High blood calcium is treated with surgery to remove the parathyroid gland tumor which is causing the problem. Thus, high blood calcium is caused by a tumor and is CURED when the tumor is removed. High blood calcium (hyperparathyroidism) is a disease that it cured--it is not treated and it is not "monitored". This operation can be technically difficult, so it is typically performed by surgeons with an expertise in parathyroid surgery because the outcomes are worse and the complications from surgery are much higher when this operation is attempted by non-experts in parathyroid surgery. The leading parathyroid surgery center in the world is the Norman Parathyroid Center in Tampa, Florida where they perform nearly a dozen of these operations every day, thousands per year. You can watch a video of Dr Norman performing parathyroid surgery on the surgery video page. Note that the entire operation to examine all four parathyroid glands takes these experts less than 20 minutes on average (13 minutes in this video) with virtually all patients being sent home about 1.5 hours after the operation. When performed by experts, this is a very safe and routine operation.
Because of the numerous small nerves and other important structures within the neck which reside around the parathyroid glands, the 'standard' parathyroid operation can be technically challenging and has the best results when performed by experienced endocrine (parathyroid) surgeons or surgeons with extensive head and neck operative experience. Numerous publications in medical journals have shown that the success rate following parathyroid surgery is directly related to the number of parathyroid operations the surgeon has performed (we have a page devoted to cure rates). This is what you will find when you read about parathyroid surgery in every text book, or on any web site on the Internet...the experience of the surgeon is more important than anything else. The cure rate for a standard parathyroid operation performed by a general surgeon is about 85 to 90% when performed through the big incision you see above and at the bottom of this page. Endocrine surgeons have a cure rate between 93 and 97%. On other pages you will see that newer forms of mini parathyroid surgery have cure rates of 99% or better in most patients--depending on the skill and experience of your surgeon.
Since 30% of people with high blood calcium have TWO parathyroid tumors, it is very important for you to chose a surgeon who will examine all four parathyroid glands. This can be done in less than 20 minutes in almost all patients when performed by parathyroid surgery experts. If your surgeon is only going to look at one parathyroid gland (the one that shows on a scan, then you have a near 30% chance of needing a second operation. Watch this video to see why you want your surgeon to examine and test all four parathyroid glands.
More on MIRP Mini 4-Gland Parathyroid Surgery.GO