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Old 03-27-2006, 05:16 PM   #1
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Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Hi, I had Parathyroid Surgery last November (minimally invasive radio guided parathyroid surgery) at Tampa General Hospital. I was interested to hear from other parathyroid surgery patients. What type of improvements have you experiened? How do you feel now as compared to before?

Prior to surgery I had a lot of problems with gastritis. I made more than a few trips to the emergency room with chest pains -- fortunately all turned out to be gastrointestinal related. My calcium was pretty high ranging from 10.5 to 11.2 over the several months prior to surgery. I also have osteopenia in my hip and wrist and osteoporosis in the spine. So I have great expectations that in a few years I can reverse these problems.

My post operation health improvement has been less dramatic than I had expected. I still struggle with gastritis (which will probably not heal until I change my eating habits such as foregoing coffee and spicy foods). I had one calcium test which came back 9.2 which is great. But I have had bouts of muscles spasms, occasional headaches and dizziness as well as general muscle fatigue. I don't know why this is the case. Perhaps I should exercise more. I am taking calcium supplements but it's really hard to know if I am taking enough or taking too much. I have these facial twitches that I find really annoying.

I had hoped to feel dramatically better since the operation but the improvement has been slower than I expected. I would certainly love to hear from other Post Op patients regarding your progress.

Thanks!

 
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:04 PM   #2
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

I had my parathyroidectomy in early March at Tampa General by Dr. Norman.

I had 2 issues clear up right after surgery. I use to have a lot of trouble with foot pain...that stopped. I also had this need to take deep breaths every day and that stopped. I had been depressed for several years. I actually felt much better about 6 days after the surgery. It was like a cloud had been lifted. As for my acid reflux...no change just yet. I've had that a long time so maybe it'll take more time. Still having problems with pain in my arms. That may be due to something else. I just started seeing a orthopedic surgeon for that, because I think it's related to a possible neck problem. Will know more after my doctor looks at the MRI films. I also have problems with my left eye twitching and loss of eyebrow hair on the left side. I'm hoping that will clear up. So far that's still a problem. I also have osteopenia which should reverse in time. That was diagnosed May of last year.

I assume the reason why the acid reflux hasn't cleared up maybe due to the calcium supplements might be irritating my stomach. BTW, weren't you given a schedule to follow as to how much calcium to take? I would think you should be down to 2 tablets a day.

Anyway, you're not alone. It'll take time for some of the symptoms to clear up. I've been communicating with another individual that I met while in Tampa and we've been comparing notes. That indivudal also has acid reflux which hasn't cleared up either.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Hi nr2go,

Thanks so much for your reply. It always make me feel better when I realize that I am not dealing with these issues alone. Certainly I am happy that I had the surgery done and I have nothing but praise for Dr. Norman. He was very professional and he made me feel like I was his only patient even though he does several of these every day. I guess I had worked my hopes up a little too high insofar as how I thought I would feel after the operation. I really thought I would feel 10 years younger (I am 47). It didn't work out that way. The one area that has significantly improved for me is I no longer cope with anxiety. Anxiety used to cause me alot of problems. My heart would race and I had problems with my blood pressure. Post Op my blood pressure has returned to normal and I no longer take meds for BP or anxiety (Toprol and Xanax). So that's definitely great.

You are correct I am taking 2 calcium pills a day. I was wondering about the calcium intake because I found information that suggested that the muscle aches and spasms (and eye twitching) could be related to low serum calcium. I am going to get it checked again next week and plan to ask them to test the serum rather than the regular calcium. I am a little concerned about the headaches. I can't imagine what is causing them since I have never really had many headaches before. I also want to work on getting this acid under control because I have had gastritis for a few years and I don't want that to evolve into something worse.

Once again thanks for sharing your experience and please post regularly especially if things improve. I would definitely be interested to know how it works out for you and your friend too. I will follow up too as things hopefully improve.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

wv, are you taking a bisphosphonate for your osteo? They commonly cause heart burn, acid reflux and other disgestive problems. Just wondering.

 
Old 03-28-2006, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Hi Spin,

Presently I am only taking the calcium supplements as recommend by my surgeon. From what I understand, during the time I was afflicted with hyperparathyroidism, the stomach overproduced gastrin which causes excessive acid production. So when I had an endoscopy last year the diagnosis came back as erosive gastritis. Tests for bacteria were negative so the doctor assumed that it was related to the excess calcium in my system. Now it may be a case where I need to go on a strict diet for a few months so the stomach lining can heal. But I just can't seem to kick the coffee!

wvf

 
Old 03-28-2006, 05:09 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

wvf3,

I've noticed that when I take the CA supplements with food that I don't experience problems with acid reflux. When I take it on an empty stomach is when it flares up. I would suggest taking your calcium with food that doesn't normally bother your stomach and see if that helps any.

One individual on Healthboards is taking Ezorb Calcium in powder form. That individual claims it doesn't bother his/her stomach like the one in capsules. The manufacture claims it doesn't cause stomach disorders.

 
Old 04-15-2006, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Hi Everyone,

I am making an appointment to see my primary care physician because I still don't feel right. I am having headaches (no fever), dizziness, muscle aches and twitching in my eye that doesn't seem to want to go away. I wonder if I am having symptoms of hypocalcemia? I am still taking 500 mg of calcium citrate with Vitamin D and Magnesium. I was reading about something called "Hungry Bones Syndrome." I am not sure if I understand this correctly but during Hyperparathyroidism the bones lose calcium because the parathyroid gland is always releasing parathyroid hormone. In essence the bones are being starved of calcium. After surgery, the pararhyroid glands don't produe much PTH and the hungry bones begin to absorbe all the available calcium which causes hypocalcemia (low blood calcium). I dont' know if this is what's wrong but I need to find out!

 
Old 04-16-2006, 03:29 AM   #8
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Unhappy Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Unfortunetly, my parathyroid surgery wasn't successful. They removed three and one half of them. I'm still hypercalcemic. This surgery was performed in 2001. They are now going to do tests to see if maybe I'm one of the few people who have an extra two or three parathyroid glands located in the upper chest area. I'm due to go back to the endo shortly for results of latest blood work.

 
Old 04-16-2006, 10:34 AM   #9
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Hi everyone, well the results of my MRI are that I have 2 herniated discs in my neck which evidently were aggrivated during the surgery. At any rate the pain in my arms has subsided considerably. Have been doing a lot of neck exercises and readjusting my work environment as therapy. Of course the 6 days on steriods helped a lot to reduce the inflamation. There's just a dull numbness in my fingers. The twitching of eye has subsided a bit. It doesn't happen as frequently nor does it last as long. My eyebrow hair is slowly starting to grow back. I'm optimistic that it will eventually grow back completely.

wvf3, I think you're correct about "Hungry Bones" syndrome. Have you tried uping your calcium intake? Maybe that would help. When was the last time you had your calcium and PTH levels checked?

QueenBmaster, hope your tests shed some light on your hypercalcemia problem.

 
Old 04-17-2006, 05:38 PM   #10
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Nr2Go,

Thanks for your response. I am happy to hear that things have improved. Did you have minimally invasive surgery or the full blown operation? I had the minimal surgery and my neck feels great. It's just the rest of my body that aches! I haven't received the results of my blood tests so I don't know why I feel sick. I hope to learn something soon.

Good luck!

 
Old 05-20-2006, 06:44 AM   #11
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Well, went to the endo yesterday. Calcium levels are 10.6. Today I'm doing the 24 hr urine collection. Dr. is setting me up for a Sestamibi Scan. Looks like I'm going to be facing more surgery. Guess they think I have an extra gland or two lurking somewhere. I only have 1/2 of the original four left now. Not looking forward to more surgery, but I can't go on feeling like this, or getting kidney stones.

 
Old 06-03-2006, 11:55 PM   #12
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

Re: Parathyroid Surgery

I'm new to your health post mainly because I just found out from my Endocrinologist I have "an over-active" parathyroid gland that needs to be removed and I have a few questions to ask those of you who have had the surgery. First, I have had over 35 major surgeries in my life and in recent years, I have had very unpleasant experiences the last few times I've been placed under general anesthesia (like almost not recovering from general anesthesia the last 3 times I've undergone it). My first question to those of you who have had parathyroid surgery is "what type of anesthesia were administered for the surgeon to do the surgery?" Is it possible to have the surgery under conscious sedation, not general anesthesia?

I am scheduled to meet the surgeon who my Endocrinologist recommended I have remove my overactive parathyroid gland next week and I'm sure he will be a great physician/surgeon, but my main concern is how can I make sure the anesthesiologist who will put me to sleep for the surgery will wake me up after the procedure.

Usually the medical center pre-surgery testing procedures just provides the patient a routine meeting with "an" anesthesiologist who goes over your health history and then the morning of the surgery the patient pretty much gets the draw of the anesthesiologists on staff to sedate/awaken the patient for the surgery.

Do any of you have any ideas on how I can improve my chances of undergoing anesthesia this time? I have a three very young grandsons I'd love to see grow up, graduate high school/college, get married, have children (to make me a great-grandma) and grow old with my hubby...so I welcome your input.

VR
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Last edited by GrandCyn; 06-03-2006 at 11:58 PM.

 
Old 06-05-2006, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: Parathyroid Surgery: Post Operation Experiences

If they have clearly identified one gland that is overactive, they can use a minimally invasive approach that does not require a general. Check out [url]www.parathyroid.com[/url] for information about MIRP surgery. Good Luck.

 
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