What is a Parathyroidectomy?

Parathyroidectomy removes one or more of the parathyroid glands to treat hyperparathyroidism, a condition where the parathyroid glands secrete too much parathyroid hormone (PTH).

About Parathyroid Disease

The parathyroid glands, located behind the thyroid gland in your neck, help your body use calcium. When the glands secrete too much parathyroid hormone (PTH), this causes high levels of calcium in the blood. The kidneys, one of the body's filters, then attempt to filter all the excess calcium from the blood. This increases the risk of kidney stones and kidney damage. Also, excess PTH can cause severe bone loss, known as osteoporosis.

Parathyroid surgery can cure this condition.

Why Choose UVA for Parathyroid Surgery?

Parathyroid surgery is a highly specialized surgery that requires expert skills. Our surgeons perform over 100 such procedures each year.

Who Should Have a Parathyroidectomy?

At UVA, we perform parathyroid surgery on patients of all ages who have elevated calcium levels and complications from hyperparathyroidism.

You'll have an evaluation in our clinic to see if surgery is the right option for you.

What to Expect

The day of surgery, you'll meet with the surgeon to review the procedure. Surgery lasts about 90 minutes to 3 hours. Surgeons usually remove one or more of the parathyroids with a minimally invasive incision. Recovery time is usually 5-10 days.

Possible Complications

Risks exist with every operation, including a risk of bleeding or infection; but this risk is minimal.

With parathyroid surgery, risks include recurrence of the condition, inability to find the gland, temporary hoarseness and the need for calcium replacement or thyroid supplements.


Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.