Parathyroid Tumors and Disease

A specialized team approach and supportive care that goes beyond treatment.

Book Now with a Parathyroid Surgeon

Your parathyroid glands have an essential role in helping your organs work. They are located in a sensitive area near other organs at the base of your neck, making parathyroid tumors especially concerning. At Nuvance Health® Cancer Institute, you are in capable hands.

We are home to one of the few surgeons in New York’s Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut specializing in parathyroid tumor care. You receive focused surgical treatments that are gentler on your body.

More Information About the Parathyroid Gland, Tumors and Disease

Your parathyroid is part of the endocrine system and includes four glands that help regulate calcium levels. Calcium helps control your muscle movements, digestion and more. With parathyroid tumors, an abnormal growth disrupts gland functioning and causes high calcium levels. You might not notice the growth, but the excess calcium affects certain organs causing you to feel sick.

You may experience a variety of symptoms, including bone pain and kidney problems. It might not be apparent at first that these issues are due to parathyroid disease. And not all forms of parathyroid disease are cancerous. In fact, parathyroid tumors are rare, and most are benign. This is why it’s important to receive care from experienced specialists, such as the ones at Nuvance Health.

Parathyroid tumor care at Nuvance Health: Why choose us?

Nuvance Health is home to one of the region's few fellowship-trained endocrine surgeons. The specialist has special training and experience in treating parathyroid tumors, including cancer. We offer more of the services you need, including sophisticated testing and treatments, close to home. Highlights of our program include:

  • Diagnosis and assessment:
    We use a variety of techniques to determine what’s causing the abnormal calcium levels. If we suspect it’s cancer, we take extra steps to identify the affected parathyroid gland. These efforts help you receive care that meets your needs.
  • Minimally invasive surgery:
    Enlarged or overactive parathyroid glands usually need surgery. We surgically remove the affected gland and nearby tissue through a small incision. This approach minimizes disruption to healthy tissue, easing your recovery. The small incision leaves a tiny scar that’s barely noticeable.
  • Experience with other rare endocrine disorders:
    The team specializes in treating other types of endocrine tumors, some of which are rare. You receive trusted care that reflects the latest research. Learn more about endocrine neoplasia.
  • Ongoing care:
    Annual monitoring enables us to detect the early signs of parathyroid tumors that recur after treatment. Monitoring typically includes a blood test. If we find abnormal calcium levels, we may recommend additional testing, including imaging studies.
  • Convenience:
    You receive ongoing monitoring in a convenient location. If you already have an endocrinologist, we are available as necessary to answer questions. If you do not have an endocrinologist, the team may continue providing your care.

Diagnosing Parathyroid Tumors

Doctors often uncover abnormal parathyroid activity during tests for other conditions, such as a chest scan or blood test. We conduct additional assessments to determine why the parathyroid does not work properly and if it could be cancer.

Your care may include:

  • Blood test: We check parathyroid hormone and calcium levels using a sample of your blood.
  • Neck ultrasound: This test uses high-frequency soundwaves to assess tissue in your neck, including the parathyroid and nearby structures.
  • 4D computed tomography (CT) scan: This imaging study provides an enhanced view extending beyond the base of your neck and including nearby tissue. A 4D CT scan helps us evaluate growths in hard-to-reach areas.

Surgical Treatments for Parathyroid Tumors

A common method for treating parathyroid tumors is surgery. During parathyroidectomy, advanced imaging techniques help us identify and remove the abnormal or overactive parathyroid or parathyroid tumor. This is often a short procedure. A lighter form of anesthesia, which helps you sleep and temporarily experience no sensation, makes recovery a little easier.

Supportive Care

After surgery, you may need additional therapies to aid your recovery. If you have muscle neck soreness, physical therapists guide you through gentle exercises to relieve it. A small number of people experience temporary difficulty swallowing. Speech therapists help you get relief. Read more about supportive care.