Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery
Every day your endocrine system releases hormones throughout your body and when working properly, the hormones regulate your metabolism, temperature, calcium production and various other functions. When one of the endocrine glands (the thyroid and parathyroid) does not do its job however, you may need medical treatment to correct the situation. The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts, located in Chantilly, Virginia, offers the most comprehensive care for thyroid and parathyroid disorders to patients in the Virginia area and beyond. Led by Dr. Trang Vo-Nguyen, known as Dr. V to her patients, we offer state-of-the-art care for all of our parathyroidectomy cases to technically demanding surgeries for the thyroid and parathyroid. The thyroid and parathyroid glands play an active role in your overall health, so any disorders or abnormalities in these glands may be harmful. Although the thyroid and parathyroid glands are neighbors in your body, they perform very different functions.
The Parathyroid Glands
The parathyroid glands are four small glands located at the front and base of your neck at the four corners of your thyroid gland. They are responsible for producing the parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood. One of the main diseases associated with the parathyroids is overproduction of PTH also known as hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism is twice as common in women than men and the risk increases with age.
Several problems can occur when the parathyroid glands secrete too much parathyroid hormone (PTH) including:
- Your blood calcium level can rise causing a condition known as hypercalemia. When this happens, your bones lose calcium (osteoporosis) and your body absorbs too much calcium from food. The effects of increased calcium can be indicated in several body systems including the skeletal (osteoporosis), gastrointestinal (ulcers), renal (kidney stones), and central nervous system (depression).
- A benign tumor called an adenoma can form on your overproducing parathyroid gland however hyperparathyroidism is very rarely associated with cancer.
- PTH can lower blood your phosphorus levels by increasing excretion of phosphorus in your urine.
The Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in your body and it plays an important role in regulating organ function and metabolism. Your thyroid is located in the front of your neck and it is butterfly-shaped with “wings.” The right and left wings (lobes) are joined by a small bridge of thyroid tissue (body) called the isthmus and the two lobes lie on either side of your windpipe. The thyroid gland manufactures hormones, which are chemicals that circulate in the bloodstream and affect the function of the cells and tissues in your body, and they control a variety of systems including your metabolism and energy level. Thyroid hormones are essential for survival and because your thyroid is a very active gland, when not working properly numerous problems can occur that result in hormonal imbalance or the development of nodules or cysts. Nodules are solid structures while cysts are filled with fluid and they occur in up to 5% of the population. The first step in assessing thyroid nodules is a blood test for thyroid hormone levels, followed by a needle biopsy, which can be performed in-office. Ultrasound visualization and thyroid scans may be used to help Dr. V better develop a treatment plan and thyroid malignancies are extremely treatable and curable when discovered early.
At The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts, Dr. V provides optimal management of the many complex ear, nose, and throat (ENT) diseases. She will take the time to design an individualized, patient-centered plan tailored to your risk profile to achieve the best possible outcome for a cure, any adverse effects, and your overall quality of life. Dr. V has the training and expertise required to provide expert surgical care for conditions of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, including thyroid cancer. The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts employs the latest technology and utilizes minimally invasive techniques whenever possible to offer their patients less pain, scarring, and a quicker recovery so for more information, please call today.