Surgery of the Parathyroid Glands


Each of the four parathyroid glands are about the size of a rice grain and located near the Thyroid.  A very small amount of parathyroid tissue may be in the chest behind the breast bone.  The purpose of the parathyroid tissue is to control the level of calcium in the blood.  Calcium is important for muscle function and strength, and for the conduction of electrical currents along the nerves.

Although the parathyroid and the thyroid are so close and both are glands in the Endocrine system, their functions are different and not related.

Surgery of the parathyroid glands may be needed if one or more is:

•  Too active or
•  Cancerous (which is rare)

Surgery to remove a parathyroid gland is called a Parathyroidectomy.