Parathyroid Surgery

I am scheduled for parathyroid surgery due to having primary hyperparathyroidism and am wondering who else may have gone through this surgery and if so, what was your experience?  I have not yet met with my surgeon so I do not know what to expect aside from what I've read online.  I'd like to get as much information as possible. Thanks.
22 Responses
458072 tn?1291418786
hi cat. Sorry I don't know anything about that. Hope you get some info....

Take care......PEggy
393685 tn?1425816122
If you can - send a PM to a member Thypatient.

She has great info to share
Avatar universal
I, and others here, have had this surgery.  My experience is that while it's a journey to get through the diagnosis, testing and surgery - it's well worth is.  My experience was probably somewhat similar to what you've already read about.

Of course your surgeon will be your best guide on what you need to know for your own case.  But here's some reputable sites with info, videos and patient testimonies that you might or might not have seen yet:

-  parathyroid.com

-  http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/hyper/hyper.htm

-  http://www.endocrinesurgery.ucla.edu/      (if you click on 'watch the patient experience' you'll view one woman's journey)

When do you see the surgeon?  I imagine he'll be ordering tests to be done before doing the surgery.  Those might include an u/s, a dexa bone scan, a nuclaer sestamibi scan and lots of blood work.

(A plus you have is that it's primary...hurray...that means it's confined, which is a good thing.)

Keep us posted.  We're here for you.
Avatar universal
The sites I mentioned are at our Health Pages too - button is in upper right.
(Hope medicmommy contributes some of her usual good info ☺.)
Avatar universal
I am 15 months post HPT tumor surgery, and I have few issues now...The following morning, i already felt different...-Like a weight had been lifted...No more head aches, bone aches, heartburn, peeing every 30 mins...(this was all the next day!) Long term -No more kidney stones...be sure to have your calcium (I use calcium citrate 2000 mg)/ day -1000 mg when I'm slacking..) in hand, you will want to be taking it immediately post surgery for a while...you may have some low calcium symptoms (mine were mostly buzzing in the face and hands) until things settle down...You are going to feel SO MUCH BETTER! I didn't realize how bad I felt until after...I thought it mostly due to aging, being a Mom and working, etc...Keep us posted! ((((((((((((((((((HUGZ)))))))))))         ~MM
Avatar universal
P.S. Is your surgeon a specialist in this surgery? -Meaning, has he done loads of these? ASK! If he hasn't and mucks it up, you could have vocal cord nerve or thyroid damage for life...Not trying to scare you, but it is better to put it off, and find someone experienced, then to have someone using you for practice...Also, I was able to have the "mini" surgery done...(see parathyroid.com), but had the option of converting to the bigger exploratory surgery if needed...And you've had a good Sestamibi scan done, right? It's the only way presurgery to really show where the little buggers (your 4 parathyroid glands) are...If you don't have one done, the surgeon can be groping around and wind up not finding the "problem child"...The one I had with the tumor had tunneled itself under my collarbone..(it was chicken egg sized...) Well, hopefully I haven't freaked you out too much...Oh, by the way..I can barely see my scar now...I don't even need to cover it with make up...Take care...               ~MM
572927 tn?1217369781
Thank you all for responding to my question, for the great advice and for the links to sites!  You all are awesome!!  I see my surgeon Tuesday morning (tomorrow) and have already had quite a few tests done;  bone density scan, numerous blood draws, 24 hour urine, sestamibi scan (today) and an ultrasound (today) not to mention a few other gastroenterology tests.  My calcium is high as well as my PTH level (276).  I have decided to go with a larger hospital and not just our community one which means a longer drive but I think it will be worth it and the surgeon is pretty experienced from what I know but I will definitely be sure to ask, that's on the top of my list. Were you required to stay overnight or permitted to go home the same day? Has anyone had the older/longer surgery?  Also, if you work, how much time did you need to take off? Sorry so many questions, just trying to be as educated as possible! ((HUGS)) ~Cat
572927 tn?1217369781
Oh! And I forgot to mention how I cannot wait to feel better! I feel sooo run down, tired, depressed, irritable.  I really hope it works! :-)
Avatar universal
WOW! No wonder you feel ucky! I went home later that day...If you have to have the bigger surgery(explores all the glands), it's an overnighter, I believe...I had my surgical site stitched internally and then "superglued" and steri-stripped closed...I was a bit sore, and hoarse from the endotracheal tube (the breathing tube for anesthesia) for a few days, but only out for a few days...I think the anesthesia effected me (groggy, sluggish feeling) more than anything else...I took a week off, but I didn't really need it...You will probably be amazed at how much better you feel! By the way, my surgery only took about 1/2 hr...Take care!!! ((((((((((((((((((HUGZ)))))))))))))                      ~Melinda
Avatar universal
Thinking of you today as you go through your appts.  Hopefully all will go well (especially the sestamibi) and reveal exactly what needs to be seen before surgery.  Let us know - when you feel up to it.

“Were you required to stay overnight or permitted to go home the same day?”  - I had to stay overnight because they needed to take out my thyroid too (not a usual situation).

“Has anyone had the older/longer surgery?”  - Yes, because the sestamibi scan was inconclusive things became exploratory, plus I had the thyroid issue.  But the older surgery is not that much longer.

“Also, if you work, how much time did you need to take off?”  - This is the one area I feel I should have done more of – take time off from work.  I recommend taking as much time as you can, even if you feel better.  I really believe the body needs more rest time after any surgery than we think it does.  They say you can resume normal activity in a few days but I think a week to 10 days, maybe even longer, is more like it.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions.  After all, it’s not a common ailment.

Take care.
572927 tn?1217369781
Thanks for the warm thoughts...tests went ok yesterday.  I had the sestamibi and an ultrasound which revealed the culprit, the lower left parathryoid!  Saw the surgeon this morning and felt very comfortable with him. He said he's done over 1000 of these surgeries and many are referred to him to fix what the first surgeon messed up. I'm scheduled for the 14th and so the countdown begins!  He is using the minimally invasive surgery so I'll get to go home same day! Yeah! May I ask why your thyroid needed to be removed as well? Was it something they knew ahead of time or something they found during the procedure? As always, thanks! :) ~Cathy
Avatar universal
I have read through your postings and see that all of you have experience in the walk I am just now beginning.  I am scared and need to find a good doctor with loads of experience with parathyroid gland issues.  
It looks like CAT 86 just had surgery?  How are you?
Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Nervous and scared in Phoenix
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