Despite a similarity in name and location, the parathyroid glands and the thyroid gland have very different functions. The thyroid helps regulate metabolism while the parathyroid glands produce a hormone that helps maintain the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus in your body.
In hyperparathyroidism, the parathyroid glands produce too much of the hormone, resulting in problems with the bones, nervous system and muscles.
Surgery to remove the parathyroid glands traditionally involved a long, noticeable incision. But a more recent technique available at UAMS, minimally invasive radioguided parathyroidectomy (MIRP), offers a safer and less invasive approach. This procedure uses a radioisotope to help locate the abnormal gland at the time of the surgery and can usually be performed through a 1″ incision in the neck. This advanced outpatient procedure causes less trauma to tissue and little scarring.
For more information on hyperparathyroidism, contact our Thyroid Center.