How does hypoparathyroidism, result from thyroid surgery, and how is it evaluated?

Updated: Feb 27, 2020
  • Author: Pramod K Sharma, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Hypoparathyroidism can result from direct trauma to the parathyroid glands, devascularization of the glands, or removal of the glands during surgery. Postoperative hypoparathyroidism, and the resulting hypocalcemia, may be permanent or transient. Hypocalcemia after thyroidectomy is initially asymptomatic in most cases.

Evaluation of parathyroid function is performed in either of the following ways:

  • Follow ionized calcium (or total calcium and albumin) levels perioperatively

  • Measure PTH postoperatively; a normal level accurately predicts normocalcemia

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