Parathyroid glands are located behind the thyroid gland in the neck. There are four parathyroid glands each of a size of 5 mm. Function of parathyroid glands is to control blood calcium levels. When the calcium level of the blood goes low, parathyroid gland releases hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH) which encourages release of calcium from the bone to blood and reduces loss of calcium through the urine.
In hyperparathyroidism too much parathyroid hormone is released to the blood due to one or more parathyroid glands becoming overactive. This is common condition in females. Affected parathyroid glands get enlarged and can be detected by special imaging tests. As calcium is released from the bone they become weak and become susceptible to fracture. Other more common effect is formation of kidney stones.
Other symptoms of hyperparathyroidism may not be clinically obvious at early stages of illness. Impaired memory, loss of energy, fatigue, constipation, general weakness and bone pain could be due to early hyperparathyroidism. Removal of diseased parathyroid gland will cure most of these symptoms and can prolong life.
In the past all parathyroid glands were exposed by long incision in the neck to identify the overactive glands. Modern imaging technique can identify the site of enlarged gland and it can be removed by minimal access surgery using very small (2.5 cm) incision in the neck. You will be able to go home within 24 hours of surgery.