The thyroid and parathyroid glands are important components of the human endocrine system. They produce special chemical messengers, known as hormones, which help regulate bodily functions. The thyroid gland plays a key role in metabolism while the parathyroid glands regulates the amount of calcium within the bones and blood stream.
Disorders of the endocrine system are relatively common and can have a variety of different effects on the way your body functions. For example, nearly 1 in 20 Americans aged 12 and older is likely to have an under-active thyroid. At USF Health, we have the highly specialized expertise in managing these problems, allowing us to provide comprehensive surgical care.
A normal thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped organ, found at the base of your neck, just above the breastbone. Thyroid hormones are involved with regulating multiple body activities and thus disorders of this gland can have varied impacts, all of which significantly affect a patient's health and quality of life.
Patients with hormonally thyroid disorders, will often feel
unwell. Patients with an underactive thyroid
(hypothyroidism) can feel fatigued, exhibit weight gain, hair loss, and have
cold intolerance. Many other thyroid
disorders, including thyroid nodules, will be asymptomatic and are often
discovered during medical care for other illnesses.
At USF Health, we provide a multidisciplinary approach to thyroid disorders, coordinating your care with our endocrinology partners to ensure the most appropriate management plan.
There are a variety of different types of thyroid cancers,
but in most cases, a patient can be cured with a single surgery. In fact, even in cases with certain high-risk
factors, such as cancerous lymph nodes in the neck, the outlook for patients is
excellent. At USF Health, we thoroughly
discuss with our patients potential cancer care options to develop a highly
personalized, multidisciplinary approach to thyroid cancer.
The parathyroid glands are a group of glands that sit in the neck behind or next to the thyroid gland. We are typically born with four parathyroid glands and they produce a hormone (PTH) which regulates calcium levels in the blood and bones. Some patients develop a disorder known as primary hyperparathyroidism in which Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) and calcium levels in the blood become elevated.
This can cause a variety of symptoms:
In many patients with hyperparathyroidism, minimally invasive surgery through a small incision in the neck may be recommended to remove the affected gland/glands and restore function.
At USF Health, our surgical team uses specialized nuclear medicine imaging to identify and remove only the offending glands, preserving normal tissue and function. In most cases, parathyroid surgery is done in an outpatient setting, allowing you to go home the same evening as the procedure.