What is Hyperparathyroidism?

Date: 2020-08-30 21:57:47

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They are tiny hormone glands next to the thyroid—the parathyroid regulates your body’s calcium levels. But if these glands create too much hormone, patients can develop a condition called hyperparathyroidism. “It’s only in about seven to 1000 people, but I see it quite frequently and it’s often just discovered incidentally with high calcium,” explained Dr. Anthony Anfuso, a head and neck cancer surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health.

Head and neck cancer surgeon Dr. Anthony Anfuso says routine blood work can show if a patient has elevated calcium levels. “If you have this condition long-term for years, over time, it’s going to weaken the bones and then the bones become brittle and lead to what we call osteoporosis,” he said.

Often asymptomatic, doctors say, hyperparathyroidism can also cause kidney stones, confusion, fatigue, and abdominal pain. Making it important to catch and treat the condition early. “It’s actually a fairly simple surgery to do. It’s an outpatient surgery, so you go home the same day. You make an incision in the neck that’s less than an inch and half and you remove the benign tumor typically of the parathyroid gland,” said Dr. Anfuso.

Within 10-20 minutes of removing the tumor, the parathyroid hormone levels return to normal. “Even when it’s quite advanced, it’s still very beneficial to get it removed. It can make patients feel tremendously better,” he said.

Using a 4D CT scan to pinpoint the abnormal parathyroid, doctors have over a 90 percent success rate in curing patients.

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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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