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Did you know that the term “ectopic” simply means “in an abnormal position”? By definition, ectopic parathyroid glands are parathyroid glands that are not located in the standard position in the body. Babak Larian, MD, FACS, parathyroid expert in Los Angeles, sees patients with ectopic parathyroid glands fairly regularly, with the condition being present in about 15-20% of the population.

The Parathyroid Glands

The parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormones that regulate and maintain the body’s calcium levels. These four tiny glands are typically located at the base of the neck just behind the thyroid gland and they have a very important job. It is crucial to maintain proper calcium levels to ensure the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, bones, and nervous system. When your calcium levels are not right, it is highly likely you will experience physical symptoms.

Ectopic Parathyroid Glands

You may be wondering how these glands can be out of place. When a baby is developing in the womb, the four small parathyroid glands move from the head down to the neck during different stages of fetal development. Sometimes, however, they do not follow the appropriate path and end up in other areas of the neck and/or chest. The glands do, however, tend to remain symmetrical even when ectopic, making them slightly easier for a doctor to locate when treating a patient with ectopic parathyroid glands.

Treating a Parathyroid Disorder

Patients with a parathyroid disorder almost always experience symptoms. Because a calcium balance in the body is so important, an imbalance will often bring patients to the doctor with physical symptoms of a wide variety. Some common symptoms of a parathyroid disorder include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Bone and/or muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

The only effective treatment for a parathyroid disorder is surgery. Fortunately, most patients experience an immediate significant improvement in symptoms following parathyroid surgery. Babak Larian, MD, FACS is an expert in performing minimally invasive parathyroid surgeries in Los Angeles. With his cutting-edge techniques and state-of-the-art technology, his patients usually feel better right away and are left with a very minimal scar.

Contact the Center for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery Today

Unfortunately, parathyroid disorders will only get worse if left untreated. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms caused by a parathyroid disorder such as ectopic parathyroid glands, call Los Angeles parathyroid expert Dr. Larian at 310-461-0300 to schedule a consultation today. His goal is to get you feeling like yourself again by treating your parathyroid disorder with minimally invasive, cutting-edge techniques.