Thyroid and Parathyroid Disease
Wake ENT offers extensive experience in the surgical management of thyroid and parathyroid disorders. However, not all diseases of the thyroid require surgery. At Wake ENT, Dr. Gupta will help you to make an informed decision about the treatment option that is best for you. Some conditions require medical therapy or simple observation; Dr. Gupta works with his patients to develop an appropriate treatment plan based on the individual needs of the patient. Other conditions may require further testing or surgical intervention.
Thyroidectomy may be performed when a large goiter forms and constricts the surrounding structures of the neck. This may lead to neck fullness, difficulty swallowing, voice disturbance, neck or ear pain and airway compromise. Sometimes, a large thyroid can actually push on or deviate the windpipe.
In some rare cases, a hyperactive thyroid nodule that strongly overproduces thyroid hormone can form leading to hyperthyroidism. Surgical removal of this hyperactive nodule can cure the disease and associated symptoms and may be favored over other treatment options.
Dr. Gupta has completed specialized training in small-incision and video-assisted thyroidectomy. These minimally invasive procedures lead to shorter hospital stays, smaller scars, and quicker overall recovery. As one of few physicians in Wake County to offer this procedure, Dr. Gupta is committed to excellence in surgical care.
At Wake ENT, we offer extensive experience with different types of thyroid cancer. These operations typically require a total thyroidectomy and lymph node dissection. As a head and neck surgeon, he is specially qualified in cancer surgery of the neck. Dr. Gupta maintains a caselog and reports a very low incidence of recurrent nerve injury and hypoparathyroidism. “I find the use of technology valuable in providing the best care possible,” said Dr. Gupta regarding his use of the harmonic scalpel (Ethicon Corp., Cincinati, OH) and monitored endotracheal tube (Xomed/Medtronic corp., Sunnyvale, CA)
Some patients suffer from derangements of the parathyroid glands. These glands are located just behind the thyroid and are responsible for calcium metabolism. Hyperparathyroidism (elevated levels of parathyroid hormone) and hypercalcemia (elevated calcium levels) are the most common indicators for parathyroidectomy, or removal of the parathyroid glands. The prevalence of hyperthyroidism is reported to be approximately 4 cases in 100,000 people with women affected about twice as often as men. Prevalence can affect people of all ages but generally increases with age.
In primary hyperparathyroidism, one gland is no longer able to maintain normal calcium levels and begins to overproduce parathyroid hormone. Calcium levels in the bloodstream increase and with time, calcium levels in the bones suffer, which can lead to osteopenia or osteoporosis, and kidney function can also be affected. Depression, muscle weakness, GI issues, and joint pain may also result.
Mildly elevated calcium levels in otherwise asymptomatic patients can often be managed by simply monitoring the patient or by treatment with medications. In patients with symptoms or when calcium levels are high, parathyroidectomy may be indicated.
Patients generally recover from thyroid and parathyroid surgery very quickly. Dr. Gupta prefers a modified, minimally invasive approach with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to minimize risks associated with surgery and to promote an early return to normal activities. Many patients prefer the smaller surgical scar that results from this approach.
Dr. Gupta has had over 12 years of experience performing both benign and malignant thyroid and parathyroid surgery. Please call for an appointment if you need to make a decision about the right treatment choice for you.