parathyroid glands

Written by: Dr. Óscar Vidal Pérez
Published: | Updated: 19/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The parathyroid glands are small glands of approximately 2-4 mm, which are adjacent to the thyroid. These glands are extremely important because they regulate calcium metabolism. The hormone they produce helps absorb calcium from the diet and keep bones perfectly calcified.

The parathyroid glands can get sick. A primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) usually occurs, this is a disease due to an excess of circulating parathyroid hormone (PTH) produced by a tumor or a diffuse growth. This excess of hormone produced causes the bones to decalcify and calcium to circulate in the blood .

Usually this disease does not give any recognizable or specific symptoms, although patients may have headache, irritability, osteoarticular pain, even a nephritic colic, osteoporosis ... as a large part are women, these symptoms attribute to menopause.


The diagnosis of parathyroid diseases is simple , it is usually done with a good interview and a routine analysis, which shows an elevation of calcium in blood and PTH. Once we have these two analytical parameters, we should request a cervical ultrasound and a cervical scan (SPECT-MIBI) to confirm the diagnosis and find us where the problem gland is. If this is not possible to locate, other types of tests can be performed, such as MRI or cervical CT.

When we have a diagnosis of HPTP, the most definitive treatment is to operate. The parathyroid or parathyroid that is sick is removed and with this we solve the problem.

Minimal visible scars

The intervention to remove the parathyroid glands does leave visible scars, but they are minimal. We perform the intervention using the minimum necessary incision technique (MINP, minimal incission necessary for parathyroidectomy) or cervical endoscopy, to perform these approaches we use microsurgical glasses and endoscopic support of the latest generation.

The approach of the parathyroid glands is still done in much of the world with an incision of 4 to 6cm centered on the neck. What we do is a mini-incision of 1.5 cm or several of less than 1 cm and through there we remove the tumor or the diseased parathyroid gland. They are very small incisions that do not leave any kind of unsightly scar. When the diseased parathyroid is removed, the patient is cured.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Óscar Vidal Pérez

Dr. Vidal Perez represents a new generation of specialized surgeons in both cervical endocrine surgery (thyroid disease and paratitoides glands) and abdominal (diseases of the adrenal glands), one of the few surgeons in the world to remove, using a minimally invasive approach, both by the adrenal gland and retroperitoneal abdominal route (depending on the patient's needs). After more than 10 years as a specialist, currently she develops its healthcare activities in the Unit General and digestive surgery at the Clinical Hospital of Barcelona. He has served on Assistència Surgical Team.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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