After thyroid cancer surgery, some patients experience numbness and cramps in their hands and feet, which is due to damage to a small but important gland called the parathyroid gland.
The parathyroid glands are tiny glands hidden behind the thyroid gland, normally the size of a soybean grain, and shaped like fat and lymph nodes. Although the parathyroid “stature” is small, it has a great effect. It can secrete parathyroid hormone and regulate the level of calcium in the human body. In patients with hyperparathyroidism, the secretion of parathyroid hormone is excessive, and the calcium in the bones is released, which can easily cause osteoporosis and increase blood calcium. The secretion of hormones decreases, which is not enough to maintain the normal blood calcium concentration, which in turn leads to symptoms such as numbness of hands and feet and cramps in the limbs caused by low calcium, requiring lifelong calcium supplementation.
According to relevant statistics, the incidence of permanent hypoparathyroidism in total thyroidectomy and bilateral central lymph node dissection is 16.2%, while parathyroid damage will lead to It greatly reduces the quality of life of patients after surgery. Thyroid cancer, like other malignant tumors, will have local invasion and lymph node metastasis. During the process of complete tumor resection and central lymph node dissection, it is extremely demanding for doctors to protect the parathyroid glands from damage.
Due to the complex anatomical structure of the neck, dense blood vessels and nerves around the thyroid, the scope of operation during the operation is narrow, and the parathyroid glands are easily confused with lymph nodes and adipose tissue during the operation. Intraoperative treatment methods are very important: how to accurately identify the parathyroid glands; how to remove the tumor while preserving the integrity of the parathyroid gland function; how to finely handle blood vessels that are thinner than nerves… all require the accumulation of a lot of surgical experience by doctors With the condensed technique, “a small miss is a thousand miles away”. A thyroid surgeon with rich experience and skilled skills should accurately identify and protect the parathyroid glands during the operation.
Currently, drugs that can replace parathyroid glands are not widely used in clinical practice, so the requirements for total thyroid cancer resection and central lymph node dissection are extremely high, and every operation requires Professional surgeons make comprehensive and detailed plans for surgical indications, surgical scope, surgical risks, and the prevention and treatment of major complications on the basis of scientific assessment of the disease, so as to protect the patient to the greatest extent!