Will My Hair Grow Back After Parathyroid Surgery?

Will My Hair Grow Back After Parathyroid Surgery?

The most common complaint of those who have undergone parathyroid surgery is discomfort with swallowing. Although this can be annoying for a day or two, it usually goes away with the use of over-the-counter medications such as Nurofen, Panadol, or Panadeine. Some people may also experience phlegm in their throats, which is caused by the tube that was inserted into the windpipe.

Hair loss after parathyroid surgery

Parathyroid surgery is a common procedure used to treat a parathyroid disorder. The procedure involves making a small incision in the neck, where a surgeon will then access the thyroid gland and the parathyroid glands located behind it. The surgeon will then remove the parathyroid glands if they are diseased. Typically, the recovery time is quick after parathyroid surgery.

Health complications 

While the parathyroid disease may seem like a small problem, it is incredibly difficult on the body and can even lead to severe health complications. If left untreated, it can even lead to kidney stones and even a stroke. The good news is that parathyroid surgery is relatively easy and only takes about 17 minutes. Once the surgery is completed, patients go home with a bandage on their necks.

Post-operative complications of parathyroid surgery may include a change in your voice, dry skin, and brittle nails. Hypoparathyroidism may also cause fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches. Some people also experience patchy hair loss. These symptoms will resolve once the body has been properly compensated for the lost calcium levels.

Depression and hair loss

Patients with parathyroid disease may experience depression. Depression affects approximately 48% of patients diagnosed with parathyroid disease. Many patients are prescribed anti-depressants to cope with their symptoms. The calcium levels in the blood are low, which can cause hair loss after parathyroid surgery. Patients should consult with a medical professional if they are concerned about their hair loss after parathyroid surgery.

High blood pressure

Many people who suffer from parathyroid disease also experience high blood pressure. Many of these patients are on multiple drugs for hypertension. In many cases, parathyroid surgery will correct this problem. After parathyroid surgery, the patient will return to their normal level of blood pressure. This can take up to four months to resolve.

Recurrence of hyperparathyroidism after parathyroid surgery

In patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, parathyroid surgery (excision of abnormal parathyroid tissue) is curative in most cases. Nevertheless, up to 30% of patients experience postoperative persistent HPT. To evaluate the role of imaging techniques and the efficacy of exploratory surgery in such patients, this study assessed the recurrence rate of HPT after parathyroid surgery. The study included 306 patients who had parathyroid surgery from 2000–2009. Of these, 10 patients underwent further investigation, including imaging.

Incomplete removal of the parathyroid gland

The most common reason for the recurrence of hyperparathyroidism is incomplete removal of the parathyroid gland. The surgeon who performed the first operation could not have detected the tumour or was not aware of its location. In this case, the surgeon has to re-operate on the same incision.

Recurrence rate

The recurrence rate was greater than previously thought. One study reported that a patient with a recurrent case of hyperparathyroidism can have hypercalcemia for up to 10 years after the operation. The study also reported a late recurrence rate of 10.7%.

Causes of recurrence 

Recurrence of hyperparathyroid disease can occur after radical parathyroid surgery. The removal of the dominant adenoma can avoid the risk of recurrence. It is also possible to cure the patient by autotransplantation of parathyroid tissue.

In one large study, 13 out of 128 patients had a recurrence of hyperparathyroidism after parathyroid surgery. This recurrence rate is not very high, but it is rare. In some patients, the recurrence of hyper parathormone production is triggered by secondary disease, as indicated by scintigraphy.

Non-familial primary parathyroid surgery: recurrence is rare

Recurrence after parathyroid surgery is rare but should be suspected if the original diagnosis is non-familial primary hyperparathyroidism. If recurrence occurs more than 10 years after the initial parathyroid surgery, it is more likely to be a local recurrence. In such cases, reoperation is a complex surgical procedure and should only be performed by an experienced surgeon.

In one study, thirty-six patients underwent parathyroid surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism at St Peter’s Hospital, Surrey, UK. Of these patients, twelve were not permanently cured of hypercalcemia; 11 had persistent hypercalcemia while one had a recurrence. Patients with persistent hypercalcemia were investigated for malignancy and underwent exploratory parathyroid surgery.

Complications of parathyroid surgery

Parathyroid surgery for hair growth has a few risks and potential complications. A common risk is wound infection, which happens in about one out of every 2000 operations. Symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks. Seromas can also occur, although they are less common and can be drained by the surgeon. Choosing an experienced parathyroid surgeon can help to minimize these risks.

Removal of an abnormal parathyroid gland

In rare cases, surgery to remove an abnormal parathyroid gland can fail. This occurs when the surgeon fails to remove all of the diseased glands, or misses a single abnormal gland. In such instances, the patient may suffer recurrent hyperparathyroidism.

Nerve damage

Another risk is nerve damage to the voice box. Depending on the type of surgery and the surgeon, this can occur during the procedure. However, most complications can be prevented with good pre-operative care. The risks are much less than with other surgical procedures. If you have parathyroid surgery, it’s important to choose a surgeon with years of experience. If your doctor has performed hundreds of similar operations, the chances of having complications are lower.

Effects after surgery

Following the surgery, you’ll experience a sore throat for several days. This is especially noticeable when swallowing. The pain may be dull or sharp. Taking Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil as prescribed by the doctor should help minimize the pain. Most patients don’t require narcotic pain medication. Patients may want to avoid spicy food and soft drinks during the first few days.


Another risk of parathyroid surgery is hypocalcemia. This condition occurs when 3 or more parathyroid glands are removed and are not functioning. The remaining parathyroid glands in the body will temporarily shut down, resulting in low calcium levels. Hypocalcemia can cause symptoms including cramping and numbness. Occasionally, the condition may even lead to the locking of the hands.

Treatment options

If you had parathyroid surgery, your surgeon may have removed only part of the gland. This can cause a condition known as failed surgery. Another cause is a missed double adenoma or hyperplasia. If you’ve been diagnosed with either of these conditions, you may want to discuss treatment options with your doctor.

Skilled surgeon 

Treatment options after parathyroid surgery will depend on your specific case. You’ll want to choose a surgeon who is experienced and skilled. The risk is greater if you have a surgeon with less experience. Generally, a surgeon with more experience will be able to reduce the risk of permanent hoarseness, recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, and failure. The success rate is about eighty per cent with the initial parathyroid surgery and eighty per cent to ninety per cent for the second.


In some cases, the surgeon can perform a parathyroidectomy. This procedure involves accessing the parathyroid glands through the mouth. This surgery does not leave a visible scar. It does not affect the hair follicles, but it can lead to low blood calcium levels. If you experience low calcium levels after parathyroid surgery, you should consult your doctor and get some calcium supplements.

Expert endocrine surgeon 

While there are several treatments available for hair growth after parathyroid surgery, it is best to consult with an expert endocrine surgeon. This type of procedure should only be performed by high-volume centres specializing in parathyroid surgery. A physician can determine whether a hair growth hormone is a culprit or not.


In some cases, a patient may also opt for radiation therapy. Radiation therapy works by using high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells. The treatment is rarely effective for parathyroid cancer, but the risks are very low.

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Will My Hair Grow Back After Parathyroid Surgery?

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