A parathyroid tumor is a growth inside a parathyroid gland which may cause increased levels of parathyroid hormones secreted by the parathyroid glands. This, in turn, leads to increased levels of calcium in the blood, which is known as hypercalcemia. Usually, only one of the parathyroid glands develops a tumor, while the other three glands remain completely normal.
The symptoms of a parathyroid tumor may resemble other conditions or medical problems simply because they are common problems. Symptoms of parathyroid tumor includes aches and pains in the bones, kidney problems, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, excessive urination, depression,
In most cases, we do not know what causes the parathyroid gland to develop a tumor. While almost all people with hyperparathyroidism have the disease because one of their parathyroid glands developed into a tumor, we have yet to discover the actual cause of it. However, we do know that the cells of the abnormal parathyroid gland duplicate themselves over and over again until the gland grows into a tumor.
If you have parathyroid disease, the overwhelming chances are that just one of your parathyroid glands has gone bad, which is the case for 90% of all parathyroid patients. It is important to remember that parathyroid tumors are almost never cancerous, but benign adenomas. Only about one in 2,000 tumors are cancerous.
Hyperparathyroidism is traditionally addressed by removing the affected parathyroid gland or glands. New techniques allow us to access the parathyroid through very small incisions, resulting in minimal trauma to surrounding tissues and a much shorter recovery period. This is especially true in cases of parathyroid adenoma, where the adenoma has been located through studies like Sestamibi and ultrasound.
By using rapid intra-operative PTH testing we confirm the success of surgery and an appropriate drop in the PTH level in the operating room. Due to the ease of this procedure, in most cases it can be done under loco-regional anesthesia.
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Next, learn about intra-operative PTH testing.