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.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
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 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.
- Ask your caregiver when you should return to have your incision checked, your drain taken out, and stitches removed.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
- Always check your drain when changing your bandages. Do not pull it out. Ask your caregivers for more information about drain care.
Rest when you need to while you heal after surgery.
Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: This may help you have more energy and heal faster. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Drink liquids as directed: Adults should drink between 9 and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid every day. Ask what amount is best for you. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juice, and milk.
- Get plenty of exercise: Talk to your caregiver about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. You are more likely to have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and other health problems if you smoke. Quitting smoking will improve your health and the health of those around you. If you smoke, ask for information about how to stop.
- Manage stress: Stress may slow healing and cause illness. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing.
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).
© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.
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.