WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Parathyroidectomy is surgery to remove one or more of your parathyroid glands or parathyroid tumors (lumps). The parathyroid is made of four tiny glands in your neck that usually sit near the thyroid gland. The parathyroid glands make a hormone (special chemical) that controls the amount of calcium in your blood. Parathyroid hyperplasia is a condition where all four of the parathyroid glands are enlarged. If they are too big or overactive, you may have a condition called hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism is when they make too much hormone and cause you to have too much calcium in your blood. This condition may also be caused by kidney disease, a lack of vitamin D in the body, or by tumors, such as adenomas or cancer. This may lead to serious health problems, such as weak bones, fractures (broken bones), kidney stones, heart problems, and depression.
- Parathyroidectomy surgery is the only treatment for hyperparathyroidism. Parathyroidectomy is also done for people who had minimally invasive parathyroid surgery and those who have multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndrome. During this surgery, your caregiver will make a 2 to 3 inch incision (cut) in the front of your neck. This is done so he can fully see and explore the structures that lie near the parathyroid glands. Your caregiver may also need to do imaging and blood tests during and right after the surgery. With parathyroidectomy, your hyperparathyroidism symptoms may stop and your quality of life improved.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Calcium: You may need to take calcium medicine to keep your blood calcium levels normal. Calcium may also help prevent and treat bone loss. Your caregiver may also tell you to take Vitamin D to help your body absorb (take in) the calcium.
- Over-the-counter pain medicine: You may use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, for pain or swelling. These medicines may be bought without a caregiver's order. These medicines are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems when they are not used correctly. People with certain medical conditions, or using certain other medicines are at a higher risk for problems. Using too much, or using these medicines for longer than the label says can also cause problems. Follow directions on the label carefully. If you have questions, talk to your caregiver.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Eat healthy foods:
Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.
Rest when you need to while you heal after surgery.
Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
Manage your stress:
Stress may slow healing and lead to illness. Learn ways to control stress, such as relaxation, deep breathing, and music. Talk to someone about things that upset you.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have pain in your neck area that does not go away, or gets worse even after taking your pain medicine.
- You start vomiting (throwing up) or cannot keep food down.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery or medicine.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have trouble talking or you lose your voice.
- You have new trouble swallowing.
- You feel anxious, frightened, and uneasy.
- Your incision is swollen, red, or has pus or blood coming from it.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You have symptoms of low blood calcium. This may include the following:
- Fatigue (tiredness).
- Muscle spasms or muscle tightening.
- Numbness or tingling around your face, hands, or feet.
- Seizures (convulsions).
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.