What is a parathyroid adenoma?

The majority of cases involving elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels) are due to parathyroid adenomas. These growths are typically non-cancerous and affect one of the parathyroid glands, causing it to become overactive.

What are the symptoms?

Parathyroid adenomas can cause a variety of symptoms that are often attributed to the elevated calcium levels in the blood. These may include:

  • Osteoporosis: Weak and brittle bones due to calcium being leached from them.
  • Kidney stones: High calcium levels can lead to the formation of stones in the kidneys.
  • Neuromuscular symptoms: Muscle weakness, fatigue, and sometimes even depression or confusion can occur.
  • Gastrointestinal distress: Constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain are common due to the digestive system's response to calcium imbalances.


The diagnostic process typically involves:

  • Blood tests: To check levels of calcium and PTH.
  • Urine tests: To measure calcium excretion.
  • Imaging: Such as ultrasound, Sestamibi scans, or CT scans to identify the affected gland.

Treatment options

The primary treatment for a parathyroid adenoma is surgical removal, known as parathyroidectomy. It is a highly successful procedure and is usually curative. In some cases, minimally invasive techniques can be employed, leading to a quicker recovery and less pain post-surgery.

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What does the treatment entail?

Treating parathyroid adenomas primarily involves surgical intervention, which is typically a straightforward and definitive procedure. The steps to recovering health include:

Preoperative assessment:

  • Consultation: Initially, you'll have a detailed consultation with your ENT specialist to discuss your symptoms, review your medical history, and understand the surgical procedure.
  • Imaging: Diagnostic imaging, such as an ultrasound or a Sestamibi scan, is often performed to locate the adenoma accurately.
  • Blood work: Blood tests to determine calcium and parathyroid hormone levels are required to confirm the diagnosis and to prepare for surgery.

The surgical procedure

  • Anesthesia: Parathyroidectomy is typically performed under general anesthesia, ensuring you are comfortable and pain-free during the operation.
  • Incision: A small incision, usually about an inch or two long, is placed in the neck.
  • Removal: The surgeon will identify and remove the adenoma. If minimally invasive techniques are used, they may utilize intraoperative PTH testing to confirm the removal of the overactive gland.
  • Closure: The incision is closed with fine sutures or surgical glue, minimizing scarring.

What to expect during your recovery

Most patients experience a significant improvement in symptoms and can often return to their regular activities within a week.

Post-surgery, you may feel fatigue or a slight sore throat, but these symptoms typically resolve quickly. Long-term follow-up may be necessary to monitor for recurrence, although this is relatively rare.

Life after treatment for parathyroid adenomas

While most adenomas are benign and can be effectively treated with surgery, ongoing monitoring is essential. Regular check-ups and blood tests are critical for ensuring that calcium levels remain balanced and that recovery is progressing as expected.

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Why choose Louisiana ENT Specialists for parathyroid adenoma care?

Louisiana ENT is your premier choice for managing parathyroid adenomas throughout the state. We boast a robust network of specialized ENT providers who bring decades of collective experience in treating a wide array of conditions, including the precise management of parathyroid disorders. Our fellowship-trained surgeons employ evidence-based medicine to offer the highest quality of surgical care aimed at the long-term resolution of parathyroid adenomas.

As a leading ENT network with multiple locations across Louisiana, our team ensures that every patient has access to our advanced medical services. We understand the intricacies of parathyroid conditions and offer personalized care plans designed to address the unique needs of our patients. By choosing Louisiana ENT, you tap into a community of professionals renowned for their clinical excellence and compassionate approach to care, reflecting a deep commitment to helping our patients resolve ear, nose, and throat conditions and illnesses.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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