Thyroid and Parathyroid

The thyroid gland is located in the lower neck and secretes a hormone that controls general body metabolism. In some patients the gland may become underactive or overactive. Function of the gland can easily be determined by simple blood tests. In most cases, an overactive gland or an underactive gland can be treated with medications.

Tumors of the thyroid are common and most of these are benign. To get a picture of the gland, your doctor may order an ultrasound scan. If a nodule is found on ultrasound, an ultrasound guided needle biopsy is frequently performed to obtain cells from the nodule for pathologic examination. In most cases these biopsies turn out to be benign. If a malignant tumor is suspected, removal of part or the entire gland is recommended.

The parathyroid glands are also located in the lower neck in the same area as the thyroid gland. These glands control calcium metabolism. When calcium levels in the blood rise, a parathyroid tumor is suspected. These tumors are usually benign and can be seen on special isotope scans. Surgical removal of the suspected tumor is usually curative.

Thyroid and parathyroid surgery are both performed routinely by the surgeons of Advanced ENT.

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