Parathyroid problems (Hypercalcemia)

Parathyroid glands are four small glands of the endocrine system which regulate the calcium in our bodies. Parathyroid glands are located in the neck behind the thyroid where they continuously monitor and regulate blood calcium levels.

Hyperparathyroidism is where the parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone. This causes blood calcium levels to rise (hypercalcaemia). It is usually caused by a benign swelling of one of the parathyroid glands called an adenoma. Rarely all four parathyroid gland can enlarge which is called hyperplasia. Very rarely cancer can occur in one of the parathyroid glands.

Left untreated, high levels of calcium in the blood can lead to a range of problems. Hyperparathyroidism symptoms include low energy, feeling tired (fatigue), loss of appetite, muscle weakness, bone or joint pain, constipation, anxiety or depression, kidney stones, bone loss, broken bones and raised blood pressure.

The Endocrinologists initially do a complete work up of patients with hypercalcemia secondary to hyperparathyroidism. This would include localisation scan such as Ultrasound, MIBI and or CT scans. Once the work up is done they refer the patients to see Mr. Dhanasekar to discuss excision of the parathyroid adenoma. He would then discuss the pros and cons of parathyroid surgery with the patients.

He is also a member of the British Association of Endocrinologists & Thyroid Surgeons [BAETS]. He inputs all his parathyroid surgeries into the BAETS database and also regularly audits his results. His recent audit had shown a good success rate and the results were in line with the national standards.