Treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism
What are the benefits of surgery?
The main benefit of curing primary hyperparathyroidism with a parathyroidectomy is the potential to fix any/all of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Please see the individual Signs and Symptoms sections for a more detailed discussion of these benefits, but the most important improvements after parathyroid surgery include:
- Improved bone density and lower risk of broken bones: Decreased bone density is one of the most serious problems caused by primary hyperparathyroidism. After successful parathyroidectomy, patients regain as much as 6 to 12% of their bone strength. Even better, although patients with primary hyperparathyroidism are at increased risk for fracture when compared to the general population, after successful parathyroidectomy, the risk of fracture returns to that of the average person. 43 In fact, there was a 14% decrease in the 10-year fracture risk (hip fractures had the biggest decrease in risk). 44
- Improved quality of life: Following successful parathyroidectomy, patients reported a significant improvement in quality of life, even up to 10 years later. 36 Up to 80% of patients will find relief from some of the more common symptoms like: fatigue, exhaustion, weakness, malaise (don't feel well), confusion, can't concentrate, memory loss (can't remember things), headaches, insomnia (don't sleep well), bone pain, back pain, joint pain, depression, reflux, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
- Lower risk of kidney stones If left untreated, 1 of 3 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism will develop kidney stones. However, after successful parathyroid surgery, 90% of patients will not develop new stones. 2
- Decreased risk of prematurely dying: There is a slightly increased risk of premature death with primary hyperparathyroidism. Patients who had parathyroidectomy early, had an improved survival when compared to patients who did not have parathyroidectomy. 40