Parathyroidectomy

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A parathyroidectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your parathyroid glands. The parathyroid is made of 4 small glands that usually sit near the thyroid gland. The parathyroid glands make a hormone that controls the amount of calcium in your blood.


AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs may decrease swelling and pain. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP 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.

Follow up with your PHP or surgeon as directed:

You will need to return to have tests, your incision checked, and your drain or stitches removed. You may be referred to an endocrinologist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Wound care:

Care for your wound as directed. You may need to carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Check your drain when you change the bandages. Do not pull the drain out. Ask for more information about how to care for your drain.

Rest as needed:

Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.

Take supplements as directed:

You may need to take calcium medicine to keep your blood calcium level normal. It may also help prevent and treat bone loss. Your PHP may also tell you to take vitamin D to help your body absorb the calcium.

Contact your PHP or surgeon if:

  • You have a fever.

  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.

  • You have pain in your neck area that does not go away, or gets worse even after you take your pain medicine.

  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.

  • You have nausea or are vomiting.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cough up blood.

  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You have trouble swallowing or talking, or you lose your voice.

  • You feel anxious, frightened, and uneasy.

  • You have the following symptoms of low blood calcium:

    • Confusion

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle spasms or muscle tightening

    • Numbness or tingling around your face, hands, or feet

    • A seizure

© 2014 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 A.D.A.M., Inc. 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.

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