A surgical procedure to remove overactive parathyroid glands

Why do I need a parathyroidectomy?

If one or more of your parathyroid glands are overactive it leads to a raised calcium level in your blood.

If this is detected in a blood test your consultant may recommend you have an operation to remove one or more of the diseased glands. This is the only treatment for this condition.

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP)

    If pre-operative scans found your overactive parathyroid gland, your radiologist will mark your skin over the area where the gland is located. Your consultant will then make a cut to find and remove the gland.

    Routine parathyroidectomy

    If scans did not find your overactive gland, your consultant will make a two inch cut in a skin crease in the middle of your neck. They will use this larger cut to explore both sides of your neck to find and remove the overactive gland.

    The incision is closed with dissolvable stitches under your skin.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will let you know how best to prepare for this surgery. You should inform them of any medications you are taking.
  • After surgery icon plus

    A nurse will check your temperature, pulse, breathing and blood pressure and ask you about any pain you may have. You will be offered pain relief to relieve this. It is normal to have to stay in hospital for one night following the procedure.

    You will have an intravenous drip in your arm that will be removed as soon as you are able to drink enough fluids. Your urine will be green for a couple of days following the operation due to the blue dye injected to help locate your parathyroid glands.

    The incision area should be kept dry for 48 hours but it can be left without a dressing.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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