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Parathyroid Gland and Kidney Stones

Topic Overview

The parathyroid glands are four tiny glands located within the thyroid gland in the neck. They produce parathyroid hormone, which helps control the amount of calcium in the blood. If your parathyroid gland is too big (enlarged), it can cause your body to produce too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism). This may lead to too much calcium in the urine, which makes it more likely that you will have calcium kidney stones.

If you get kidney stones because of enlarged parathyroid glands, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove one or more of the glands (parathyroidectomy).

In this procedure, you are given general anesthesia and the surgeon makes an incision in the front of your neck. He or she then finds the parathyroid glands, determines their size, and removes any enlarged ones. In most people, there is only one enlarged gland.

How long you stay in the hospital and how quickly you recover depend on your age and general health. But many people leave the hospital a few days after surgery. You typically can return to work and your normal activities in 1 to 2 weeks.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as of May 2, 2013

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