Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
The most common problem related to the parathyroid glands is primary hyperparathyroidism (PTH). This occurs when one or more parathyroid glands become enlarged and independently produce excess PTH, a hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands.
The parathyroid glands are distinct glands located adjacent to the thyroid gland, though they have a very different function. When the endocrine system functions normally, the parathyroid glands, along with a hormone produced in the brain by the pituitary gland, regulate calcium levels by maintaining normal levels of calcium in the bloodstream even when oral intake of calcium in food or vitamins may be high or low.
However, primary hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more parathyroid glands become enlarged and independently produce excess PTH. In this situation, the bones, where calcium is stored, are stimulated to release excess calcium into the blood stream.
- Kidney stones
- Bone pain
- Osteoporosis (bone mass loss)
- Mood disorders
- Excessive urination
- Abdominal pain
- Tiring easily or weakness
Diagnosis and Treatment
Many patients are first diagnosed with PTH when routine blood tests show abnormally high levels of calcium in the bloodstream. Surgery is the definitive treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism.
Meet Our Team
The Thyroid and Parathyroid Endocrine Surgery Division is staffed by surgeons, radiologists, and other medical specialists skilled in the evaluation and treatment of problems of the thyroid and parathyroid. Our combination of medical expertise allows us to treat patients of all thyroid and parathyroid conditions.
Did you know?
Our surgical team was one of the first in Boston to implement intraoperative PTH monitoring in our cases.