Parathyroid Surgery Postoperative Care Instructions

Parathyroid surgery is the removal of abnormal parathyroid glands. Hyperparathyroidism, the most common parathyroid disease, causes excess parathyroid hormone production, which raises calcium levels. These elevated levels can lead to “brain fog”, kidney stones, depression, body aches and pains, osteoporosis, calcification of the blood vessels, stroke and heart attacks. These hormonal imbalances are caused by one or more abnormal parathyroid glands; however, surgical removal of the abnormal gland(s) cures the condition.

The Head and Neck Oncology team at the Mount Sinai Heath System has compiled the below postoperative care instructions for those undergoing parathyroid surgery. These are general instructions, and may be subject to change based on your medical history and condition.

After Parathyroid Surgery Care

Wound Care: Your wound is covered with Steri Strips. Steri Strips are thin adhesive strips which are placed over an incision to help it heal. Keep the Steri Strips dry for the first 24 hours, and then you may gently cleanse the area daily with mild soap and water. You should avoid scrubbing or scratching the incision site.  Leave them in place until they fall off on their own or your provider tells you to remove them. They will usually fall of the skin within 10 to 14 days.

Activity: No heavy lifting. You should not participate in any strenuous activities. You can discuss when you may resume your daily exercise/fitness activities at your postoperative office visit.

Diet: You may resume a regular diet, although at first, many patients prefer a clear liquid diet like apple juice, Jell-O, or broth. Feel free to advance back to your regular diet as tolerated. Post-surgery, there are no dietary restrictions.

What to expect: You may have a sore throat or a hoarse voice after surgery. You should drink plenty of fluids and you may also take throat lozenges to relieve symptoms. Symptoms may persist for a few days after surgery and improve over time. If your symptoms do not improve by your postoperative office visit, inform your surgeon of your symptoms.

Shower/Bathing: Unless indicated by your surgeon, you should be able to shower/bathe as normal.

Medications: You should fill your prescription for calcium carbonate/vitamin D and take it as prescribed.

Pain: You should not take any ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain unless you are instructed to do so. You should take Tylenol for pain or the pain medication provided by your surgical team.

Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do anything dangerous if you are taking narcotic pain medication (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, etc.) This medication affects your reflexes and responses, just like alcohol.

Call Your Head and Neck Surgeon If You Have…

  1. Any concerns. We would much rather that you call your surgeon then worry at home, or get into trouble.
  2. Symptoms of low calcium:
    1. Numbness/tingling of your hands and/or feet
    2. Numbness around your lips
    3. Muscle cramps in the back and legs, may lead to spasms
    4. Fatigue, Irritability
    5. Wheezing
    6. Trouble swallowing
    7. In severe cases, you may experience seizures or other uncontrolled movements
  3. Fever over 101.5 degrees F.
  4. Foul smelling discharge from your incision.
  5. More than expected swelling of your neck.
  6. Increase warmth or redness around the incision.
  7. Pain that continues to increase instead of decrease.
  8. Problem urinating.

If you are experiencing bleeding or are having difficulties breathing, you need to go directly to the emergency room without calling.

How to Contact Your Surgeon

For non-urgent inquiries, please call the Head and Neck Oncology offices during business hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday. If you need to speak with someone after 5pm or on a weekend, call the office, and the answering service will contact the doctor on-call to call you back.


Office Number

Raymond Chai, MD

(212) 844-8775

Eric Genden, MD

(212) 241-9410

Nazir Khan, MD

(212) 844-8775

Diana Kirke, MD


Brett Miles, MD

(212) 241-9410

Edward Shin, MD

(212) 979-4200

Catherine Sinclair, MD

(212) 262-4444

Marita Teng, MD

(212) 241-9410

Mark Urken, MD

(212) 844-8775

Please note, pathology results are generally not available until 7-10 business days after your procedure. Results will be discussed in the office during your post-op visit.