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Dramatic Advance in Parathyroidectomy

NEWARK, DE - Hyperparathyroidism is a common disease that can cause depression or chronic fatigue, kidney stones and even osteoporosis. It is also a disease for which a focused surgical treatment—called a parathyroidectomy—has dramatic, almost instant results.

On April 30 at 5 p.m. EDT, Christiana Care Health System will webcast an ORLive minimally invasive parathyroidectomy performed by Dr. Raafat Abdel-Misih. This procedure not only removes the enlarged parathyroid gland that is the cause of the disease; it incorporates a laboratory procedure that allows the surgeon to verify that the operation was successful while the patient is still in the operating room, which makes the entire process easier on the patient.

"By measuring the patient's hormone level immediately after the surgery, we know almost instantly that we have successfully removed all of the growth that was causing the symptoms," said Dr. Abdel-Misih. "This prevents a situation where we would have to bring the patient back into the operating room and redo the procedure."

Most patients are able to go home within hours after the surgery, and the results are often dramatic.

"Groans, stones, moans and bones. That's what we traditionally teach medical students when diagnosing hyperparathyroidism," said Dr. Michael Rhodes, Chair of Christiana Care's Department of Surgery and narrator for the live webcast. "Abdominal groans may occur from nausea and pain resulting from ulcers or pancreatitis, stones refer to the prevalence of kidney stones, occasional psychiatric moans may result from fatigue and depression, and the bones may be affected by osteoporosis. Often, patients who undergo the surgery discover within hours, days or weeks that their mood and energy level are greatly improved."

Hyperparathyroidism is the result of a tumor on one or more of the parathyroid glands, which are four tiny glands in the front of the neck. They produce a hormone known as PTH (parathyroid hormone), which regulates calcium levels in the blood. When one of the glands becomes enlarged, it causes the body to move calcium out of the bones and into the bloodstream. Patients seldom realize that they have the disease, but it is typically detected in a routine blood test.

Viewers will be able to e-mail live questions to the doctors during the procedure and receive answers in real time. This will be the first of several ORLive presentations from Christiana Care Health System.



Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes, MD

Chair, Department of Surgery

Raafat Abdel-Misih

Raafat Abdel-Misih, MD

director of the Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Multidisciplinary Center