I’ve been diagnosed with a fairly rare condition called hyperparathyroidism. What this means is I need to find a surgeon to remove a smaller than pea sized parathyroid gland that’s gone rogue and grown a nodule/tumor. Tricky part? It’s not a common condition and parathyroid glands can be tucked away in any part of your neck and chest.
Luckily, they think this is an upper right gland, so hopefully they have a good idea of where to dig around. And that’s just it. They cut a 4-10 inch incision into your neck. Then they go where they ‘think’ it might be and they dig around to find it while you are out cold and things are breathing for you. Nope, not the way I want to have this done.
There is a newer procedure called MIRP, or Minimally Invasive Radio Radio-guided Parathyroidectomy, that uses the same radioactive dye I had for the scan and then a special blunt tipped probe to zero in on the gland and remove it. It uses light anesthesia and a sedative, has a higher success rate and a lower complication rate (oh, like having the wrong gland removed, or damage to you vocal cords) and most people go home in about 2 hours. Um, yep… sign me up for that one, please.
The problem is that there aren’t that many surgeons that do this. Because this is a fairly rare condition and the probe is over $150,000.00 and a surgeon is required to take time off for training in this procedure, there aren’t many out there doing it. I have an appointment with a general surgeon next week, but I’ve put a call in to ask how many parathyroidectomy surgeries she’s done before I follow through with her. I did find a few doctors who do this in PA and GA and FL, which I would make an appointment with if I can’t find someone through JHU that does this. (You’d think JHU would have SOMEONE or something similar, right?)
Right now, it’s the wait and see game and I know this is a universal test of my ability to moderate and regulate my anxiety and worry and so, that’s what I’m gonna do. Breathe, relax and go with the flow… all will be well.. it always is. Happy, healthy, calm and strong