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The thyroid is a gland in the middle of the lower neck just below the voice box. It's responsible for the hormones that regulate metabolism, energy levels, and heart rate, among other things.
The length of thyroid surgery depends on the type of surgery. Some procedures require just a few minutes, while others require several hours. Dr. Hecht will explain what to expect.
Thyroid surgery has a high rate of success for both benign and malignant tumors. Patients who have cancer may need additional treatments to prevent recurrence. Typically the patient's endocrinologist and oncologist partner with surgeons for this treatment.
The parathyroid glands are small glands located behind the thyroid. Everyone has 4 of these glands, which are about the size of a grain of rice, and they control calcium in the body.
Hyperparathyroidism is a condition that occurs when 1 or more of the parathyroid glands start working independently from the others, producing the parathyroid hormone when calcium levels are where they should be. This causes a spike in blood calcium levels that leads to a number of complications, including kidney stones. This typically occurs when a benign tumor develops in 1 of the glands.
All surgery has common risks of infection or reactions to anesthetic. An additional risk patients will want to be aware of is the risk of "negative exploration." This refers to a failure to remove all of the abnormal parathyroid glands. Dr. Hecht thoroughly examines patient scans to reduce this risk.
Both thyroid and parathyroid surgery aren't exceptionally invasive, and patients often return home the same day as the surgery. These procedures can cause a sore throat when swallowing, but this symptom goes away within a few days. Mild-to-moderate pain for a few days is common and well controlled with pain medication. Once any sutures have been removed, patients return to their normal activities. Contact Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut with any further questions.