Parathyroid Diseases

  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Renal (secondary and tertiary) hyperparathyroidism
  • Persistent and recurrent hyperparathyroidism (patients who have had prior failed parathyroid surgery)

371 Responses to Parathyroid Diseases

  1. Sabina Kruger Koller says:

    Hello, I am a 58 year old woman. After I complained to my endocrinologist ( I have Hashimoto’s) that I was feeling extremely tired, he noticed from my blood test that my calcium levels were high
    and said that I probably needed to have one or more of my Parathyroids removed. I researched
    alternatives to surgery, and after I met with an Ayurvedic practitioner who also is an MD, I realized that surgery was the only option. I researched surgeons online and came upon Dr. Michael Yeh and liked what I read in the reviews.
    At the same time my endocrinologist recommended Dr. Yeh and told me he had only the best experience with sending his patients to Dr. Yeh.
    At my first visit with Dr. Yeh I noticed how kind, friendly, respectful, attentive and very reassuring he was and he made every effort to make me feel comfortable, at ease and take any potential fear away. I scheduled a surgery date with Dr. Yeh that day.
    Going in to surgery, my specific situation was that having Hashimoto’s, I also have nodules, and it was not clear if I needed to have any nodules removed and or my thyroid removed in addition to a Parathyroidectomy.
    2 years earlier I had foot surgery at Cedar-Sinai in LA, and had a terrible experience. I was nauseous for one week after the surgery post-op and no doctor seemed to really care.
    I was very worried that again I might do badly with the anesthesia.
    My overall experience at UCLA and with Dr. Yeh, his team and his Anesthesia team, was excellent. From the moment of checking in through the entire preparation phase, and post-op, I can only say that I was in the best hands and was very well taken care of. All the nurses made the utmost effort to make me feel comfortable and at ease.
    Dr. Jahr, the chief anesthesiologist and his team were very friendly, attentive and reassuring as well, and I had the best experience, not feeling how I felt after my experience at Cedars at all. I had absolutely no nausea at all post-op at UCLA.
    Dr. Yeh only took out the one Parathyroid, the minimum necessary. He checked all the others as well as my nodules and the thyroid, deciding to leave all the rest.
    Today, nearly 2 months after my surgery, I feel wonderful, and energetic. It took me 8 – 10 days to fully recover post-op. After 7 days I took up my yoga practice again, (avoiding asanas that put pressure on my throat). I also did acupuncture pre- and post-op. Both yoga and acupuncture might have helped in my fast and good recovery and I would recommend it to anyone.
    Dr. Yeh, Dr. Jahr and their teams have the best bedside manners. They are human beings, who are not afraid to show their humanity, physicians that understand the trepidation a patient might have, and cater to making the patient feeling the most comfortable possible in the given situation. They are both excellent at what they do. My experience at UCLA and in the hands of Dr. Yeh and Dr. Jahr and their teams was better than I could have ever expected and I would highly recommend them to anyone.

  2. Lori M. says:

    I am female, 55 years old. I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism last fall. I have always been healthy and as long as I can remember, when the results of routine blood tests came in, I was told, “all is well, calcium is a bit high but nothing to worry about.” Three years ago at my checkup with my primary doctor, he reported my calcium level was a bit high and one of these times we should investigate why. But I was feeling well and thought nothing of it, as my calcium levels are always a bit high. Last year I started to experience stomach pain and by the end of the summer is was persistent so I went for a checkup. My blood calcium was now very high, 11.5, so my doctor suspected hyperparathyroidism. Blood tests showed high levels of the hormone, kidney scan showed no kidney stones but my bone scan showed osteopenia and osteoporosis in some areas. My stomach pain was really becoming debilitating. Surgery was the only way to correct the condition, we both had some concerns but my doctor recommended Dr. Yeh. It took a while for the consultation and surgery to be scheduled but it was worth the wait for me.
    I had surgery 1/8/15. All 4 of the parathyroids were removed but, upon further examination during the procedure, one of them was covered in a layer of fat but was actually healthy and reinserted. All went well, my stomach pain was completely gone. I was now experiencing low blood calcium, tingling or numbness in my feet, hands, and sometimes lips. Blood tests showed the reinserted parathyroid is now functioning, but it has been 6 weeks and I still have some low blood calcium symptoms. It is getting better, but I’m not sure if it will go away completely, I hope so.
    I am very glad I went to Dr. Yeh. I believe I could have ended up with either all of the parathyroids not getting removed, the scans showed only two enlarged, or maybe not having the only healthy one recognized as such and reinserted. His knowledge, experience and expertise in the field are the reasons for this. I had a very good experience, everyone involved at UCLA was helpful, kind and pleasant. I hope the latest negative headlines on the hospital will not deter anyone! Thanks again to all.

  3. AnnaB says:

    I’m a 57 year old woman whose internist (also UCLA) discovered my elevated calcium when I went in for really bad reflux last May (I’d tried to go off my omeprazole — I won’t do that again). After blood tests and scans and three separate docs telling me that Dr. Yeh was the guy to do the surgery, I went with it. Now I’m about 3 weeks post op after an excellent experience with Dr. Yeh and the UCLA team. I echo many of the comments on this site — great care, minimal hassle, minimal scar, minimal pain. In fact, other than when I coughed for about 24 hours after the surgery, (coughing hit right where the breathing tube sat) zero pain. I never needed the post-op meds.
    I’m one of the few (I forget the percentage) who had three and a half of my parathyroids removed, which caused some reflux issues for a few days post-op while my last little bit of a parathyroid learned to do it’s job again. Thanks to Dr. Yeh for having the knowledge and experience to see that all my parathyroids were misbehaving — or about to — I feel better than in months, possibly years. I have energy again. Hooray for modern medicine!
    I’d also like to commend the whole staff at UCLA, especially the nurses, who settled me in before and after the surgery and were so kind and attentive. Much appreciated.

  4. Angela says:

    In short, I am a 53 year old woman in good health. I weight lift 5 times a week and have done so for 30 years. My weight is normal and I eat a vegetarian, mostly vegan diet and have never smoked. I started menopause in 2009 at the age of 48.

    In 2010 I had a bone density test and the result was osteopenia. At the time I thought that couldn’t be right, but the doctor said it is “normal” for a woman “my age”. Four years later, just a couple of months ago I had another bone density test. This time it showed a 15% decrease from the 2010 test and I am .1 away from osteoporosis (-2.4). Saw an Endocrinologist – he ordered a PTH intact without calcium and a few additional tests. The PTH results was “1” and calcium as 9.5, Vit. D 39. Spoke to doctor and he said that this is a “normal” result. My question to him is why are their “ranges” if when someone has a result outside the range it is considered normal? His recommendation to me is medication to slow the bone loss and to “continue doing what I’m doing” or increase the weight lifting. Really? I already weight lift 5 times a week. And, I take 2000-4000 UI of Vit. D a day. In April of 2014 my Vit. D was 55, 9 months later it is 39 and that is with the supplement. I could go on here, but my question is….

    Has anyone else had a very low PTH, normal calcium and a poor bone density test and been told this is “normal”? I’m not looking for a problem here, but I take good care of myself and do all the “right” things. Secondary questions, I checked a PTH blood test result from 2009 (not sure why it was even done) and that result was 53. Is it normal for a “normal” PTH to go down so much? Plus, I have been extremely thirsty, tired and left leg is swollen…not sure it is related, but wondering…

    Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone answered you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you get a chance to ask Dr. Yeh about your concerns or ask him for a referral to an internist and an endocrinologist? Another route might be to call the UCLA patient referral line, explain your concerns, and ask them for a referral.

  5. Chris 65 years old says:

    I had surgery two months ago for a parathyroid adenoma. About six months prior, my regular doctor had noticed that my blood calcium score was over 10.0, the threshold for “high.” This was a new doctor – my previous doctor had retired – and on looking over my records, I can report that my calcium score had been above 10.0 for ten years. A follow-on blood test was done to evaluate my parathyroid hormone, potassium, and magnesium levels, after which I was sent to an endocrinologist for a test to look for a parathyroid growth, which they thought they saw. The next appointment was UCLA Medical Center for another test whose purpose was to pinpoint the growth’s location and then a second appointment immediately after the first to see Dr. Yeh, the physician who would operate. The test from the first appointment did not show a growth, but Dr. Yeh did an ultrasound which did show the growth. It was his opinion that the parathyroid with the growth was actually IN the thyroid gland, not it’s usual place. Surgery proved him correct. He successfully removed that p. gland and a second one that looked swollen to him. Thank you, Dr. Yeh!

    Prior to surgery, I hadn’t thought I had any symptoms; I proceeded with surgery because of bone loss concerns. I felt good, but after surgery I noticed two effects that actually had been symptoms. I have had a thumbnail that has been splitting for a couple of years which is clearly stronger, and swallowing works better now. Both makes sense, looking back. Fingernails are made of calcium after all, and the growth was big enough to affect swallowing. Anyway, no more problems now. I have had a very successful result, for which I am very grateful. Dr. Yeh and UCLA Medical Center took very good care of me. :-)

  6. Janice L. Price says:

    Having been hypothyroid all my adult life, I was no stranger to feelings of fatigue, ennui, intense anxiety, brain fog and feeling confused a lot of the time. This I attributed to my hypothyroid condition being difficult to control because my doctors kept switching me back and forth between Synthroid, which I could not tolerate, and Armour Thyroid which made me feel better because it has both T-3 and T-4 hormones, but seemed more difficult to regulate. Throughout the years it became worse and in my 60s I had serious osteoporosis in my spine and cognitive difficulties that became worse as I continued to age and led me to believe I was on the road to dementia. It’s embarrassing that I put up with this for so long, but none of my doctors looked beyond thyroid issues.
    Finally I consulted an endocrinologist who tested me and discovered one “hot” parathyroid gland from a Sestamibi scan. He explained the hazards of this surgery done by an inexperienced surgeon, and sent me to Dr. Yeh at UCLA who is in the group of top 20 parathyroid surgeons in the USA. The idea of having my throat slit near to the parts I hold so dear (voice box, jugular vein) was terrifying. Equally terrifying was the prospect of my mental functioning diminishing more and my bones breaking.
    After studying Dr. Yeh’s credentials/experience on the UCLA website I felt more relaxed and ready to accept this treatment. My initial appointment with Dr. Yeh confirmed that I would be safe under his care. All the people who were working for him were exceptionally professional, intelligent and compassionate. They had great respect for Dr. Yeh and seemed to feel honored to be working for him. There was an easy camaraderie among them, which I found reassuring.
    Because I was now often having trouble thinking logically and putting my thoughts into sentences I was alarmed to hear it happen again in our initial interview. As I was speaking, my mind went absolutely blank and almost a minute passed while Dr. Yeh, his assistant, two medical students and my husband silently waited for me to continue. I finally broke the spell by asking what I had been saying and they prompted me. My PTH was 61 (11-51) and my calcium level was 10.2 (8.6-10.2). Dr. Yeh still wanted to do more extensive testing on UCLA’s state-of-the-art diagnostic machines. Two and possibly three diseased glands were found. I couldn’t wait for this surgery to be done! As Dr. Yeh’s jolly OR nurses slid me onto the operating table one of them made a racy little joke that had me giggling until I slipped away under general anesthesia. So much for “fear!”
    Dr. Yeh removed three glands and “shaved off” half of the fourth one. Half a gland can provide enough hormone to facilitate good regulation of calcium absorption into the bones. My recovery was fine and uneventful, but we were advised to spend the night on-campus to be close to the ER since L.A. traffic is unpredictable, and it could be a two to three hour drive from our house back to UCLA if an unforeseen problem should arise during the night.
    Tiverton House was full so we stayed overnight at the UCLA Guest House, and it was worth every dollar. It is a lovely small hotel located at the north end of the large campus with an excellent breakfast included and we had a luxurious small room with a perfect bed. Having read comments about the parking difficulties on the campus, I had been anxiety-ridden about the logistics of getting back and forth to the hospital. No problem at all. The friendly desk clerks made a phone call and in a few minutes a little campus bus appeared and took us to the door of the hospital and brought us back after my recovery. Our car stayed in the parking area under the hotel.
    One week after surgery my PTH was 40 (15-65) and Calcium level was 9.5 (8.8-10.2) and I was feeling very good.
    Today it is almost two months since my surgery. Improvement will be continuous over the coming months, but I am very happy with my progress so far. My 1 ¼” scar is healing well, the skin on my back no linger itches all over and the area across my shoulder blades no longer aches. My joints are not aching so much and I am feeling happier, calmer and have a good sense of well-being. My anxiety level has lessened and my husband thinks I am more fun. Best of all, the fog has lifted and I am thinking more clearly. I can express my thoughts without halting for words. I used to struggle a bit with the LA Times Sunday Crossword but a week after my surgery the words just popped into my head. My energy is returning and I have much more interest and enjoyment in seeing friends and family, doing house and art projects, and even cooking. I’m feeling kinder and less critical of myself and others. I enjoy picturing my bones absorbing calcium with greater efficiency and reversing my osteoporosis.
    The downside is that I’m too eager to jump back into life. For the past few years I have been too tired and listless to get much done. I spent lots of time resting, reading, letting things go that needed attention, from house and garden to planning fun activities. Soon after surgery I was scrambling to catch up and not pacing myself. A few times my blood pressure spiked and heart raced when I became exhausted. I now make myself take a rest/nap in the afternoon, which makes perfect sense for a person my age (76) who starts the day at 6 a.m.
    If you need this surgery and it frightens you, please find the best doctor available with whom you can feel comfortable and a top-rated hospital with state-of-the-art equipment. Take special note of the caliber of people working for this doctor. This is not often mentioned, but having confidence in those who will also be treating you is of key importance in creating a sense of calm for yourself and an environment for a successful surgery and recovery. I was fortunate to live near UCLA and Dr. Yeh, but knowing what I know now, I would not hesitate to travel a great distance for the excellent care and results I received.

    Janice Price, December 1, 2014

    • Cathy says:

      I commented on this post earlier but I don’t see it here so I am commenting again. Thank you so much Janice, for your detailed account of your experience. I have surgery scheduled this Thursday and your info was very helpful. Can I ask you if you had any issues with dizziness or balance or with muscle weakness? I have a big problem walking and with my balance. The brain fog/concentration issues you mention are a huge issue for me too as are the incredible fatigue along with lots of pain. It is so good to hear someone say that their symptoms are resolving. It makes the surgery much easier for me to face.

  7. Richelle says:

    I am a 52 year old female from the Los Angeles area. I was diagnosed with parathyroid adenoma after complaining for several years about lumps on my neck. It was found by doing an ultra-sound. Dr. Yeh removed the adenoma. I thought I would need to stay over night, but felt so good, I left a couple of hours after surgery and went to Whole Foods and got lunch and went for a walk. My throat was a little sore for about five days and I got really small calcium pills at Whole Foods. I never took any of the pain medication, not even an aspirin. I have not had one problem with my voice. I do have Osteopenia now and have to become educated about that. Dr. Yeh and everyone at Santa Monica were very professional and so nice. I had had a very bad experience with surgery at UCLA at Westwood several years ago and was pretty much having a panic attack right before surgery. Everyone listened to me and assured me that everything would be very professional and it was. It couldn’t have gone better. It has been one month and I am pretty much back to my regular routine.

  8. Gabriel Michael says:

    I was diagnosed with Hyperparathyroid Disease over five years ago. After a negative Sestamibi scan, negative Ultrasound and more blood testing than I wish to recall, I had surgery performed by a well-known Head and Neck Surgeon who failed to locate the 4th gland. My Calcium and PTH levels never dropped down to the normal range, and my symptoms persisted; mostly joint pain, anxiety, depression, mental fog and basically not feeling well. I was seeing an Endocrinologist who wanted to me to take drugs for the Osteoporosis that had developed as a result of having this disease, and the Surgeon ”decided” that I only had three glands and my high Ca levels were ”normal” for me. Somehow I ”knew” there was more to the story. The internet has been extremely helpful in providing information on this often misdiagnosed disease. In my determination to find a surgeon who could help me, I found Dr Michael Yeh. I don’t live in the Los Angeles area, but I decided to follow my instincts. After my records were sent, I actually called on a holiday, and Dr Yeh answered the phone. He said ”you have an interesting situation but we will get to the bottom of it.” Little did he know, how ”interesting” it was. I went to UCLA, met with Dr Yeh, who ordered a 3D Scan which didn’t reveal the ”missing” gland. He performed an Ultrasound in his office and he saw something that looked like the culprit…inside my Thyroid. A fine needle biopsy proved his diagnosis to be correct, and surgery was scheduled. It has been almost two months post surgery, and I am happy to report that my Ca and PTH are finally normal, and I am feeling stronger, clearer, and healthier every day. Since a Thyroid Lobectomy was performed, I only have the left lobe. My TSH (hormone) level is high, and I am hoping that it will regulate eventually. Dr Yeh mentioned that I may not need Thyroid replacement, but we shall see. Hopefully he was right. I want to say ”thank you” to everyone who played a part in this drama, especially to Dr Yeh. I definitely made the right decision when I chose him as my surgeon. Unfortunately I never met his office staff, but everyone was helpful and pleasant on the phone. My one night stay at the hospital was fine, the nursing staff outstanding. I stayed at Tiverton House which was a good choice as well. I would recommend it.

  9. judith k says:

    In my case, a diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism was slow in coming, but when it finally was made by my primary care physician, I found an endocrinologist and surgeon at UCLA, and I couldn’t be happier with the treatment I received here.

    After years of exhaustion, stomach cramps and metal fogginess, I feel like myself again. Dr. Yeh certainly made the process of surgery easy and anxiety free. He explained what was going on, the need for surgery and what to expect in recovery. He’s bright, articulate, funny and has an easy going manner of self confidence that put me at ease. The surgery and recovery were simple (at least on my end). I’m someone who feels anesthetic for a few days, but once that wore off, I had only a slight sore throat and a bit of a lumpy feeling inside my throat. The sore throat lasted a short while, the lumpiness bit longer (I’m talking days here, not weeks). While it may sound uncomfortable, it really was not an issue. I was assured the sensation would fade, and sure enough it did. The incision is small, and not enough to force me into year-round turtle necks. Dr. Yeh did a great job, I’m so happy I found him

  10. Sheryl Scharlach says:

    The parathyroid surgery was 3 weeks again. I had 1 that had to be removed. My scar is almost invisible. Dr. Yeh and his staff were just incredible. He is a super duper surgeon. The anesthesiologist was first rate. Nurses were fantastic. I am so happy that I elected to have Dr.Yeh perform surgery. Thank you, Dr. Yeh and staff.

  11. Robert says:

    I am a 62 year old male in good health. I live in Mammoth Lakes Calif. A small community in the eastern sierras. It came to light that I had a high calcium level in my blood during a routine physical. My doctor had it checked a second time with the same result of 10.7 along with a PTH and Vitamin D test both of which came back in the normal range. I was then referred to an Endocrinologist. When I gathered up my records to send to the Endocrinologist I noticed that my calcium level had been bouncing around between 10.2 and 10.8 for the last 7 or 8 years but nobody brought it to my attention (lessen to be learned always check your own blood work). After going through a battery of tests with the Endocrinologist which included a negative Sestamibi scan the diagnosis was that I had mild hyperparathyroidism and the doctor suggested that we check the calcium levels in about six months to see if they might come down to a normal range. I really didn’t have any major symptoms other than feeling extremely tired all the time and being fuzzy mentally. I didn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm for things I like to do and my wife said I was more irritable than normal. I decided to investigate further online and came across the UCLA website on hyperparathyroidism and decided to give them a call. After talking with the staff I sent my medical records to Dr. Yeh to review. I live 300 miles from UCLA so a phone call was arranged to talk with Dr. Yeh in lieu of an office visit. Just from looking at my records he said that I was definitely a candidate for surgery and we set a date for the surgery right then for about 5 weeks out. On the week of the surgery my wife and I drove to UCLA on Sunday and stayed at the Hilgard house which worked out fine for us as we could walk to the UCLA campus and Westwood Village easily from there. I had tests run and a consultation with Dr. Yeh on Monday and had Tues. and Wed. off to prepare for a Thurs. surgery. Dr. Yeh discovered from a CT scan that I had a growth on one of my parathyroid glands so he knew right where to go during the surgery. The surgery went smoothly and Dr. Yeh removed the one bad parathyroid gland and was able to check out the other 3 and determined that they were fine. I was a little groggy that evening and had a little pain. Only took one of the pain pills they gave me and was back to work on Monday. I feel so much better after having the surgery. No more naps during the day. Not nearly as irritable as I once was and my mind is so much clearer. It’s like a light bulb went on. I can’t say enough about Dr Yeh and his staff. There was always a person that answered the phone when I called which is unheard of in today’s world. From the moment you talk to Dr Yeh you can tell that he is a warm genuine competent person. He really makes you feel comfortable and I definitely made the right decision going to him for my surgery.

  12. Keith J says:

    As a Head and Neck Surgeon who in the past has performed Parathyroid surgery I was quite surprised to learn that I had an elevated calcium and parathyroid hormone level. I was completely asymptomatic but my main concern was that in the ensuing years would I remain so. Painful kidney stones and reduced renal function were paramount in my concerns. I initially began a routine work up to “localize” the adenoma. This included a parathyroid scan which was inconclusive. An MRI scan hinted but did not definitively show a left sided adenoma. This left me in limbo for 1 year as many local colleagues suggested bilateral exploration. My concern was perhaps it would be in some atypical location possibly my mediastinum (chest) and would not be found. I did not want exploration but rather a definitive surgery to bring about a reasonable outcome. I had heard about Dr Yeh through colleagues in Los Angeles. I thought before I see him let get more information about him. I viewed his website and the truly never looked back. The painstaking detail about endocrine surgery on the website was amazing! This was a specialist who was detailed oriented. I spent 2 hours reading and learning more about a disease that I thought I knew well. I called for an appointment the next day. I saw Dr Yeh and he performed an ultrasound on my neck which is something that no previous specialist had done.He believed there was a left sided adenoma but wanted to do a specialized CT of the neck that had been developed in conjunction with the Radiology department to specifically look for adenomas. This confirmed his suspicions. He suggested surgery for removal as well as sampling “normal glands” to make sure no other abnormalities were present. As a Head and Neck surgeon my concerns were two-fold: first remove the pathology and second avoid laryngeal nerve injury which could cause vocal cord paralysis. I see and treat vocal cord paralysis which can be a difficult problem to deal with. Dr Yeh’s cool confidence assuaged my concerns. It was time to have this potential health problem resolved. The outpatient surgery was scheduled and I was happy to know if all went well I could go home afterwards. The surgery went well and in 1 hour I was awake with no pain. They offered me pain medication but it was not necessary. My voice was strong. My calcium and parathyroid hormone levels were normal. I was ecstatic. I went home and slept well. I ate a full meal the next morning and took a short walk. I really had no discomfort and never even so much needed Tylenol. Within 5 days I was back running. I had mild tightness in my neck which resolved after 1 week. i was operating 7 days after surgery. I have had no ill effects since and my calcium and parathyroid hormone levels have been normal. I had the opportunity to see any Endocrine surgeon in the country and I am glad I chose Dr Yeh. Dr Yeh, Jennifer his physician assistant and the entire endocrine surgery department were outstanding. I have nothing but the highest praise and respect for Dr Yeh. He can expect patient referrals for endocrine problems from me in the future.

  13. Sheryl Scharlach says:

    I am 67 years old, female, good health, over weight. I was referred to Dr. Yeh by my UCLA internest for a parathyroid work up , which included a CT scan, which verified that I should have surgery to remove the one parathyroid that had an adenoma. I followed through, had the surgery as an outpatient, and went home that night. No problems at all.

    Just had to be careful, because my kitty likes to sit and sleep on my neck, and saying no to a cat is really hard to do!

    It looks as if I won’t have a scar on my neck, according to Dr. Yeh, due to my pigmentation. I do have to follow-through with blood tests every 3 months –keeping an eye on the other parathyroids, and making sure that there is no more calcium entering my system. I thought this could be done under a local, but Dr. Yeh, assured me that because of the location, I had to have a general. The anesthesiologist gave me just the right meds. Thank you all for your excellent help

  14. Sheryl Scharlach says:

    I had a very good experience with Dr. Yeh and his staff. I think the anesthesiologist was excellent too. The left parathyroid with adenoma was taken out. I have to do blood work every three months to make sure that the others are fine. Very grateful to Dr. Yeh and his staff for their excellent care of me. Thank you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was diagnosed with Graves and a parathyroid adenoma. We came from out of town to have the exceptional Dr Yeh perform surgery. I was very glad that we did. It is valuable to stay an extra day post surgery. Thus we went up Monday, surgery was Tuesday stayed Wednesday and went home Thursday AM. There were unforeseen complications during surgery and he handled them beautifully. He had to transplant one of my parathyroid glands into my neck which was not in the original game plan.
    Surgery went extremely smoothly and was much easier than I anticipated. Be sure to communicate with the anaethesiologists if you get dizzy from medicine. They were terrific and I had no problems at all. The day of surgery was a bit hard but by the next day I felt fine if a bit tired. No throat pain at all and only the mildest incision pain which was easily handled with extra strength Tylenol.
    My biggest problem was hypoparathroidism due to the transplanted gland. Dealing with calcium supplements daily and the side effects of too little or too much was very tough. Almost all thyroid surgery patients have this issue very briefly but I had it longer because of my surgery. Going to the hypoparathryoidism www-dot-hpth-dot-org website was very helpful.I was very grateful when this issue started to resolve.
    Dr Yeh’s team is terrific. I loved Katherine who is extremely reliable and organized. If she says that she will handle the paperwork you are guaranteed that it is done.She has superb followthru. . Jennifer his nurse practioner was very good and really made herself available as was Dr Yeh’s resident doctor. Dr Yeh is just an exceptional person and exudes competence. He is also very easy to talk to and really cares about his patients well being both emotionally and physically. It is very worth your while to have your surgery done by Dr Yeh. My scar is very small; he really is a top notch surgeon who knows what he is doing.

  16. A Grateful Patient says:

    How does it feel to be in the expert care of the brilliant surgeon Dr. Michael Yeh? Safe. Protected. Relaxed. Confident that all will be well.

    I was living and working half way around the world when I learned (via Veracyte Afirma biopsy lab results) that I might need thyroid surgery.

    Dr. Michael Yeh has a Distance Surgery program for people who are not in Los Angeles, which makes it really easy if you are far away. My endocrinologist referred me to Dr. Yeh, who called me long distance for the pre-surgery consult.

    I returned to Los Angeles for vacation and met Dr. Yeh in person. Dr. Yeh is an elegant and brilliant gentleman, with a very calm and quiet manner. You can see he is functioning at a fast mental speed and on a high level, yet he speaks with simple clarity so that you understand everything.

    In my case, there was some ambiguity. Should Dr. Yeh remove only one thyroid lobe or the entire thyroid? Dr. Yeh described the benefits and drawbacks for each decision clearly. Dr. Yeh did an ultrasound and recommended taking out only the right thyroid lobe. Dr. Yeh said, “In general, surgery is one of those things where you don’t want to take too much of it, you don’t want to take too little of it, you want to take just the right amount that you need.”

    The surgeon is the final word.

    Anesthesiology. I am a 62-year-old female who has never had a serious health issue or surgery. I am sensitive to medications, so I take children’s doses only when absolutely necessary. I thought the general anesthetic might be strong for me. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Cynthia Chuen Shin Wang, met with me in the hospital before my surgery. She said she would not give me the sedative and that she would start me on half the normal dose of the general anesthetic (+ pain meds + anti-nausea meds—as I understood it).

    Several hours after the operation, I asked to speak with Dr. Wang. She explained that she had started the anesthetic at a half dose and then, based on what was happening with me and the surgery, had slowly added medication, bit by bit, in small amounts. In the end, I had needed just slightly less than the “normal” dose for my size, but of course it had been delivered in small amounts over time, calibrated exactly, which must have made it easier for my body to handle.

    I suffered zero bad effects from the anesthetic. Zero. What a gift.

    Surgery. I woke from the anesthetic fully alert, looking at my husband, who was standing at the foot of the bed. I knew who he was and where I was, as if I had never been gone. My neck hurt. I could feel the place where Dr. Yeh had made the cut, and I could feel inside behind it, and I could feel high up at the right top of my throat a catch that caused an answering spasm every time I swallowed. The nurse gave me liquid Tylenol. That was the last pain medication I took. Every hour the pain became less and less. I whispered because my throat was sore. But I felt good! Dr. Yeh used glue instead of sutures, because I am highly sensitive to the sutures and stitched cuts do not heal well for me. The glue was perfect for me, no bad reaction, only healing. That afternoon, Dr. Yeh came by to see me. He asked if I wanted to stay overnight or go home, and I said, “Home.” I spent only 11 hours at the UCLA surgery center.

    When you read Dr. Yeh’s surgery notes (you can ask for them), you have a deeper sense of the elegance and delicacy and beauty of Dr. Yeh’s expertise and work. He finds and protects each parathyroid, and the laryngeal nerves. He carefully accounts for each element to ensure that the other important parts of your neck are not injured during the surgery.

    The pathology report proved that Dr. Yeh had done exactly the perfect surgery, not too much, not too little, but just right.

    When I went home, I rested and focused on healing. I propped myself up, lying down with pillows for support on the couch during the day, and resting in bed during the night. My neck healed and healed and healed.

    I stayed on a liquid and soft foods diet for a while, to make it easy for my tender throat. I have always had a fragile throat and voice. My normal speaking voice is coming back slowly but perfectly (eight weeks later). I haven’t pushed anything. I have allowed my body to find its new balance at its own pace and through its own paths.

    When I felt the most while I was recuperating was profound gratefulness to Dr. Yeh and his team. I feel so fortunate to have had his expert attention and care.

    My thyroid function is normal, thanks to my remaining half thyroid.

    If Dr. Yeh had been able to see the cells inside my thyroid, he would have made exactly the decision he made when he could not do so. To me, that seems like a miracle. To Dr. Yeh, that is apparently what he was born to do, and all in a day’s good work. My gratitude to Dr. Yeh is so deep and powerful and long lasting that words cannot express it completely.

    A Grateful Patient

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’m a 71 year old male who just wasn’t feeling right. I made this comment to my internist and he did my usual 3 month blood, I’m type II diabetic. He found my calcium level was 13. I was retested and confirmed. Now the problem, I had my Thyroid removed 38 years ago and have a LOT of scar tissue. Dr. Harari and others made sure I had every test possible to locate the bad parathyroid, including a test to be sure I had 2 vocal cords. The result was unbelievable, surgery at noon, lunch at 4 and wanting to be released at 5pm. I spent the night to be sure my calcium level was constant and was released the next day went home for lunch and on to work. No pain, no discomfort, no scar, I was glued, and at UCLA Santa Monica I felt I was in a hotel not a hospital. Everyone was great!!!!!

  18. scott cooper says:

    I am a 60 year old, retired Fire Captain, who exercises daily. Its amazing what I just went through. Almost 10 years ago, on a routine blood test for my type 2 diabetes, my internist noticed slightly elevated blood calcium levels, with high normal PTH and low vitamin d levels. Although I can’t recall exactly when the fatigue and mental clarity issues started, I believe it was around that time. I had also experienced several calcium oxalate kidney stones throughout my adult life. Well, after ignoring the original blood test results,a pattern dveloped where my calcium levels would consistently be slightly elevated at my blood tests every three months. The straw that broke the camels’ back foy me was when I had a abnormal chest xray which showed a slightly deviated trachea. A ct scan showed an enlarged parathyroid gland. I promised myself that I would find out what was going on. My endocronologist sent me to “The Man” out here in Los Angeles, who proceeded to run tests on me. However, I didn’t meet the criteria for surgery because my 24 hour urine test was normal and my PTH was only 30. He never asked me how I felt or what else was going on. I was furious. This was 4 years ago. After retiring from the fire department, I again decided that I needed to address this issue. Enter UCLA and Dr. Yeh. What a difference. After the proper diagnosis, primary hyperthyroidism, and a surgery which was done three weeks ago, I am enjoying life again. The “Cloud” has lifted from my head, my blood levels are normal, and the fatigue is gone. A big Thank You to Dr. Yeh and the team at UCLA.

  19. Mark says:

    I am 54, male, was diagnosed with primary HPT earlier this year. I had suffered from a kidney stone back in 2012, had early signs of osteopenia, hypertension, amongst other issues, otherwise am a certified health nut and healthy. Although my PTH was within range, it was elevated in relation and in conjunction with elevated serum and urine calcium, low phosphorus, my history, and my sestamibi, CT, and ultrasounds which all showed a right inferior adenoma. Pretty straightforward, however, that’s not how it started, being misdiagnosed originally as a thyroid nodule.

    I did extensive due diligence in seeking the right surgeon here, and between internet searches, thoroughly reading parathyroiddotcom, interviewing my local surgeon that my endo recommended, and reading the patient reviews here, I chose Dr. Yeh and UCLA. The two most important “qualifying” factors for me were having an expert in endocrine surgery perform the surgery and in a hospital environment in case of surgical complications that require a fully staffed team as well as stats-of-the art equipment, and none better than UCLA, as it ranks amongst the top ten hospitals in the country to boot.

    My surgery was a breeze, I did not even recall falling asleep, and when I woke, it was all over, having no recall of the surgery whatsoever. Prior to the surgery, I had my pre-op consultation with Dr. Yeh who answered my barrage of detailed questions thoroughly. I was satisfied to move forward with surgery the next morning, bright and early.

    The incision is barely noticeable (approx 4cm) and the pain dissipated quickly. The scar is one of the best I’ve seen based on photos on the internet and I’m post-op day 22 as of today. I was only on anti-inflammatory meds for a couple days. The excised adenoma was larger than what showed on several ultrasounds, at 1.6cm. I was admitted at 7:00a and my surgery was complete at around 9:45a. My post-op calcium immediately dropped from in the mid 10s to 9.0 and my PTH stabilized from 34-40 to 19. I retested the levels again 4 days post-op and they both remained the same. As Dr. Yeh put it, I had a curative procedure.

    Thanks to the expertise and professionalism of Dr. Yeh and his team for getting me to the other side! I could not have made a better choice.

  20. Janet W. says:

    I am a 79 year old retired, caucasian woman who had a successful parathyroidectomy by Dr. Yeh and his medical staff. With a general anesthetic I had no pain and have no memory of the surgery. My scar is minimal and is fading fast. It was reassuring to be at the UCLA Medical Center because everyone I met both professional and nonprofessional were efficient, kind, knowledgeable, and acted as if they were having a good day which they gladly shared. This meant a lot to me and I thank them.

    After the surgery, my husband and I spent the night at Tiverton House UCLA, a hotel owned by the University. I had walked to the surgery in 10 minutes from the hotel and returned to it by shuttle at 7PM when the shuttle was called for my by the Center. The driver got a wheelchair for me out of the hotel and helped me into it. My husband picked up something for himself for dinner at the Ralphs deli across the street. We stayed a 2nd night at the hotel because I had heartburn and couldn’t eat but this resolved itself prior to our 450 mile drive home. A telephone consultation was arranged with Dr. Yeh a week later during which I removed the bandage and reported how things looked and how I felt. He then returned me to the care of my local endocrinologist who had referred me.

  21. Karen Snyder says:

    In 2008, I wasn’t feeling “right”. Achy all over, fatigue. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Thousands of dollars on drugs, some worked and some had horrible side effects. About a year ago, symptoms became much, much worse. Pain throughout my body and I couldn’t walk well. I felt as though I was a 90 year old woman when I’m actually only 52. My RA doc said that I had Fibromyalgia and neuropathy. Prescribed more drugs that did nothing! My regular internist told me that my calcium was “slightly elevated and that I had low vit. D”. But my symptoms kept getting worse. I went to another RA doc for a second opinion because I KNEW something wasn’t right. I was barely functioning. My fatigue was horrible and I could barely get out of bed on some days. This new RA doctor asked me if I ever had my parathyroid checked. I never heard of this so I went home and Googled it. All my symptoms popped up! Now at this point it’s been almost 1 year of feeling horrible. There were days that I felt as if I were actually dying. I was at the end of my rope. My doctors were totally dismissing me. My husband looked into UCLA because a friend of ours had a great experience there. He found Dr. Yeh and made the appointment. Took a scan but it came back negative. Dr, Yeh was the FIRST doctor that believed me and listened to me. He told me that he was determined to find what was wrong with me. He sent me for lab work which showed the elevated calcium. I went back in for an ultra sound on my neck. There it was! One bad parathyroid! I was relieved that he actually found something! I went in for my surgery on a late afternoon. I remember waking up and trying to adjust myself in the hospital bed when I realized that I could move without pain! It was immediate! I went home that night, no pain. The next morning the ONLY pain I had was a sore throat from the tube they use during surgery. I never took a pain pill. Within 2 days, I was doing pretty much my normal activity. I am hiking and swimming again and my energy is amazing! I feel 20 years younger! Dr. Yeh gave me back my life and I am forever grateful for him. My calcium level was 10.1 to 10.8. Any elevation, even SLIGHTLY, is high! Do not let doctors tell you that it’s just a “bit” elevated and to keep an eye on it. Oh, I fired my RA doctor and I am now with UCLA with another doctor that actually listens to me. Took a full panel of blood work. NO rheumatoid factor in my body! I never had it! UCLA is amazing and thank you Dr. Yeh for giving me my life back!

    • Cathy says:

      Hello Karen, I am having the walking problem in addition to other symptoms. Can you describe what you mean by “walking problems”? I am off balance and it seems I just can’t walk right, as if my legs are weak. Is this what you experienced? Thank you, Cathy

      • Karen Snyder says:

        Hi Cathy,

        I was experiencing horrible pain throughout my legs which made it difficult to walk. I felt 80 years old.
        After surgery, it was totally gone.

        • April Robinson says:

          My legs were killing me before I got diagnosed and went away after my 2nd surgery. Get your bloodwork done and have your PTH checked. That will do the trick.

    • Cathy says:

      Would you please email me with more of how you were feeling? I am going for parathyroid surgery in December and, until I read your letter, had not seen anyone else who “couldn’t walk well”. My legs are very weak in addition to the “normal” hyperparathyroid symptoms. I am hoping this resolves with surgery but I would be very interested in communicating with you regarding your experience if you wouldn’t mind.
      Thank you, Cathy

    • Cathy says:

      Sorry! I just saw that you did answer my original question. I do have body pain but my “leg thing” is from weakness more than pain. Weakness coupled with really bad brain fog. I think I have actually had this for 32 years. I have blood work showing calcium in the 10s and 11s since 1982 and no one mentioned it to me. There was no corroborating PTH tests done back then so all I have are high calcium levels and no PTH level done. This thing with my legs/balance really scares me. Thank you for answering me. I appreciate it. Cathy

  22. Charles Pinney says:

    My daughter suffered from bipolar disorder since she was 18. She is now 49. During all of those years she took various medications, including Lithium. During the past 10 years, she has had debilitating fatigue and elevated blood calcium levels which went undiagnosed by her psychiatrist and endocrine specialist. My wife began research on the internet to see what might cause the symptoms. She discovered a possible diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism, which is very common among patients who take Lithium for extended periods, and found Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA Medical Center, who is a recognized specialist in this area. We drove from San Diego to UCLA for a neck scan and visit to confirm the diagnosis. One month later, we made the same trip to have Dr. Yeh perform the surgery. My daughter was one of the rare cases with five parathyroid glands, four of which were diseased. We were extremely impressed with the organization, skill, and compassion of Dr. Yeh and his entire staff throughout our experience. After the surgery, my daughter began to walk for exercise and, within a week, was walking up to two miles without any symptoms of the fatigue or of mood disorder. However, subsequently, she has experienced a return of the fatigue, which we suspect has much to do with her thyroid gland (although tests so far have shown no abnormality in thyroid function). The mystery continues, but thanks to Dr. Yeh we have eliminated one cause of future disability.

  23. Maureen says:

    I am 53 years old female and recently had two of my parathyroidsa removed by Dr. Yeh. Previously in 2012 I had another parathyroid removed at a HMO and they took one and did not check to see if the others were bad. So to date I’ve had two surgeries. October 2013 I began to have a pain in my foot and after many visits to another HMO they finally referred me to a podiatrist and they said I had a stress fracture. As a consequence of my parathyroid issue I have severe osteoporosis which led to the fracture in my foot. I’ve been limping since October 2013 until just recently. I had the second parathyroid surgery May 13 2013 and feel like I’m on the road to recovery. However I’m still struggling with pain in both of my feet more so the one that I had a stress fracture.
    It’s my feet that are very stiff and sore. I used to run, and hike and can no longer do that. I’ve only just recently started to walk long distances. It hurts but I ignore it. I’m baffled as to what my problem is with my feet. They feel sore tight and swollw but yet they don’t look swollen. At least I’m not limping anymore. I don’t know if it’s something I’m eating, the Fosamax I’m taking, or what. I’ve put on fifteen pounds and feel bloated a lot . I’m hoping in time it will all subside. I hope my calcium levels are better at the last check it was fine. I go again next week. I went to a podiatrist and gave me stretches but it still hurts.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  24. Gerald R. Gaudette says:

    I am a 73 year old male and had parathyroid surgery done on June 3, 2014 by Dr. Michel Yeh at the Ronald Reagan Hospital (UCLA). If there is one thing we all want,…it is quality of life.
    After going through a period of 15 years with a history of 7 kidney stones, passing 3 and surgically removing 4, my Health was declining with extreme fatigue. None of the doctors I
    was seeing had an answer until I asked my current Urologist, Dr. Albert, S, ‘What more can we
    do to look further into this problem’. He sent me to see a Kidney Specialist, Dr. Yang, P. who
    had some blood work done. Dr. Yang seen right away my PTH and Calcium levels were high.
    He then referred me to a endocrinologist, Dr. Tsimerekis, C. This doctor had more blood work
    done and a couple of scans of my Parathyroids, Glands. Following this, he referred me to Dr. Yeh at UCLA. This turned out to be a life turning event, for Dr. Yeh and his very experienced team removed a parathyroid and a nodule. My PTH and Calcium levels started to adjust to normal range upon the removal of one parathyroid. It has been about 3 weeks now and I have a lot more energy. I feel very fortunate to have my health improved . In addition, More than likely, the illuminated or formation of future calcium kidney stones is a success. I cannot thank the entire staff, doctors, nurses and all the professionals people that aided in my treatment enough. To all of you, Thank You Very Much, Gerald Gaudette

  25. Amy S. says:

    I had not felt well for at least three years. Multiple visits to numerous doctors gave me treatments for symptoms, but didn’t yield a diagnosis, as my calcium levels were high normal. Finally, my PTH went up, and I was sent for scans and then referred to Dr. Yeh. The surgery is nothing short of miraculous – from the moment I woke up from the anesthesia I have felt like a new person. All the aches and pains that I had been complaining about were gone – poof! Within three days, I needed to visit with my cardiologist to adjust my medications, as my blood pressure had fallen too low on the medications I was taking. I have also discontinued taking a PPI for the GERD that has plagued me for years.

    Dr. Yeh removed 2.5 of my parathyroids as well as a thyroid nodule. As a result of losing so much tissue, my calcium fell too low several days post surgery. Even over a holiday weekend, Dr. Yeh was completely available by phone, and got me through those days. His staff have also been wonderful. I only wish I had been able to get a diagnosis sooner.

  26. Leilani says:

    I am a retired teacher, age 75, and thought my PTH symptoms were associated with my age. As my bone density decreased and no medication seemed to help lessen my osteoporosis, I was concerned. When my new primary care physician, Shawn Rosen, noted that my ionized calcium and PTH numbers were high, it was recommended that I consider checking with an experienced surgeon regarding my parathyroid. After a considerable amount of research, I decided to go to UCLA to see Dr. Michael Yeh. I’m glad I did!

    Living a considerable distance from UCLA, in Bishop, Califonia, I was scheduled for a consultation on February 24 and for surgery on February 27. I had a sestamibi scan, blood work and a sonogram. Dr. Yeh confirmed that I did indeed have a parathyroid tumor. Unfortunately, additional preoperative tests were required. I had the surgery on May 8: however, I had several occasions to communicate with Jennifer Issorena, NP, regarding bone density scans, etc., . I was apprehensive regarding the surgery but my concerns were unfounded. Both Dr. Yeh and Jennifer established comfortable assurance. Because of the distance to UCLA and the fact that the surgery went smoothly with no unexpected problems, a follow-up telephone appointment with Dr. Yeh was scheduled two weeks after the surgery. Not only have my negative symptoms lessened, I expect continued improvement in the future.

    My sincere thanks to both Dr. Yeh and Jennifer Issorena NP and the staff at UCLA surgery center for the excellent care.

    Leilani T.

  27. Susan Crockett says:

    I am a 53 year old female from Tulsa, OK. I had my thyroid irradiated 20 years ago due to Graves Disease and take synthetic thyroid medication. For the past 3 years I have endured multiple kidney stones (2 requiring surgery), bone and joint pain – it was often difficult to walk up stairs, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and unusual bouts of anxiety and depression. I also developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol in this time frame.

    Trying to feel better, I sought out an endocrinologist. My blood work revealed my PTH to be 154, calcium 10.4 and low vitamin D. The doctor said to take Vit. D to resolve these issues. I had to insist that the doctor perform additional testing (ultrasound and sestamibi scan). These were done at our local hospital and the results were negative. I continued having problems, and varying levels of PTH (ranging from 94 to 154), calcium (9.5-10.5) and low Vit. D. I switched endocrinologists and he thought there might be a parathyroid adenoma but wasn’t very sure. In the following months I spoke with several surgeons who had only performed a few parathyroid operations (10-20/year) and without a positive scan said they would not be able to perform a minimally invasive operation. Most of their patients still had their thyroid gland so the parathyroid glands were easy to find. (So exploratory surgery with a big scar – no thanks!).

    I had done enough research to realize I wanted a surgeon skilled in both thyroid cancer (as they would be familiar locating the parathyroid glands without a thyroid) and high volume parathyroid surgery. Finally, I found Dr. Yeh! Top credentials, great reviews, relevant research and both a thyroid cancer and parathyroid specialist! I placed a call and had a free phone consultation that week! Unfortunately, I was exhausted by this point and did not have the energy to follow thru, so for another year I suffered with more kidney stones, depression, bone/joint pain and now bone loss and herniated disks! I quit my job because I could not keep up physically or mentally in my sales position! I contacted Dr. Yeh again in March had another phone consultation and in a few weeks time, my surgery date was scheduled by his assistant Yasmine.

    The staff at UCLA and Dr. Yeh’s office is amazing. They are professional, courteous, caring and highly competent. I dealt with Yasmine getting everything arranged (insurance, lab work, CT scan, consultation with Dr. Yeh and surgery) for my 6 day visit to California. The website is equally helpful with lodging recommendations, timelines, videos, maps, etc. The nurses were very nice and the lab technicians never bruised me once! The anesthesiologist was fantastic. She spent time finding out my prior anesthesia experiences with nausea and vomiting and when I came out of surgery, I was completely alert and no nausea AT ALL!

    I felt fine after surgery, had a day to rest and then flew back home. I was told that I would need additional calcium after the procedure and in a few days I started having very bad calcium withdrawals -numbness, tingling and cold in my hands and feet and had to take a lot of calcium for 3 days. It has eased up but since I had higher than my normal levels for so many years, this may take awhile! (I am 6 weeks post-op and still having mild tingles and numbness – but this is much easier to manage than living with high PTH/calcium!).

    I have so much more energy, the angst, anxiety and depression are gone, my bone and joint pain is almost all gone and I am seeing improvement in my concentration abilities again!

    If anyone else has a similar case, don’t wait! Dr. Yeh’s staff will take care of almost everything! A few phone calls with Yasmine, book your flight, rent a car (I looked at a car thru my airline (Southwest) but didn’t book and a few days later received an email with even cheaper rates!), find a hotel (we stayed at Hotel Angeleno and got decent rates thru Expedia and it was very nice) – get someone to go with you (maybe I should hire out as a guide;) and get your life back!!

    My sister summed it up perfectly when she texted me -Yeah for Yeh!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    It is the day after my parathyroid surgery performed by Dr. Harari. less than 24 hours after my surgery I am feeling great! I have not had the need for any pain medicine since I left the recovery room yesterday, and have been up and about without any problems. I have been looking forward to the removal of the bad parathyroid since it was diagnosed months ago. Dr. Harari took every step to ensure what and where the problem was located and did so successfully.
    Thanks guys for guiding me through the process!

  29. Chris T says:

    Prior to seeing Dr. Yeh, I been battling with high calcium for over 4.5 years, seen about 10+ doctors (PCP and specialist/endo) who had no clue why I was having symptoms and high calcium, all of them wanted to do a “watch and wait” approach since my sestamibi scan and ultrasounds was negative. My pth was also within normal range on every single blood test (had many blood work done). Had calcium levels that range from 10.2-11.7 over the course of 4.5 years and had kidney stones. As a 37 yrs old female, I knew there was something wrong, for the last 4.5 years my energy level went from high to super low, requiring naps throughout the day. I did some research, since none of my previous doctors were able to send me into the right direction, I found Dr. Yeh on the internet.

    I finally made an appointment with UCLA and was seen in January 2014, his staff was extremely friendly, caring, and took the time to listen to me. They performed an ultrasound in the office, was showed nothing. I also went in to do a high resolution CAT scan, which was also negative. Dr. Yeh reassured me that a negative scan does not mean that I do not have any problems with my parathyroid, he assured me that the scan also tells him that the adenoma is not located in an odd area…ie chest area. We discussed it and went forward with the surgery.

    Had my surgery April 2014. The entire team was absolutely wonderful!! Dr. Moore, the anesthesiologist was really great, I clearly had anxiety going into the surgery, as I never gone “under” before, he reassured me that everything was going to be ok, the nurses were all very caring and nice. Dr. Yeh and his assistant, Jennifer was beyond awesome! I woke up after 1 hr and 15 minutes in surgery, I was sore around my incision and neck, but was able to walk and have some fluids right afterwards. My incision was only an inch long. Dr. Yeh and his team came to discuss their findings, I was diagnosed with Parathyroid hyperplasia, he completely removed two glands out and two partial of the remaining. Immediately after surgery, the first thing I noticed was the fogginess went away, it is like having bad vision and getting eyeglasses for the first time, everything seems to be so clear and bright. My neck was very sore for several days but some Tylenol and stretching really helps.

    Dr. Yeh is an extremely caring surgeon! I had to page him that night when I felt tingling all over my face and hands and was wondering if this is normal, he called me back within a couple of minutes. He personally spoke to my husband and told us what to do. There was no answering service or nurse calling back, I was so impressed that he personally called us back so quickly! I even asked him to take pictures my parathyroid, which he emailed me the pictures! As busy as Dr. Yeh is, I am truly impressed with how quickly he responds to his patients calls and emails!

    So now I am over a month post op, I feel so much better, more energy, everything is so bright and clear, no more fogginess! My incision is fading away, still have a small lump under my incision which he said will take up to 3 months to go away, but very happy with the results.

    If anyone is looking for a great and caring surgeon who knows what he is doing, Dr. Yeh is the person to go to! Highly recommend him!

    • Anonymous says:

      My husband has removed 2 parathyroid glands 2 years back.still having muscle weakness.have anyone checked aldolase & CK.His aldolase is 15 & CK normal.does anyone have any idea.pleasr share.

      • Cathy says:

        Check out the book “Could It Be B-12?”. At least look on amazon and read the info about it. B-12 levels have to be checked with a urine methylmalonic acid test which you can order yourself. A blood test will not show true B12 levels.

  30. Cathy says:

    My appreciation to Dr. Yeh is beyond words!!

    I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism around May, 2013 with my family doctor, and then I went to see a surgeon in Mission Viejo. The surgeon ordered me to redo blood tests, sestimibi scans and another scan, and he also did the neck ultrasound for me in his office. After all the tests, I had my surgery in August, 2013. But, during the surgery, my family was told that the surgeon could not find the tumor. After I wake up from the anesthesia, I quickly knew that my Calcium level and PTH still kept as high as they were before the surgery—the surgery was not a success.

    Next day when I was discharged from the hospital, the surgeon told me that he would try to find the tumor again after I recover a bit from my surgery. I waited for a month and then went to see him. He ordered me to re-do blood tests, MRI scans, ultrasounds, needle biopsy and so on and again told me he could not locate the tumor and asked me to either wait for the tumor to grow up to a bigger size or allow him to remove my whole thyroid because he suspects the tumor was hiding somewhere in the thyroid.

    I asked him if he was really sure that the tumor was hiding in the thyroid and he said no. I was so frustrated after all these tests and a failed surgery and the doctor’s answer. I did not know what to do next. I searched internet about the parathyroid experts in the area and saw Dr. Yeh. At that time, I wasn’t sure if I should go see him because I had gone through all the tests with the first surgeon for this disease but none of them could locate the tumor. I went to see my endocrinologist and she also recommended Dr. Yeh to me. I decided to give it a try, so I made appointment with Dr. Yeh.

    This appointment with Dr. Yeh turned out to be an absolutely correct decision I made. I wish I could’ve found him earlier.

    Before seeing Dr. Yeh, I felt so hopeless to find the tumor because my first surgeon told me that I ran out all the ways to find it.

    Dr. Yeh was very patient and very nice. After I told him all I had experienced, he told me in a very confident way ‘don’t worry and he will find it. He ordered me just one test, which was a CT scan with contrast agent.

    I made the appointment for the scan and 3 weeks later I got my CT scan done. I was so scared to know the results because I was afraid of hearing nothing found again. When I saw Dr. Yeh second time about the CT scan results, he showed me the images clearly about where the tumor was—turned out it was not in the normal neck area and it was in the upper chest area. He even drew a picture to explain to me. What a huge relief! After suffering from all those tests and a failed surgery with the first surgeon, only one CT scan, Dr. Yeh successfully located the tumor.

    My surgery with Dr. Yeh went very well. He leads an excellent team. I couldn’t say more to thank him.

    Dr. Yeh is not only an excellent doctor, but also a very good person. He makes you feel so calm and warm. He always smiles and patiently explains everything to you. He is the best in every aspect!

    Thank you, Dr. Yeh, from the bottom of my heart!

  31. Roberta Halley says:

    May 6, 2014
    It was one month ago that I had parathyroid surgery.
    According to my own health records I have had high calcium count in my blood for the past 14 yrs., but no doctor ever brought it to my attention until my internist a year ago. She sent me to an endocrinologist who did blood tests verifying hypercalcimia. This doctor sent me for an MRI and a resulting biopsy of the thyroid nodule that was discovered. According to the test findings, I only had the thyroid problem and no tumors were found on the parathyroid. I was told that we would just watch and wait and was scheduled for another appointment in several months. During this time I was reading material online about hypercalcimia and the resulting hyperparathyroidism, and I realized I needed to take my health into my own hands, so continued to do more online researching of the condition and what to do about it. I, also, discovered a local chiropractor who was extremely knowledgeable about the condition. He did more blood work and was convinced the only thing to do was to have surgery to remove the parathyroid glands. I was also reading that it was extremely important to find a surgeon who had done the parathyroidectomy many times, not an occasional procedure. Since I am from the Northwest part of the US, I searched for recommended doctors on the west coast. I was currently planning to visit my family in So. Cal. in just a matter of weeks, so wondered if the surgery could be done in this 2 week window of time. My chiropractor contacted the UCLA doctor whom I had found online. Their office was most helpful in scheduling me in while I was in the area. Once there I had an appointment with the surgeon and more blood tests. I received wonderful treatment in pre and post op. I was very impressed with the skill and TLC of the surgeon. I received word after surgery that there were, in fact, four tumors, one on each gland. He removed 3 glands and the tumor from the remaining one, leaving it in tact for my continued health need. The small 1 1/2″ incision was never a problem. My calcium level dropped down immediately and has regained balanced by taking calcium supplements. I experienced no discomfort from the incision or the surgery. I flew back to my home 2 days after surgery. After several days I began to experience cramping in my legs and tingling in my hands and, after checking for directions with the dr.’s office, I increased my calcium intake and seldom experience any cramping, and tingling is gone. At one month post surgery, I am feeling fine and the incision is healing very well. I am most grateful for the skill and services of the UCLA staff. I highly recommend their services.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know of someone good in the Binghamton, NY or Syracuse, NY area?

  33. WA Sunflower says:

    If you have received a diagnosis of a parathyroid adenoma, please consider a trip to UCLA for evaluation and potential surgery.

    My high calcium levels were first noted in 2005, and, because adenomas are often difficult to detect, a “watch” was recommended on my calcium and PTH. After a few years, all the while enduring constant bone pain, my Dexa scans began to reflect a pretty alarming bone loss. To mitigate this, a sestimibi and ultrasound were ordered and I underwent minimally invasive surgery with a Seattle endocrinologist. While she was reasonably confident she knew where to find the adenoma, the surgery was not successful. Still suffering bone pain and bone loss, I began searching for a true expert on parathyroid disorders. Fortunately, this journey for a cure led me to UCLA and Dr. Yeh. My case was a challenging one, I had a number of sestimibi scans, CAT scans, neck biopsies, and an extensive selective venus sampling done to try and pinpoint the area the adenoma was hiding. Over a few years time, Dr. Yeh periodically checked in on me as my bone loss reached 23+%. I read this blog on a regular basis during this difficult time and prayed that some day I also would have a good outcome.

    Fortunately, early in 2012, a 4D CAT scan gave the UCLA team a hunch of where to direct Dr. Yeh to start “digging”. My adenoma ultimately was found in an upper lobe of my thymus and surgery in Sept. 2012 was a success. My scar is barely visible and it is tiny compared to that of my first surgery. My calcium levels returned to normal immediately and the bone pain also passed. My bones continue to rebuild and I feel so much better.

    Bless you, Dr. Yeh and team, including Jasmine and Jennifer, for the good work you do! I sincerely appreciated your kindness, patience and persistence until you found “the needle in the haystack”. My Seattle doctors continue to be very impressed and call this a miracle.

  34. Catherine says:

    The best endocrine surgeon in America, Dr. Michael Yeh!!! My appreciation to him is beyond words. He has exceptional skills, is professionalism, and has a positive demeanor. I was blessed that he did my surgery. Thank you Dr. Yeh!
    • He was thorough and cautious on determining the right treatment I needed.
    • He is exceptionally skilled and well experienced. My incision was only about 1 inch long. My voice is completely normal after the surgery. There was no bleeding, no complications, and no pain.
    • He utilizes the most advanced equipment (Sestamibi scan & high resolution ultrasound…), labs, and surgical techniques at UCLA in order to get the best results for his patients.
    • He is personal, caring and patient with his patients. He is confident, encouraging and trustful.
    • He leads an incredible team. They know what they are doing and are always available to the patients. They are friendly, patient and professional.
    • My calcium level normalized. I am healthier and happier now.

    I am a CPA and in my forties. In January 2014, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism via a blood test at UCLA. My calcium level was 12.7 and PTH was 158 with a vitamin D deficiency. Dr. Yeh was highly recommended to me as “the best endocrine surgeon” by my endocrinologist at UCLA medical group (UCLA). I did sestamibi scan. With the scan result, I went to see Dr. Yeh. Instead of simply making surgery arrangements, Dr. Yeh carefully explained the diagnosis and did further examinations. There is a high resolution ultrasound in his office. He performed an ultrasound on my neck and asked more detailed questions. He found a growth on my thyroid in addition to one expected parathyroid adenoma. When he told me about the thyroid nodule, I panicked and terrified. I was afraid the nodule could be cancer. Dr. Yeh was very patient with me and carefully explained to me why it might not be the case. He asked me not to worry. His explanation was logical and informative. He even drew me a picture and ensured I understood. In order to determine the best treatment for me, he arranged for me to do a biopsy on the thyroid nodule. Although I had to go through more procedures, however, I left his office in a peaceful state of mind that day, since I knew I was in the good hands.
    When I returned to Dr. Yeh, he gave me the good news that the thyroid nodule was benign. There was no need to remove either the nodule or my thyroid. I was very pleased and impressed that he was right in the first place. In order to be prepared for the parathyroid surgery, I came up with a laundry list of questions. Due to my profession habit as an accountant, I am normally detail oriented and well organized. However, before I started with my “well developed” questions, Dr. Yeh walked me through each step I could possibly run into during surgery. He was detailed and thorough. All I did was check off the questions I had on the laundry list.

    I had the surgery with Dr. Yeh in late February 2014. I was called into the waiting room on time. The nurses and anesthesiologists were all nice and introduced themselves to me. Right before the surgery, I became panicked and anxious. Dr. Yeh just finished his prior surgery. Once he was notified about my status, he came by twice and encouraged me. He was relaxed and smiling. He said to me “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.” The voice was firm with care and confidence. On my way to the surgery room, I was peaceful and fell asleep with that voice in my mind…

    Right before the scheduled surgery day, the thyroid nodule suddenly grew much larger than before. During the surgery, Dr. Yeh noted the enlarged nodule sat right in the way to the parathyroid tumor. This was unexpected. Based on his experience, he knew that both of them had to be removed. Without any preparation or rescheduling, he was able to quickly figure out a suitable plan and calmly removed both the nodule and the parathyroid adenoma. Before the end of the surgery, Dr. Yeh also took some sample tissue from the normal parathyroid and confirmed all three of the other parathyroid glands; the thyroid nodule and the sample tissue were all negative and normal through the biopsy examination. The surgery was very successful. My incision was only about 1 inch long. It looks like a scratch I did to myself now. My voice is completely normal after the surgery. There was no bleeding, no complications, and no pain. I fully benefited by having such an exceptionally skilled and well experienced surgeon, Dr. Yeh. Thank you!

    On the night of surgery, I stayed in the UCLA Santa Monica hospital. The care workers, the nurses, and the doctor on duty were all very patient and friendly. The care worker was always just two seconds away from me every time when I pushed the button (call for help). The nurses stopped by several times throughout the night to check on me. The night-shift doctor even had a short conversation with me and ensured all my questions were answered and my mind was at peace. I felt at home. I never stayed in the hospital before and never imagined it could be so nice and comfortable. Afterwards, I joked with my friends that I felt I spent the night at a four-star hotel in terms of the wonderful people, great service and the good quality of the facility.

    The next morning, I was recovered. My calcium level dropped down to 8 from the record of 12.7 before the surgery. I had a normal breakfast and left the hospital. I even stopped by the store to pick up the prescribed TUMs (Calcium) on the way home. During the first couple of days, I felt groggy from the anesthesia. I experienced a minor sore throat from the breathing tube used during surgery and some numbness on my neck and the side of my face. I also felt tingling of the lips and fingers. However, once I took a couple pieces of the TUMs, the tingling feeling went away immediately. Dr. Yeh provides his patients with a detailed post-surgery list, including activity, returning to work, medications, scar, bathing, etc. I followed the instructions and had my first shower two days after. All was fine. Starting on the second day of the surgery, I was able to get up and do shopping, cooking and cleaning… It has been almost two months now. The scar is small and invisible. The foggy mind is gone. The skin is much less itchy and the heaviness disappeared. Now I feel more alert and energetic. Thank you Dr. Yeh!

    Dr. Yeh leads an incredible team. He sets a high bar for his team. They, together, made it happen. From the schedulers, the care workers, the nurses, the anesthesiologists, and to his assistant Jennifer, they are all friendly, patient, and professional. They always do the best they can, especially Jennifer. She was always available. No matter how many questions I had or how basic the questions were, she was always patient and kind enough to carefully explain until I understood. She has never forgotten once to return my calls. Jennifer is also sharp and well experienced. She could quickly capture what I wanted to ask and provide me with the appropriate explanations and suggestions. Her dedication, professionalism and kindness perfectly reflect the high expectations Dr. Yeh sets for his team. During the entire process, I had gone through a number of mental and emotional stages from being panicked, frightened, worried, and anxious to becoming eager to learn everything possible related to the syndromes, the side effects, the potential treatments, the surgery procedures, the post-surgery recovery… Dr. Yeh, his assistant Jennifer and the rest of the team were there with me at each of the stages. Thank you all!

    Dr. Yeh is not just one of the best surgeons in America but also a wonderful human being. I am deeply impressed by his spirit, dedication, professionalism, and compassion for what he does and his patients… When you meet him, you will quickly find he is bright and witty, but still down to earth and an easy going guy…… Right before I started writing this letter, I did search online and was not surprised of what I found: “Dr. Yeh studied at Harvard and Stanford, international fellowshipped at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia, published 50 scholarly articles and book chapters, and established the UCLA Endocrine Surgery department.” Dr. Yeh is an expert in minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, thyroid cancer, and adrenal tumors. Dr. Yeh is excellent and has been highly recommended by countless people and numerous supporting groups across the country. I am honored to recommend Dr. Yeh to anyone afflicted with the same disease.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The best endocrine surgeon in America, Dr. Michael Yeh!!! My appreciation to him is beyond words. He has exceptional skills, is professionalism, and has a positive demeanor. I was blessed that he did my surgery. Thank you Dr. Yeh!
    • He was thorough and cautious on determining the right treatment I needed.
    • He is exceptionally skilled and well experienced. My incision was only about 1 inch long. My voice is completely normal after the surgery. There was no bleeding, no complications, and no pain.
    • He utilizes the most advanced equipment (Sestamibi scan & high resolution ultrasound…), labs, and surgical techniques at UCLA in order to get the best results for his patients.
    • He is personal, caring and patient with his patients. He is confident, encouraging and trustful.
    • He leads an incredible team. They know what they are doing and are always available to the patients. They are friendly, patient and professional.
    • My calcium level normalized. I am healthier and happier now.

    I am a CPA and in my forties. In January 2014, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism via a blood test at UCLA. My calcium level was 12.7 and PTH was 158 with a vitamin D deficiency. Dr. Yeh was highly recommended to me as “the best endocrine surgeon” by my endocrinologist at UCLA medical group (UCLA). I did sestamibi scan. With the scan result, I went to see Dr. Yeh. Instead of simply making surgery arrangements, Dr. Yeh carefully explained the diagnosis and did further examinations. There is a high resolution ultrasound in his office. He performed an ultrasound on my neck and asked more detailed questions. He found a growth on my thyroid in addition to one expected parathyroid adenoma. When he told me about the thyroid nodule, I panicked and terrified. I was afraid the nodule could be cancer. Dr. Yeh was very patient with me and carefully explained to me why it might not be the case. He asked me not to worry. His explanation was logical and informative. He even drew me a picture and ensured I understood. In order to determine the best treatment for me, he arranged for me to do a biopsy on the thyroid nodule. Although I had to go through more procedures, however, I left his office in a peaceful state of mind that day, since I knew I was in the good hands.
    When I returned to Dr. Yeh, he gave me the good news that the thyroid nodule was benign. There was no need to remove either the nodule or my thyroid. I was very pleased and impressed that he was right in the first place. In order to be prepared for the parathyroid surgery, I came up with a laundry list of questions. Due to my profession habit as an accountant, I am normally detail oriented and well organized. However, before I started with my “well developed” questions, Dr. Yeh walked me through each step I could possibly run into during surgery. He was detailed and thorough. All I did was check off the questions I had on the laundry list.

    I had the surgery with Dr. Yeh in late February 2014. I was called into the waiting room on time. The nurses and anesthesiologists were all nice and introduced themselves to me. Right before the surgery, I became panicked and anxious. Dr. Yeh just finished his prior surgery. Once he was notified about my status, he came by twice and encouraged me. He was relaxed and smiling. He said to me “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.” The voice was firm with care and confidence. On my way to the surgery room, I was peaceful and fell asleep with that voice in my mind…

    Right before the scheduled surgery day, the thyroid nodule suddenly grew much larger than before. During the surgery, Dr. Yeh noted the enlarged nodule sat right in the way to the parathyroid tumor. This was unexpected. Based on his experience, he knew that both of them had to be removed. Without any preparation or rescheduling, he was able to quickly figure out a suitable plan and calmly removed both the nodule and the parathyroid adenoma. Before the end of the surgery, Dr. Yeh also took some sample tissue from the normal parathyroid and confirmed all three of the other parathyroid glands; the thyroid nodule and the sample tissue were all negative and normal through the biopsy examination. The surgery was very successful. My incision was only about 1 inch long. It looks like a scratch I did to myself now. My voice is completely normal after the surgery. There was no bleeding, no complications, and no pain. I fully benefited by having such an exceptionally skilled and well experienced surgeon, Dr. Yeh. Thank you!

    On the night of surgery, I stayed in the UCLA Santa Monica hospital. The care workers, the nurses, and the doctor on duty were all very patient and friendly. The care worker was always just two seconds away from me every time when I pushed the button (call for help). The nurses stopped by several times throughout the night to check on me. The night-shift doctor even had a short conversation with me and ensured all my questions were answered and my mind was at peace. I felt at home. I never stayed in the hospital before and never imagined it could be so nice and comfortable. Afterwards, I joked with my friends that I felt I spent the night at a four-star hotel in terms of the wonderful people, great service and the good quality of the facility.

    The next morning, I was recovered. My calcium level dropped down to 8 from the record of 12.7 before the surgery. I had a normal breakfast and left the hospital. I even stopped by the store to pick up the prescribed TUMs (Calcium) on the way home. During the first couple of days, I felt groggy from the anesthesia. I experienced a minor sore throat from the breathing tube used during surgery and some numbness on my neck and the side of my face. I also felt tingling of the lips and fingers. However, once I took a couple pieces of the TUMs, the tingling feeling went away immediately. Dr. Yeh provides his patients with a detailed post-surgery list, including activity, returning to work, medications, scar, bathing, etc. I followed the instructions and had my first shower two days after. All was fine. Starting on the second day of the surgery, I was able to get up and do shopping, cooking and cleaning… It has been almost two months now. The scar is small and invisible. The foggy mind is gone. The skin is much less itchy and the heaviness disappeared. Now I feel more alert and energetic. Thank you Dr. Yeh!

    Dr. Yeh leads an incredible team. He sets a high bar for his team. They, together, made it happen. From the schedulers, the care workers, the nurses, the anesthesiologists, and to his assistant Jennifer, they are all friendly, patient, and professional. They always do the best they can, especially Jennifer. She was always available. No matter how many questions I had or how basic the questions were, she was always patient and kind enough to carefully explain until I understood. She has never forgotten once to return my calls. Jennifer is also sharp and well experienced. She could quickly capture what I wanted to ask and provide me with the appropriate explanations and suggestions. Her dedication, professionalism and kindness perfectly reflect the high expectations Dr. Yeh sets for his team. During the entire process, I had gone through a number of mental and emotional stages from being panicked, frightened, worried, and anxious to becoming eager to learn everything possible related to the syndromes, the side effects, the potential treatments, the surgery procedures, the post-surgery recovery… Dr. Yeh, his assistant Jennifer and the rest of the team were there with me at each of the stages. Thank you all!

    Dr. Yeh is not just one of the best surgeons in America but also a wonderful human being. I am deeply impressed by his spirit, dedication, professionalism, and compassion for what he does and his patients… When you meet him, you will quickly find he is bright and witty, but still down to earth and an easy going guy…… Right before I started writing this letter, I did search online and was not surprised of what I found: “Dr. Yeh studied at Harvard and Stanford, international fellowshipped at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia, published 50 scholarly articles and book chapters, and established the UCLA Endocrine Surgery department.” Dr. Yeh is an expert in minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, thyroid cancer, and adrenal tumors. Dr. Yeh is excellent and has been highly recommended by countless people and numerous supporting groups across the country. I am honored to recommend Dr. Yeh to anyone afflicted with the same disease.

    • Anonymous says:

      I really enjoyed reading your post about the wonderful Dr. Yeh. He did my parathyroid surgery two years ago and you perfectly expressed all of the things I wish I had said about him in my after surgery post.

      Barbara Bradley

  36. Anon says:

    Every patient is different however this is my experience. Past few years tested slightly elevated calcium and PTH. Followed/tested every three months including negative Sestamibi Scan, negative ultrasounds, negative DEXA Scan, more blood tests. Add Vitamin D supplements, increase water intake, increase hard impact exercising, same test results and positive (Calcium) 24 hr urine test. Memory recall slower, not feeling clear, heaviness despite being fit, exercising. Researched and found Dr. Yeh. Found him to be approachable, informative, straightforward, and one of the few surgeons with a high volume of minimally invasive parathyroidectomy surgeries. His ultrasound instantly showed suspicious parathyroid gland.
    Felt better immediately after surgery. Dr. Yeh removed 1 gland w adenoma, biopsied 3 (negative) others with only 1″ incision. Post op calcium normal and felt “clear”again. Feeling is subtle, but significant. Memory only slightly improved 6 weeks post op, but remain feeling much better overall. Highly recommend Dr. Yeh.

  37. larry atherton says:

    if you need surgery you should get the mini minimally invasive surgery , it only requires a small incision about 1″ not the big across your neck 4-10″ cut , its easier and it takes less time and shorter recovery time too ,if your Dr dosent know about it get another Dr
    that does

  38. Anonymous says:

    My husband had parathyroid surgery in 2012 and has continued to have headaches and dizziness. Can anyone recommend a Endocrinologist at UCLA.

    • Cathy says:

      Hello. Go to and buy the book “Heal Your Headaches”. My doctor told me about this book she frequently recommends to her patients and said that it could also be titled “Heal Your Dizziness”. What your husband is experiencing may not be parathyroid-related. I hope this is helpful to you. I hate to hear when others are suffering.

  39. Anonymous says:

    1 adenoma removed last week. Everything fine except the other day started having wrist and ankle pain or discomfort (ie noticeable) – both sides. Has anyone experienced this? Is this normal progression? What did you do about? Did it subside? Sleep is normal now; no pain at night….

  40. Anonymous says:

    Do muscle weakness and fatigue disappear after surgery

  41. Chris Slaman says:

    Well, just got back from my consultation with Dr. Harari and all I can say is that I was quite impressed! What took month and months to figure out, she figured my PTH and a game plan in a matter of minutes. She had all the right answers. I am happy to have an expert in this surgery especially when there are very incompetent surgeons out there. This is a very different type of medical problem and not everybody has the experience necessary so do your homework!

  42. Mrs Teresa A Strong says:

    Go with. Yeh. Too many things can go wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Teresa. Dr. Yeh does this everyday and has the experience. Go with the best!

      • Kim R says:

        My husband had parathyroid surgery in October 2012 at Hoag Hospital, however has still continued to have headaches and dizziness……some weeks are mild and some severe. He has been to two endocrinologist and two neurologist in Orange County, CA along with having several rounds of blood work done and multiple test. Each of the doctors say he is fine and the blood work and calcium test all come back fine as well. Has anyone else experienced headaches and dizziness almost two years after surgery? My husband is feeling very discouraged that he is going to find a doctor that can find what is causing these on going symptoms for almost two years.

        • John says:

          I also had multiple tests done at a lab outside UCLA. Not all labs and not all equipment have calibrations for the same sensitivity as the ones at UCLA. I had an ultra sound and a sestamibi scan done outside the UCLA system; the results were negative for detecting any problem with any of the parathyroid glands. However, when the ultra sound was done by Dr. Yeh in his office, the diseased parathyroid gland was easily diagnosed, and when the sestamibi scan was done at UCLA, it clearly showed the diseased parathyroid gland. The combination of UCLA labs and surgical units and Dr. Yeh as the surgeon is a great one for parathyroid disease issues. Dr. Yeh is wonderfully competent and uses advanced surgical techniques to allow for a faster, more complete recovery.

  43. chris SLaman says:

    Hi, I was just recently diagnosed with Primary Hypoparathyroid disease. I just visited the surgeon who may perform the removal of the gland. I once read to find a surgeon who performs this procedure at least 3 times a week. He does this once a month. He suggests that he performs an outpatient surgery. And only remove what was discovered on the ultrasound. There were also two tiny nodules found on the Thyroid. Im a bit confused. I Would like to find a specialist with parathyroid surgery also another opinion regarding the nodules on the Thyroid gland. It appears that Dr. Yeh is the only Dr. who seems to have some expertise in these areas around the Los Angeles area. (I live in Northridge, Ca.) Any thoughts??

  44. Anonymous says:

    I was diagnosed with hyperplasia- enlargement of more han two of my parathyroids. Prior to surgery my calcium was 11.0 and PTH 46. A week after surgery my calcium climbed to 11.1 and PTH 67.
    Now six weeks later my calcium in11.4 and PTH 137! Viamin D is also low.
    I feel terrible – exhausted and confused.
    My surgeon who removed three and a half parathyroids says I must have a rare fifth parathyroid. I understand this might be responsible for not lowering my levels. But can’t understand whi they would INCREASE after surgery, any idea?

    • A says:

      Hey I have a similar story. Three and half glands removed but my calcium is still very high 11.8. my pth also increased after surgery. I am being tested for FHH and MEN since high ca runs in the family. I am suspecting a fifth gland also. Where did you get your surgery done?

    • Anonymous says:

      I had four removed with auto transplantation in my arm. It did not work well. My calcium is always low and I feel terrible.

  45. HOLLIS WILDE says:

    Dr. Michael Yeh preformed my parathyroid surgery in December, 2013. I was determined to find a specialist since my local hospital Hoag, Newport Beach, CA did not have one!

    I feel so blessed that I found him on the internet and was so impressed with his incredible credentials! His educational background is so impressive, Harvard/Stanford, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia: a Fellow and started the UCLA Endocrine Surgery department.

    From the first appointment he and his staff are just so impressive. Everyone knows their job and does it very well from Jasmin, the scheduler to Jennifer his assistant .

    I had total confidence in him and how he reconfirmed my diagnosis from my endocrinologist.

    I never really had any of the symptoms ( headaches/kidney stones) that plagued many patients with an over active parathyroid.. For the last four years my calcium level has been climbing to 10.7. Finally my endocrinologist suggested to look at my PTH levels which I believe had never been tested. Well that was the tipping point with very high calcium levels and PTH very high, ( 83 pg/ml). The normal range is 15-65 pg/mk.

    Dr Yeh did a fast ultrasound on my neck in the office and told me I had a “text book” case and surgery was necessary. I got to by pass a nuclear medicine scan because it was so definitive.

    After the surgery he told me he took out 2 parathyroid glands in my neck because another one looked like it would cause problems in a while. He saved me from having two surgeries! My throat was sore for a week or so but just have warm tea and honey to ease the small discomfort

    My pathology report was clear on my one post-op visit and now I continue to take only vitamins: Vitamin D 2000 units and Calcium 1200 units!

    My surgical site is barely visible and sunscreen is a must on my neck which I have been doing anyways living in sunning Southern California.

    Never have any doubt in choosing him for your surgeon! I only wish I could continue to be his patient. He is personable and has excellent bedside manners. What a WINING COMBINATION for success!

    Thank you, Dr Yeh!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We had mom taken to him, he was so confident that we knew he has to do the surgery & glad he did my mon thyroid with MTC! Now waiting for her to recover, he was great, thanks Dr Yeh!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I am age 53, male in the financial services industry. My surgery was December 19, 2013. I was diagnosed with a parathyroid tumor via a blood test. After researching various options for treatment in my hometown, San Diego, I decided to seek care through UCLA, specifically Dr. Yeh. Having spoke to him and reviewed the content of their website, there was no questions in my mind nor my wife or son’s that this was the best place to have the surgery done. I could not be more pleased with the care provided and the success of the surgery. I was released from the Surgery Center same day roughly 4 hours after the completion of the surgery. Although, I was given an Rx for pain, I never did fill that prescription as I never had any pain. The incision was roughly 1 1/2 inches and has since virtually disappeared, no scar. To me I ended up having the procedure done by the BEST, without question. Thank you UCLA and in particular Dr. Yeh.

  47. April says:

    Had surgery in May 2013. Had great energy right after but started needing sleep again for two weeks. Surgeon said I should feel better immediately. I don’t know if it was recovering from the anesthesia or
    the fact that I evidently have another tumor that needs taking out that my
    surgeon missed (arghhhhh) but my surgeon never told me it might take awhile to recover like a nurse friend of mine told me. He said it often takes up to a year to recover from surgery.

  48. Anonymous says:


    I’m a 40 year out male. I just had my calcium blood level tested. It came out to be 10.4. My PTH was 59.3. My calcium level was 34. What should I do ? I am ok ?

  49. Troy says:


    I’m a 40 year old male. I just had my calcium blood level tested. It come back as 10.4. My PTH, INTACT level was 59.3. My vitamin D level was 34. Is this good or bad ? What should I do next ?

  50. Shery Youssef says:

    I had 2 parathyroid adenomas removed 5 weeks ago, but I am frustrated because I do not see any significant improvement in my symptoms which are anxiety and depression.I would like to hear from post operative patients when these symptoms are expected to improve.

    • Ms Teresa A Strong says:


      A lot of my symptoms did improve, and a lot didn’t. That’s because there was more wrong with me than hyperparathyroidism. I’ve slowly been working through all my issues–leaky gut, food allergies, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue. I’m finding need a lot of rest. I just took a medIcal leave of absence from my job. In other words–if you are still feeling bad, suspect other issues.

  51. Mary says:

    I highly recommend a specialist at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. His name is Dr. Emad Kandil. He is an expert with thyroid/parathyroid surgeries. He did mine 2 weeks ago. I returned to work yesterday. I know how difficult it was for me to find a doctor who did parathyroid surgery on a regular basis. Trust me, this doctor is great.

  52. Maria M says:

    Can anyone share their symptoms and how were you finally diagnosed with parathyroid disease ?

    • Shery Youssef says:

      My symptoms are mainly neurological like anxiety, depression,irritability,decreased concentration,unexplained fear and frequent awakening from sleep by panic attacks.These symptoms made me making some lab. work including serum calcium which was 10.4.This value is considered high to my age (37 year).so my GP ordered to repeat calcium and parathyroid hormone(pth) .they were 9.8 and 105 respectively.Note, calcium and pth not necessarily be elevated in each time they measured.I had surgery 3 weeks ago and hope these symptoms resolve as time goes.I had other symptoms long time ago like frequent muscle twitches and tingling sensation in upper and lower limbs,but these symptoms never made me concerned.

    • Mary says:

      I went in for a physical and my blood work came back with high calcium – this was 4 years ago – doctor did not seem concerned – after a couple of years and lots of blood work I investigated on the internet – I asked for an ultrasound of my parathyroids and then I asked for a nuclear scan. Last year I went to an endocrinologist who told me about Dr. Kandil at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. I live in New Orleans, so this was great news. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. My bad parathyroid was 4 times its size and my hormone level was 124 – after they removed the bad parathyroid the level dropped to 17. I do believe the only symptom I had before surgery was being very tired all the time. I can notice a big difference now. I did not know until I met with Dr. Kandil that I had a “disease” and this disease would hurt my body – kidneys, heart, bones, etc., over time. The doctor was surprised that I had been “playing around” with this for 4 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a large parathyroid tumour removed almost 3 weeks ago..Symptoms include shooting pain like carpel tunnel pain in wrist..excruciating pain pain in legs, fog in the head . Feeling unwell with terrible fatigue..slight sadness over comes you …very forgetful with insomnia ..the bone pain I found was the worse..shooting pain through the legs & much weakness in fingers ..hope this helps

  53. Scott Buttes says:

    How good is Dr. Michael Yeh? … Better than can be expressed through comments on this website. And certainly better than any other parathyroid surgeon. He is probably the best parathyroid surgeon in the country. I have the credentials to say this because I had an extremely rare form of the disease where the tumor was actually located in a rare location of my esophagus. I am one of three medically-documented cases.

    Before meeting Dr. Yeh, I had three failed parathyroid surgeries (and a kidney stone surgery). The first two were by a former Head of Surgery at a prominent UC Hospital (Head/Neck Department). Surgery three was also in a Head/Neck Department at one of the best private research-hospitals in Southern California. There, they removed half my thyroid and that was immediately followed up with an excruciating kidney stone surgery.

    I was a 33-year old, male, and had been sick for three years. At that point, I was told by the third surgeon that the ONLY person who could find my tumor was Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA due to him performing innovative techniques in 4D Cat Scan imaging techniques.

    I was very skeptical that Dr. Yeh would be different.

    When I met him, I showed him a jar of kidney stones that I collected. I could see in his eyes deep compassion for me. After bouncing from hospital to hospital, I was convinced that surgeons were, by nature, arrogant creatures. Dr. Yeh showed me otherwise. He was unspeakably humble–even after my surgery during the post-op appointment.

    But as important as character is, what truly distinguishes Dr. Yeh is complete and total competence. He spent five hours with me in surgery. He teamed up with an ENT surgeon (which is unprecedented when you are the top performer in your specialized field). And he was able to do what the other top parathyroid surgeons in (not only California, but) the country could not. He found the tumor. And now, I am completely cured from a horrendous disease.

    Dr. Yeh essentially gave me an additional 50 years of life. He is a truly extraordinary man, and an exceptionally-gifted doctor. He is kissed by God. And if you are lucky enough to have him as your surgeon, then you should find yourself in utter gratitude. Period.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me for further details.

    • Nancy Dahl says:

      Hello Scott,
      It was so reassuring to read your post. I too had a parathyroidectomy by Dr. Yeh just 6 weeks ago on Sept. 26. I was in the early stages of the disease, but had bone thinning and odd nerve twitches and numbness, body pain and fatigue. Instead of an hour surgery…I was there for 3 hours. Like you, I had unusual placement of the adenoma…mine being the Left Superior Parathyroid gland which was undescended. Dr. Yeh kept saying, “You’re 1 in a 1000…very challenging case etc.” You then…must be 1 in a Million!”
      I am wondering…did you, or do you have any nerve symptoms? Even 6 weeks out…I still have numbness in my lips, cheeks, forehead, sometimes shoulders and certainly lower legs. Occasionally I have hand tingling. I am taking the Calcium he recommends…2000 mg plus Vit. D 2000 units…but it doesn’t seem to change the symptoms. I feel better in some ways…less body pain and better energy. But the nerve issues continue. I have been checked for diseases such as MS and do not have them fortunately. I hope these symptoms will just gradually pass as my body adjusts to the lower calcium levels.
      Would love to hear from you and yes…gratitude to Dr. Yeh for his excellence and his persistance!
      Nancy Dahl

      • Susan C. says:

        Has your fatigue, numbness and tingling issues resolved, or did you find out what caused this? I developed these several weeks after my parathyroid surgery and even though my ionized calcium is way off, the serium calcium and parathyroid levels are normal so the dr.’s think it is not related to the parathyroid.

        • Nancy Dahl says:

          Hello! Thank you for your question. I still what feels like a thin coating of numbness over most of my body. It is especially bothersome on my lips, around my cheeks and around my scalp…but I feel it in my shoulders, arms, and legs.
          I am exactly 1 year out from my difficult parathyroid surgery. My PTH is normal at 30 and my Serum Calcium is 9.2.
          I have seen 2 neurologists about this problem (I also have muscle twitching in face and legs) and they are stumped because all labs, brain studies, EMG are normal. The Nerve Conduction test did confirm a mild Sensory Neuropathy.
          I have not had my Ionized Calcium done recently. That was the lab result that helped in the diagnosis of Hyperparathyroidism. I am wondering how your Ionized Ca level looks in relation to your Serum Ca?
          I would be happy to talk with you at length about these symptoms. I am feeling better the last few weeks because I am swimming and getting massages. These things help my skin feel more normal.
          Nancy Dahl

        • April Robinson says:

          Hi Susan,

          I had my 2nd operation in Florida in March and had tingling for months and
          Nobody had an answer for me accept
          I was fine and cured. It did take almost 6 months to subside. I had a muscle spasm in my back like a wave, that woke me up every morning for quite awhile that scared me to death. No answer there either. Tingling was in my legs in the morning too. All of my levels were good, calcium, PTH and vitamin D but no explanation from my surgeon. Thank goodness it’s gone. I do still have acid reflux that is quite bothersome and have not found a cure for that but am still working on it with papaya extract which seems to help. Good luck with your symptoms.

        • April Robinson says:

          Susan, I did have fatigue too with naps everyday but was told by a friend that is a nurse that it can sometimes take up to a year to get back to ‘normal’ after surgery.

      • Cathy says:

        Hello Nancy. I don’t know if this is true or if this helps but I read a post on another site by a woman who said that she too, was still having issues post-op but someone told her to add magnesium to her regimen and it made all the difference for her. I have a nutritional biochemist friend whom I just texted and he said magnesium is very important to help you use/absorb calcium. I hope this helps you!

        • Nancy Dahl says:

          Thank you Cathy,
          I will try Magnesium!
          Nancy Dahl

        • Cathy says:

          For good absorption and no diarrhea issues as magnesium can sometimes cause, you may want to go to amazon and order Ancient Minerals Lotion, a transdermal form of magnesium.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Nancy; I just had a parathyroid tumor removed a week ago and I don’t feel any different but am hoping that I will get better. I have another idea for you. Check out the book “Could It Be B-12?”. You can read about it on amazon before you buy it but if I were you I would get a UMMA (urine methylmalonic acid test) which you can order yourself and do at home and send in for results. Measuring B12 in blood is not a good way to measure it. It has to be measured in urine. You can have numbness and tingling, difficulty walking, headaches, backaches, brain fog…..geez! a million weird symptoms and it’s low B12. Did you possibly have nitrous oxide for surgery? This can affect your B12 level.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you share your symptoms and how were you finally diagnosed?

    • Tim says:

      Just curious if you had considered Dr. Larian in Beverly Hills before deciding on Dr. Yeh. Let me know.

  54. Mercedes D says:

    My internist, in checking my lab work, discovered I had a parathyroid tumor. I was fortunate to have her send me to Dr. Michael Yeh. He was most thorough. I had an easy surgery with removal of my two upper parathyroids. I went home that evening with only a sore throat which was gone by the next morning. My only problem was setting up a time for the surgery. It was 3 months. I am 83 years old, a former RN, originally from the Midwest. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, husband, and son were all MD’s. I would certainly recommend Dr. Yeh to anyone. Mercedes D

  55. John Gute says:

    John Gute
    Age 70
    Chino Hills, CA

    Early in 2008, shortly following retirement, I went to a doctor near where I lived with concerns about excessive urination, forgetfulness, frequently not feeling well, aches and pains in my joints and bones, loss of appetite, and difficulty with reasoning skills. He ordered some lab work. My calcium levels were a little elevated, but I was told that I was probably experiencing common “aging” symptoms. Each year thereafter I mentioned the same symptoms were getting worse. Then in October, 2012, I went to another physician in Orange County complaining of these same symptoms in addition to extreme fatigue and the inability to do simple computations. Although I had worked over 32 years as a PhD chemist for the Organic Analysis Group, by October, 2012, I could no longer do simple addition or subtraction, and I couldn’t remember the steps to do long division.
    I had noticed a decline in mental computational and reasoning skills even before I retired. I had attributed the generalized aches and pains to aging. However, the loss of mental acuity, extreme fatigue, and loss of appetite were of particular concern to my wife and I. I fell asleep most every time I sat down. During conversations I sometimes fell asleep mid-sentence. Following lab tests done in Orange County, including a 24 hour urine test, an ultrasound of my neck, and a sestamibi, the results were still inconclusive. The ultrasound and sestamibi did not show any thing abnormal.
    My wife had been a UCLA patient since 1990, and she asked her internist, Peter Galier, M.D., if I could come to him for an evaluation. I first met Dr. Galier May 31, 2013. He ordered labs, an x-ray, and an MRI. Dr. Galier explained that both the labs done outside UCLA in October 2012, and the ones he had ordered in May 2013, showed elevated calcium levels and an elevated PTH. My bone scan also showed some bone loss (osteopenia). Dr. Galier explained that I appeared to exhibit a classic case of hyperparathyroidism. He referred me to a UCLA endocrinologist, Stephanie Smooke, M.D. Dr. Galier arranged for me to have an appointment with Dr. Smooke just two days after my lab results were available. Dr. Smooke explained the anatomical placement of the parathyroid glands as well as their function. She also explained that medical diagnostic equipment varied widely, and she recommended that the sestamibi be repeated, but this time at the 200 UCLA Medical Building. I repeated the sestamibi, but this time the results were conclusive and showed which parathyroid gland was enlarged. Dr. Smooke referred me to UCLA Endocrine Surgery for removal of the gland. Following contact with Dr. Galier regarding the referral, my wife and I read about Dr. Michael Yeh’s credentials, experience, and successes in endocrine surgery. Dr. Galier had unreserved confidence in Dr. Yeh’s expertise, so I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Yeh.
    Dr. Yeh personally did an ultrasound of my neck in his office and expertly isolated and imaged the enlarged and displaced parathyroid gland. Not only is Dr. Yeh incredibly skilled and competent, he is also very personable, caring, and careful to explain details of what to anticipate. He also explained the possible complications. At the consultation with Dr. Yeh, I felt confident that he was very well educated, experienced, skilled, and an expert in his field. I scheduled surgery that day.
    Dr. Yeh is an incredibly competent surgeon, more so than I could have imagined. My incision was less than an inch long, and simple steri-strips were used for the post-surgery closure. I had very little inflammation at the surgery site, which healed within two weeks. My calcium levels dropped to normal within 15 minutes of surgery, while I was still in the surgery room. I had no need for pain medication following the procedure.
    I did not know just how amazingly competent Dr. Yeh was until I spoke with a friend who had the same procedure performed at another facility. This friend spend most of six weeks in bed, barely able to get up to go to the restroom. Her surgeon had made a 4-5 inch wide incision to remove a parathyroid gland in her neck, and her entire trunk was so painful each time she moved that she was unable to function for most of two months. When she learned of my tiny incision and rapid recovery, she said I was very fortunate to have had such a skilled surgeon.
    My recovery was amazingly short. It was less than a week before I was again working in the garden and going for walks. I would, without reservation, recommend Dr. Yeh and his surgery team to anyone facing any kind of endocrine surgery.

    • Elapully, Srinivasan says:

      Dr. yeh is an incredible human being who treated me for my high calcium levels.
      I was disturbed after hearing about my calcium levels and was told that I need to remove
      one of my parathyroid.

      I met Dr.yeh in UCLA and after talking to hime for 1 minute i decided that he is the one who
      need to do my surgery and not any other Dr. He made me so comfortable and spend lot of
      time in answering me and my wife who had boat lots of questions.

      Dr yeh gave me an early appointment on seeing my calcium levels and i fixed my appointment with him on 24th September 4 days after I met him. This is incredible as he acted based on my case.

      My incision was less than an inch long, and simple steri-strips were used for the post-surgery closure. I dont have anyinflammation at the surgery site and that healed as well in about two weeks.

      Moreover whenever I called him to get some advice post surgery , he calls back in less then 5 minutes and provided me the right advice, he never acted busy and he has the understanding and compassion for fellow human beings..

      I went to meet him last week for my review and he was happy to see me and my calicum levels are all back to normal. He fixed me and I am grateful to him always.

      I would recomend Dr yeh to anybody in the world as he is the best in what he does.
      God bless him

    • Cathy says:

      Did most of your symptoms resolve? Thanks.

  56. Nancy Dahl says:

    I have been diagnosed with Early Hyperparathyroidism and have osteoporosis in my arms and osteopenia in my spine and hips. I also have fatigue, eye problems and aches and pains in my wrists and ankles and some dizziness.
    I will have surgery with Dr. Yeh this month. The main question I have for those of you out there who have or have had Hyperparthyroidism…Did you experience numbness and muscle twitching BEFORE surgery? That’s what I’m experiencing…numbness overall in my body and face…(more severe diseases, like MS, have been ruled out) like I’m wearing a covering of numbness. Eyelid twitching is frequent, as is twitching in the muscles of my calves.
    Would love to hear from anyone who has or did have a similar experience. I’m looking forward to the surgery!

    • Sandra turnbull says:

      I have been having involuntary muscle movements and sometimes numbness. Also my hands are very shaky. I am waiting to see a specialist. Have to wait until next month. Can’t wait. I also feel very tired.I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. I had never heard of parathyroid glands before.

  57. Gary Kunin says:

    I’m a 53 year old male living in Santa Monica. My doctor at Cedars Sinai diagnosed me with hyperparathyroidism in April. All of this happened after a routine physical with a blood test taken. I had no prior symptoms. My calcium level was 11.5. My doctor then took more blood for a parathyroid hormone test and that result came back with elevated hormone levels. Then, I had to go to Cedars for a sestamibi Scan. I took a radioactive pill in the morning and went back in the afternoon. The scan was rather lengthy at around 1.5 hours. The next day, I got the call from my doctor confirming the hyperparathyroidism disease. I was a little stunned and scared at first because I didn’t know anything about the disease and what was involved except that surgery was required. I had one surgery before and that was at UCLA to remove a cancerous Kidney. That was painful and I was in the hospital for a week. I didn’t know what to expect this time.

    When my doctor called me to confirm the disease he also gave me a referral to a Cedars surgeon. My initial reaction was to go with this referral. So, I called, and made an appointment to see the surgeon in a week. The doctor was not in the Aetna network however. The office said they would work with me but could not give me more information. I am rather picky about Drs. and so is my family. It was time to investigate. It is very easy to research doctors on the web. Also, my brother is a doctor and the head of radiology for several hospitals in Kansas City, KS and he was involved in this whole process. My mom also got wanted to investigate more.

    When I went online there was a lot of information. The first site I came across was parathyroidismdotcom. The site itself does have a lot of good information, which I found helpful. Just knowing the surgery could be done minimally invasively without a hospital stay was a big relief for me. Their site is useful but acts more as a self-promotion for the slick FL doctors. They had a good video of the operation, which was interesting. But, they act that they are the only ones capable of doing this delicate operation successfully. Plus, if you are out of state, they take your insurance but will charge you a $1750 consultation fee, which your insurance will not pay. Plus traveling costs…No thanks.

    I then went to t the UCLA endocrinology website. They also have a great informative professional website without all of the self promotion (they are a university). The site has a great video to watch explaining the operation with Dr. Yeh. Again, It was the same minimal invasive surgery (MIS) kind…smaller incision, less time, less pain, faster recovery as the FL doctors performed. This is the latest medical technology I wanted. I believe the UCLA health system is excellent so I already believed my search was over. Plus, I knew UCLA would take my insurance. But my family wanted a little more reassurance on Dr. Yeh himself. He is an incredible doctor we found out. My Dr. brother was highly impressed by him and his years of experience as well as the frequency of his publications in medical journals. These blogs also reinforced our decision with the positive experiences. What was really important was finding an experienced Dr. who did a ton of these operations. This is mostly what Dr. Yeh and his team does. UCLA was the perfect fit and they took my insurance. After my decision, I called the Cedars to cancel my appointment with the surgeon. I really don’t know if the Cedars doctor used the MIS technique. I don’t think he did and he also does more kinds of surgery such as breast cancer. It also would have cost a lot more I found out.

    I was relieved to have found Dr. Yeh and his team. I then called the office to make an appointment. It was to be in 2 months but I later got a cancellation to see him in a month. I brought my mom to the appointment. Dr. Yeh was very nice, calm and personable I found him to be pretty modest but felt extremely confident in his ability to treat me. He did an ultrasound on my neck area and found the enlarged parathyroid gland and explained it needed to come out so my calcium level could return to normal. With having one kidney, it was better to do sooner than later. The earliest I could get for my surgery was July 11th at UCLA . I scheduled that day. I had to have more blood drawn after the appointment.

    Before the surgery, I didn’t have to do much. Just go back to my doctor for a pre-op exam. About a week before the surgery I got a call from UCLA confirming everything. I also got a call from the Anesthesia Dept. asking me safety questions like if I was allergic to anything and what meds I was using. I got another call from UCLA the day before surgery with final instructions. On the day of surgery I arrived at 1pm for a 2:30 surgery. I was taken in the pre-op area shortly thereafter. My mom was with me. The nurses there were extremely nice and caring. One of them commented how meticulous Dr. Yeh was and that if she had the same operation Dr. Yeh would do it. That was comforting. I must have talked to 3 or 4 friendly caring nurses. An iv was started in my hand. I then met the Anesthesiologist. She also was very nice. I don’t remember anything after that point. I may have been given a Versed type of drug, which wipes out memory. One of the nurses commented how helpful I was in the operating room. I don’t remember being in the room or helping or seeing anyone. I think this is a good thing.

    Next thing I know I’m waking up in the post op area with a nurse at my side. She was very kind and friendly. My first thought was I was a little groggy and tired but I really didn’t have much pain. I mostly had a sore throat and some neck discomfort. This was nothing compared to the huge kidney I had removed 6 years ago. I think the entire actual operation was less than half an hour. My mom went to the pharmacy get some pain pills which I did take for a day or so to feel more comfortable even though I probably didn’t have too. The nurses took some more blood and I left the post-op area around 8pm feeling good. I went home to my moms and was able to eat a soft food dinner. I slept fine that night except I might have coughed a little because of the sore throat. The sore throat lasted only about a day. I think this was because of the breathing tube during surgery. Nothing much worse than the kind you get with a bad cold.

    The following day I relaxed and felt much better. By the second day all of the sore throat and neck pain were almost completely gone. I relaxed that weekend and took off a couple days from work.

    My post surgery was scheduled for 3 weeks. I had my office visit with Dr. Yeh and he said everything went smoothly and my calcium is back to normal levels. It feels good to be cured. The bandage was removed and the incision was really small (about an inch) and very hard to see. It blends in with the other wrinkles on my neck. After a few months, I don’t think anyone will notice. This is fantastic. I have a follow-up visit with my doctor in a few months.

    I am extremely pleased with the way everything worked out with the surgery. I am so happy I chose Dr. Yeh. He has a great team that is extremely caring and efficient. Dr Yeh really is an expert with this surgery. Being at UCLA, one of the top medical centers in the world makes this even better.

    The most important thing I’ve taken from all of this is that if you have this rare disease its most important to go to an expert who does this all the time. It will be pretty painless with an experienced expert like Dr Yeh. There could be more pain, (especially without MIS) problems, or bigger scaring with surgeons who don’t do this work all the time.

    I would go to Dr. Yeh even if I lived far way. He is worth it. You won’t go wrong with him. He is a world-class surgeon.

    If I left anything out regarding my experience with Dr. Yeh and his team that interests you, please feel free to contact me.

    • says:

      This is a really long explanation – I don’t hardly even rememeber most of the stuff but it is a pretty detailed description of what they do … except this guy hung around for 8 hours I think. He didn’t have to get going like I did.

  58. Jeanne says:

    It’s funny how you don’t know how bad you’ve been feeling until you feel better! Symptoms I thought were associated with menopause (forgetfulness, irritability, fatigue, aches and pains) were actually being caused by my hyperparathyroidism. I am a 54 year old woman luckily diagnosed by my general practitioner, who noticed my calcium levels were high and proceeded to investigate. She referred me to an endocrinologist, who referred me to Dr. Yeh, and surgery was subsequently scheduled. Before surgery, my parathyroid hormone level was about 150, and it fell to the normal range within 3 hours post-op when I left the surgery center. From testing, we knew one parathyroid was bad, but two were removed, as another was looking abnormal. I can honestly say this surgery is almost completely pain free. I don’t even remember being wheeled into the operating room. My incision never hurt (I only felt pressure if I bent over), and the only pain I really felt was a sore throat from
    About two weeks after surgery, I was disembarking from a plane and noticed I wasn’t hobbling like an old woman! My bones, joints, and muscles used to throb after sitting for only 15 minutes. Always being more of a night person, I had been konking out at 8:30 at night, or I’d fall asleep as soon as I got in the passenger seat of a car. I began to notice I was staying awake until 11, then 12 as I had before. Other things became apparent, too. My constipation disappeared and my system seems to be working like the old days. As an avid tennis player, my achilles tendon had been so painful I had to tape it each time I played (four to five times a week.) Not any more! One afternoon, I thought to myself, “Gee, I feel kind of happy today.” What a turn of events from being depressed enough to start an antidepressant a few years before. My mind is even running more efficiently. As a board member of a charity, I’d begun mentally drifting off in meetings, rarely participating, and almost feeling as though I couldn’t keep up. At our last meeting, I felt completely on top of things and able to make meaningful contributions. I can say this surgery literally changed my life. Four weeks later, my scar is becoming almost unnoticeable–no stitches, and I keep it well protected with sunscreen out on the tennis court. Even if the scar were bigger, it would have been worth it.
    As a USC Trojan, I have the utmost of respect for Dr. Yeh and his wonderful team at UCLA. Many, many thanks to them for reinstating my quality of life. Fight on, Dr. Yeh!

  59. Anonymous says:

    I need an answer Osteoporosis is not in my family. I had surgical menopause at 38. Type 1 diabetes for 37 years in good control A1C 7 or under. I fook fosomax for years and forteo for two years. I have broken 2 hips bones. Finally after seeing my endocrinologist for 30 years I did research and asked for a PTH test one came out over 200. I am in moderate renal failure GFR is 57. Creatinine normal range. If this PTH had been discovered when I started breaking bones 12 years ago would I have less kidney damage? will my osteoporosis be corrected now that I am on calcitrol and PTH levels are coming down. My drs office isn’t returning my call. . I am told I have secondary Hyperparathyroidism and have been on thyroid meds for 30 years in addition to insulin for 37 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is your dr isn’t returning calls because they’re afraid of your questions or comments!! Obviously, you’ve suffered much more than the average hyperPT patient has +THAT’S saying something! You, my dear, have a strong case for malpractice…duh!! Sometimes the only way they learn is to sue!!

  60. Anonymous says:

    My high calcium blood levels were “revealed” during a pre op test for knee surgery in April of this year. My orthopedic surgeon was concerned and ordered a second test be performed and requested a parathyroid hormone level also be taken. The results of these tests showed an abnormally high level in both respects. After consulting with the anesthesiologist it was decided it was safe to proceed with my surgery; however, I was advised to follow up with my general practitioner for further assessment and diagnosis.
    Post knee surgery, I returned to my doctor with copies of my past records of blood tests. I had noted that several times I had high calcium level readings, one dating back to 2009. He agreed that my recent high levels (11.3 calcium and 75 PTH) were high but that he did not conclude this to be hyperthyroidism. This is when I requested a referral to an endocrinologist.
    This doctor diagnosed me, after looking over my records and history of osteoporosis, in 15 minutes. He explained that my osteoporosis indicated that hyperparathyroidism was the cause and the only solution was surgery. Unfortunately, I can only conclude that general practitioners seem to be woefully lacking in their knowledge of parathyroid disease. My first bit of advice would be to seek a proper diagnosis from an endocrinologist. My second would be to look for an experienced endocrinological surgeon.

    My locating the UCLA Endocrine Surgical Unit and Dr. Yeh, was an answer to prayer. I live in the Central Coast so Los Angeles was out of my area; however, in looking over the web site I discovered services were available to me and covered by my Medicare. When I asked my endocrinologist if he would refer me to UCLA, he said he was familiar with Dr. Yeh and suggested that I procure the sestimibi test and the ultrasound from the hospital there rather than locally. So this was done the day prior to my surgery at UCLA. Dr. Yeh knew exactly which parathyroid needed to be removed.
    My experiences at UCLA were extraordinary. From my first contact via phone to set up an appointment and my initial phone consultation with Dr. Yeh, to my release from surgery, I was treated with the utmost care and concern. The surgery went very well, with the removal of one parathyroid and the tumor which was on it. The surgery took about 20 minutes, I had a sore throat for a couple of days due to the breathing tube; and am writing this one month post surgery with a small scar and looking forward to building some new bone density.
    I pray this post will help anyone that may be diagnosed. God bless you.

  61. Nancy Miller says:

    I am a 53 year old woman who was diagnosed with primary hyper-parathyroid disease in March of this year. In January of this year, after a routine blood test, my calcium tested high , 10.7, and I was sent to a kidney disease specialist to see if I might have a kidney stone or other kidney problems. After an ultrasound proved that I had no stone and no problems with my kidneys, I was sent for more tests, one of which was a parathyroid hormone test–this tested at 68 and I was referred to an endocrinologist who me an official diagnosis of primary hyper-parathyroid disease. (I had already figured this out because I went on the internet and saw that my scores matched this disease and proceeded to learn everything i could about this). At the time I was in an HMO and when i did see the endocrinologist, she told me that based on my test scores, that I definetely had a tumor in at least one of my parathyroid glands that was pulling calcium from my bones and over time would lead to osteoperosis. She said that since I seemed to be relatively healthy, that the surgeon in Medical Group at the time, would most than likely not want to remove the tumor and instead would probably recommend I take fosamax and wait until I became really sick to do any surgery. I had done enough research by the time I saw the endocrinologist and told her that I did not want to wait to have this removed. I asked her why would the surgeon not want to remove the tumor. She said she thought that since I was relatively healthy, that she would want to wait until I was ill and also there might be a liability in case there was a problem with the surgery. I told her that I didn’t want to wait until I was really ill to get treatment and by this time would my osteoperosis be too late to reverse. I told her that I had a history of migraines which were getting worse, currently having a lot of insomnia, and for the last few months was having trouble focusing at my job and from what I had read, that there may be related to the disease. I asked her what she would do. She said she would want the tumor removed and then said concurred that she would probably switch to a PPO if she were in my shoes. Then she gave me the name of a surgeon she recommended at USC. I was really fortunate that I was able to swtich to an HMO during the next week since I just met the deadlline for open enrollment at my agency. (This I attritbute to my amazing SGI Buddhist Practice)!!! I spent hours on the internet looking up surgeons and I was especially impressed with the website of a hospital in Florida as well as the one at UCLA. I eventually ruled out the Florida one because they charged almost 2,000 dollars just to obtain records, which is not covered by insurance. As much as I was totally impressed with the amount of information they provided on the website, I was very uncomfortable with this fee and with the way they made it sound that they were the only ones that really knew what they were doing. When I looked at the UCLA Parathyroid site, I was very impressed with Dr. Yeh–he seemed extremely knowlegeable professional and refreshingly humble! I had a sense I could really trust him! I received confimation from my cousin, who is an oncologist at UCLA and she highly recomened both Dr. Yeh as well and Dr. Harari. I chose Dr. Yeh ultimately due to his years of experience and the fact that I had a sense of him from the website. My PPO became effective April 1st. I had my Nuclear Medicine Test early May. It was very easy, not scary and not painful. A little uncomfortable to lay down in one position on a hard surface for my neck, but really no big deal! I then saw Dr. Yeh and his Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Yeh did an ultrasound–he was very nice and so was the Nurse Practitioner. He determined I had at least one tumor and the surgery was scheduled for May 30th. I arrived at 9am and had my surgery at 11:00–not sure how long the surgery was. When I woke up from surgery, they wanted to give me pain killers but i told them no thank you. They offered me ice chips with apple juice–that hit the spot. My throat was sore but it wasn’t that painful I didn’t have any side effects from the anesthsia and regained my energy pretty quickly! II am very holistically oriented and afraid of chemicals. I did fine with it! I was uncomfortable in my throat a little but I didn’t need to take any pain killers after the surgery, not even tylenol!!!!! I had a few headaches associated with the incision pain, however, I haven’t taken medicine for years with migraines–this was no big deal! I was able to cook for myself the first night and my friend who stayed with me–we talked and laughed until almost midnight! I ate soft foods for the next couple of days but that gets better and better. I stayed home from work for a week and a half and rested. I took a good walk around the block every day. I wore a scarf to cover my incision to protect it from sun damage. I was told by Dr. Yeh 2 weeks later when i went in for a follow up appointment that I had an enlarged tumor (I believe 3xs the normal size), My incision was about 3 cm long across the middle of my neck–I was a little worried initially about this but it’s healing so well!!! — In a month in a half it is hardly noticeable and I am not kidding!!! I think in another month, it will totally disappear, so please don’t worry about the size of the incision. I had a couple of migraines, however, they are less and less and they seem to be getting better as time goes by! (I was getting them every day almost, so I am a happy camper)!!! My focusing is much better at work!!!!! I have more energy over all. Sleep is up and down–sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s not. I am in menopause so it’s hard to tell what is what!!! I can tell that as time goes on I am getting better and better. I joined a gym today because i feel that I have the energy to add this to my life, which I didn’t before. I wouldI absolutely would recommend Dr. Yeh!!!!!!!! I am so happy I went to UCLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the staff there are wonderful from the beginning to the end of the process!!!!I

    • Chanel says:

      Hello, I am Chanel, a student in the Surgical Technologist program at Baker college and have been assigned to find someone who has had a pre-operative and post-operative experience and found your post and I became interested to learn more. If you are willing to tell me a little bit about before and after your surgery, I would appreciate it greatly. I am glad it seems like you had a wonderful experience overall.

      Thank you!

      • Nancy Miller says:

        Hi Chanel:

        I am happy to provide you with any information you need regarding my pre-operative and post-operative experience. Feel free to contact me at my email address at
        Nancy Miller

  62. Anonymous says:

    From Zouheir Saleh:
    I am thankful to Dr. Yeh and his staff for there professionalism, ethics and work habits. Dr. Yeh and his staff made my visitation very relaxed and pleasant. They were extremely friendly and answered all my questions prior to the parathyroid operation and afterwords. The operation itself was fast and non event for me. I went to the operation room and went home in less than three hours. I did not feel or experienced any pain, discomfort except for the Nausea after the operation, which was expected. My recovery was smooth and fast. I went back to work in four days. The scar was minimum and not Noticeable.

    Dr. Yeh is exceptional and I feel very fortunate to choose him for my parathyroid operation.

  63. Rick Carl says:

    I was extremely impressed with my experience of parathyroidectomy surgery with Dr. Yea and his team. From the time of my first meeting with Dr. Yea until my discharge, the professionalism was extraordinary. I was informed of everything from the start and had no doubts of the outcome. My recovery was so seamless and relaxing in the recovery room. The kindness and caring of the nursing staff was very profound. My overall recovery was also gratifying. I cannot thank everybody involved enough. At my age these experiences are not easy. But I was treated with such a kind hand, that I am very grateful to everyone involved. Sincerely, Rick Carl

  64. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous says:

    I am a 76 year old woman who had elevated calcium levels, was not feeling well, tired and generally not myself. I had surgery for the parathyroid with Dr. Yeh and his wonderful team. I am happy to be feeling better and appreciate all they did for me. Thank you Dr Yeh!

  65. Murray Rosenbluth says:

    I am an 82-year-old male with a history of heart disease including congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, and a pacemaker. Blood tests reported elevated calcium and parathyroid hormone.

    My “former” cardiologist did not accept the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism. Instead, he prescribed 50,000 units of Vitamin D per week for a month. Second and third opinions convinced me that a parathyroidectomy was needed.

    I found Dr. Yeh on the UCLA website. After a consult with Dr. Yeh, Jennifer Isorena, NP arranged for a cardiac evaluation by a UCLA cardiologist. That evaluation said I was ok for surgery.

    The surgery was one month ago. It was very successful. The care and professionalism of all UCLA people involved was excellent.

    The pathology report confirmed the diseased parathyroid gland that Dr. Yeh removed was ten times normal size due to an adenoma.

    Post-operative recovery is amazing. Never any pain. Very small scar is already fading.

    My quality of life has improved enormously. Previously I used a cane while walking because of pain. Now I walk without a cane. Was the prior pain real or hypochondriac perception? I do not know. I do know, I no longer use a cane. Also according to my wife, I am no longer irritable.

    Of course, I now have a new cardiologist.

    Dr. Yeh – Thank you so much. You have made my quality of life wonderful again.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I am an eighteen year old female, have been sufferering from this disease for four years. I’ve suffered from kidney stones and all the psychological issues. I never feel quite myself and sometimes feel like I’m going crazy. My surgery is in 3 weeks but I was wondering how different you guys felt after surgery? For those who had depression, did it improve? Did you feel like you’re back to your normal self? I’m praying that all my psychological issues will heal because I just want to feel normal and have my life back. Many stories I read mainly talk about those feeling better about their aches and pains but I would love to know if any of you could see a difference in yourself and realize you felt happSo any of you’re feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    • Barbara says:

      To the 18 yr. old female: Your question about feeling “normal” after surgery made me realize that yes, I see a difference and I really do feel like my old self. I had surgery 13 months ago with Dr. Yeh and I now feel like my normal happy self. For a couple of years prior to the surgery I experienced feelings of sadness that were totally our of character for me. I think it has been a gradual process and I am very grateful to be where I am. Thank you for your question – best of luck to you.

    • Pamela in Australia says:

      Hi, I too had severe psychological issues with my parathyroid disease. I can reassure you that 12 months after the operation, I am back to my normal happy sane self. It took a little time to return to normal, so don’t be too distressed if you’re not running marathons within a week. Keep your expectations realistic, you have been ill for a very long time and this causes a drain on your body, but trust me, you WILL feel normal again. Especially in the head, that resolves much quicker than the body, or for me it did. I still have some problems with analysing things, but that may also be age. I’m 65 now and had the op at 64, and I do feel great, and you will too. Good luck, and do post here and let me know how you’re going with recovery.

      • Shery Youssef says:

        Hi Pamela,I am 37 years old. My symptoms started gradually about 6 months before my operation.My symptoms are depression,anxiety,dread,small panic attacks during sleep and morning.I am now 7 weeks post surgery and all the symptoms are still present except the sleep that has improved.I am so frustrated about the recovery.I would like to hear your experience about the timing of recovery.thank you.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I am a 62-year-old female who is 7 weeks post parathyroidectomy. I recovered immediately, have almost no scar, and feel wonderful. Dr. Yeh and his team were terrific. I am totally pleased.

  68. Rebecca says:

    4 weeks post parathyroid surgery and am back to swimming, biking, and running. I had two bad parathyroid glands that Dr. Yeh and his wonderful team removed. A great advantage to UCLA with this disease (that I no longer have) is that the scan and surgery are done under one roof so your surgeon gets the results fast and makes sure everything is done correctly and the diagnosis is accurate. This is very important to have seamless, superbly coordinated care. This was my first surgery ever and Dr. Yeh and his team put my mind at ease. You want to have confidence in the people who will be making an incision into your throat!! I was so impressed with the entire experience. Dr. Yeh listened to me about how I like to swim and used glue to close the wound, facilitating my return to the sport. If you have to have surgery, I highly recommend Dr. Yeh and his team. They will take great care of you, as they did me. Also, I had almost no pain with the procedure. I took over the counter pain medication about twice and that was it. Fantastic.

  69. Marina Jones says:

    This was my third Parathyroid surgery. There is one guy left hoping he can do all the work. I felt great, before surgery but like others, the only way I knew I had a problem was through a blood test. My calcium and or Parathyroid level was high.. My ENT had done the other surgeries, but this time a Dr. thought I might need to go to s specialist. I went to UCLA to see Dr. Harair. She is the best. I feel great. I am on Actenal and Citracal to help my bones, since with the high level of calcium depleating from my body my bones became thin. My last Bone Density test showed improvement and my Parathyroid levels are normal now. Calcium too. I am able to continue to run like I have for the past 30 years. I am doing my 91st Marathon June 2nd in San Diego. I feel very lucky and I hope the last Parathyroid gland behaves.

  70. Carolyn says:

    Does anyone know a doctor on the East Coast (Palm Beach County or near) who does surgery for parathyroid condition?

  71. Nisha says:

    Even after surgery all the symptoms have come back.blood results normal.parathyroid might have been of some other reason.any ideas or suggestions.

  72. Nisha says:

    My husband had undergone parathyroid surgery in 2012april. 2adenomas were removed.His symptoms improved for a short period.but since last 6 months he has severe fatigue ,indigestion,muscle weakness,back pain.symptoms are worsening day by day.blood tests are all normal.On calcium supplement.can anyone help us.consulted several help.anyone having same issues please share.

    • Ms Teresa A Strong says:

      Well, I was two years past my surgery and still in rough shape. I visited several doctors who said that I was fine. I knew I wasn’t fine and persisted in looking for another doctor. I fortunately found a functional medicine doctor who at long last seems to have found the cause of a lot of my problems over the years. She diagnosed me with a systemic yeast infection along with multiple food allergies and sensitivities. I’m in the process of healing leaky gut syndrome that is caused by and causes many different health issues. It’s going to be a long proccess involving avoiding many foods I used to eat, but it seems to be working by getting at the root of my multiple health issues. I was so shocked by this diagnosis–I had no idea the food I was eating was hurting me. You sould have your doctor investigate possible food allergies as a cause of your persistent health issues. My main symptoms were insomnia and heightened allergic response to house dust (sneezing and coughing at night). I thought the sleep loss was what was making me so tired. I thought my high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and bone pain were thyroid or parathyroid based. Food allergy can cause all of this, even auto-immune reactions. Who knew? Many doctors don’t know.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for sharing your experience.But this is not the case with my husband.Muscle wastage,indigestion etc. please can anyone be of any help to diagnose the cause.

        • Anonymous says:

          Try using only good non-fluoride water, spring or distilled. Ten years ago i moved from no fluoride town to here, near Seattle. Fluoride has caused me so many serious health problems , too many to list here. I don’t know if the info will help everyone is different but it won’t hurt. Lots of info on internet about the so called fluoride in our toxic water.

        • Anonymous says:

          I want to mention also that if you take antihistamines, try not taking them for a few days and see if you sleep better.

        • Anonymous says:

          Blaming fluoride is nonsense,

        • Cathy says:

          Where did you have your surgery? Is it possible they missed an adenoma? Have you talked to Dr. Yeh at all?

    • Kim says:

      My husband was diagnosed with hyerparathyroidism in July 2012 and had surgery in October. He still has heachaches, dizziness, fatigue and stomach issues as well…….we have had several blood test that say everything is normal as well. We have also been to the endocrinologist, two neurologist, the ENT and had had several test done however nobody seems to have the answers as what may give him any relief. So I definately feel your concern on where to turn to for help and guidance. Has your husband been feeling any better?

      • Anonymous says:

        No improvement at all.l.i have read about celiac disease andd my husband is on gluten free diet.

      • anonymous says:

        With all the symptoms, the back pain especially, it sounds very suspect for Adrenal Insufficiency.

        Once again, A.I. is yet another rarely recognized, underdiagnosed condition where often a patient has to fight for diagnosis, and to receive treatment.

        • anonymous says:

          The Adrenal Insufficiency response was for Nisha’s original comment, BTW

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for sharing.but in my husbands case all hormonal values were evaluated and everything normal.he doubts if he is having undiagnosed cancer which caused the growth of parathyroid gland.

    • Anonymous says:

      I found this site today while trying to find info on living with hyperparathyroidism. I haven’t found any yet but I do have some info I have learned from dealing with it that might be of some help to some of you. My situation started about 10 years after successful colon surgery. I was diagnosed with Vulvar Pagets disease. I had never heard of it before and was shocked when the doctor said I would live about 3 years. Surgery to cut the infected skin off was the treatment and more than 50% of the time it came back. I refused surgery and to make a long story short I found that the cause was fluoride in tap water. I drank only fluoride -free water and the Pagets healed within a few days. If you want to research it, google , Vulvar pagets, fluoride. Fluoride, as it is called, actually it’s hydrofluoracidic acid, messes up the parathyroid glands, that causes high calcium which causes high blood pressure and from then on its anybodies guess what will be next, diabetes or kidney problems, weak bones, rotten teeth, cancer. In my case since I stopped drinking the water so mine didn’t go all the way but I still suffer from the effects. My problem is that I haven’t found a doctor who believes that I had Pagets, or that fluoride in the water is a problem even though the medical records show the results of the biopsy. Therefore we have nothing to discuss that will help me. I am now chemical sensitive and have extreme side effects to medications. I have to research my own symptoms and try to find bits of information here and there on the computer. The reason for today’s search is that I had been weak, dizzy to the point i was afraid to walk across the room, this came on a few days after blood tests showed my calcium and parathyroid levels were up so I thought i was in trouble. My son’s birthday party was that night and i decided to eat a large piece of german chocolate cake and vanilla ice-cream. As I was eating it i began to feel a lot better, within an hour I was able to walk steady. Low Blood Sugar. Who knew. The doctor never mentioned it. I looked it up and sure enough, low blood sugar is connected with parathyroid symptoms. So if you are feeling like i did, help yourself to yummy sweet dessert of your choice and see if it helps.
      I am not sure how I am going to work with this situation since I basically don’t have a doctor but I think I will read the diet suggestions for a diabetic and go from there. Good Luck to all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have the same symptoms including SOB when i exert myself. i believe its calcium blockages in arteries. I get relief from taking Oral EDTA which thins blood and opens arteries.

  73. EB says:

    Dr. Yeh removed a parathyroid adenoma in March. I have had this tumor for at least 6 years, but in the last year or two it began causing my parathyroid hormone levels and ionized calcium levels to be elevated. I also experienced bone and joint pain and a bone density test showed severe osteopenia already. My case was considered to be mild hyperparathyroidism, but nonetheless Dr. Yeh communicated with my endocrinologist and discussed my case and determined that I would benefit from the surgery.

    The surgery itself went well. I did experience some problems due to the anesthesia and medications given to me the day after my surgery. I phoned Dr. Yeh and he returned my phone call immediately despite the fact that it was a Friday evening after office hours. I also spoke to him the next morning as my symptoms had not abated and he advised me to go to the ER. The combination of medications apparently did not agree with me and my blood pressure went up and I felt very strange and jittery.

    If I had to do it over again, I would have the surgery, but I would have made sure that the anesthesiologists told me exactly what I would be getting in terms of sedation and pain medications, etc. I am not supposed to get steroid injections for one thing, and had I known these were part of the medications, I would have spoken up before. But, after a few days, I did feel more like myself. I had very little pain after the surgery. I only took Tylenol OTC once a day for about 3 or 4 days and that was more for headaches that I developed than neck pain. My scar is healing nicely. It is small – about one inch or so. I was concerned about losing my voice or being hoarse, but that did not happen at all. I did not even have a sore throat. Apart from the minor anesthesia complication, everything went fine. Thank you Dr. Yeh. I also would like to thank Dr. Yeh’s assistant, Jennifer, who was very gracious and helpful and extremely patient in answering all my questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello may I ask were Dr Yeh is located,some systems desperate for someone to listen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dr. Yeh is located at UCLA.

        If you need someone to listen, there are a number of FB groups containing many people that understand the long journey to a successful PHPT diagnosis. Best of luck.

  74. Walt says:

    I am a 83 yr. old male and it has been 9 months since my parathroid surgery. I feel great. My blood calcium levels are normal and an atrial fibrulation condition I acquired several months before the surgery has cleared up. Thank you Dr, Yeh, I am truly grateful for your skills and your concern.

  75. Anonymous says:

    Almost 9 months after my parathyroid surgery, I am back to normal. The overactive gland had elevated the calcium in my blood and I had developed atrial fibrulation. Once the gland was removed my blood calcium level returned to normal and about 3 months later my a-fib returned to normal on it’s own. I am 83 yrs. old and feeling very good again. Thank you Dr. Yeh, it was a very positive experience.

  76. Charisse Hamm says:

    I am a 50 year old female. I live in El Dorado Hills, CA, which is in northern California. I had two parathyroids removed by Dr. Yeh in late January 2013.

    I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism in October 2012 by my rheumatologist, Dr. Michael Powell. I began seeing him 2 years ago for chronic fatigue syndrome that I have had for the past 17 years for and for fibromyalgia. He’s great. Highly recommend him for anyone in the Sacramento area. Without him, I don’t think I would have ever been diagnosed with parathyroid disease, nor strongly urged to find a surgeon to have the tumors removed. The routine lab work he ordered had consistently shown high calcium. Over the months he continued to lower my Vitamin D intake (which can cause an increase in blood calcium levels) to attempt to lower the calcium levels. After so many months, he decided to order a PTH blood test. It was high, I believe 100 at that point. He diagnosed me with hyperparathyroidism. He told me it could only mean tumor(s) on my parathyroid and for me to go to my primary doctor to refer an endocrinologist. He could not recommend a surgeon, said it may be hard to find one, not many experienced surgeons. Told me a former patient who also had this ended up going to Florida to have the surgery, but didn’t know the doctor’s name.

    When I contacted my primary doctor he was unresponsive, wasn’t very worried about the high calcium, the referral to an endocrinologist was a very long, frustrating process. And they did not have anyone who specialized in parathyroid disease. And this is not a small medical group. It is UC Davis.

    During this frustrating waiting period with my primary doctor, I went on the internet and found the website to the Florida doctor, Dr. Norman in Tampa. It is a very informative site and confirmed that I wanted an experienced doctor. My husband and I even considered maybe going to Florida for the procedure, but expenses of travel and very limited insurance coverage made us very hesitant. I began searching for surgeons on the web and found Dr. Yeh at UCLA. THANK YOU DR. YEH FOR THE WEBSITE. I would have never found you otherwise. It was truly an answer to our prayers.

    I called the number on the site for distance patients. I was at first not sure about calling, since my referral appointment to the local endocrinologist still was a month away; wasn’t sure if I should contact them without being diagnosed by an endocrinologist. I am so glad I called. They said they just needed the lab reports faxed by my rheumatologist, then Dr. Yeh would review them and they would get back to me. Which was within a couple of days, and my surgery date was set.

    Because I had not yet seen an endocrinologist, I arrived on Tuesday and had a nuclear scan, a bone scan, blood tests, and the initial appoint with Dr. Yeh. Can’t say enough good things about the UCLA medical facility—friendly, I NEVER HAD TO WAIT AT ANY APPOINTMENT!!!, very professional staff at every test site. Dr. Yeh and his NP Jennifer were so kind, knowledgeable, professional. Because of this, I was not at all anxious about the surgery on Thursday.

    Surgery went well. Only problem was that I had caught viral strep, probably the day before the surgery, and didn’t realize it. Called Dr. Yeh about the horrible pain once I was back home and he confirmed it was not due to the surgery, but was viral strep. In fact, we called Dr. Yeh two times after the surgery. He responded IMMEDIATELY both times. He calmed my fears each time and gave me great advise.

    It’s been 6 weeks since the operation. Not seeing much improvement. Still having some calcium tingling. BUT I know I am not now going to have osteoporosis from the parathyroids, my hair is not falling out as much, and I feel a little less anxious. But I am not giving up. It just may take a little longer. And Dr. Yeh told me that as a chronic fatigue sufferer I would see some, but not complete relief.

    SUMMARY: If you live in California and have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroid disease, do not wait to call Dr. Yeh. Thank you so much UCLA and Dr. Yeh for all of your dedication and incredible work.

    • memargallo says:

      I’m 53 years old and I have high blood pressure, edema, am insulin resistant (approx 14 years). have sleep apnea (about 13 years), have chest pain just under my breast bone, low potassium, higher than normal calcium, and have always been somewhat constipated. In the last 18 months I have gone to urgent care at least three times due to pain similar to kidney stones and constipation. They run tests and take xrays, but find nothing. At Thanksgiving 2012, I was so bloated that my family was concerned. I had lost 36 the previous year but in the past 6 months have gained it all back. I went to see my doctor during the Christmas break because of the numbness and tingling in both of my hands that was random. I was worried about having a stroke and looking it up on the internet made me think that it was a kidney issue. I had to see someone else another doctor because mine wasn’t in, she listened and referred me to a kidney specialist which took about a month to get in to see. She thought I may have parathyroid disease because as she looked at my I have regularly had higher than normal calcium which I remembered my diet doctor told me. He thought it was related to the medicine and kept switching my meds. She also thought that I may have an issue with my adrenal glands because of the edema I have been experiencing. She prescribed PTH was 125. I followed up with my doctor who sent me to a neurologist, a GI doctor, and to the endocrinologist. The endocrinologist is old school and believes that unless your Calcium is 11 or higher it doesn’t mean I have PTH? It has regularly been in the low 10’s. My vitamin D levels are extremely low and my doctor suggested that I take high doses of Vitamin D for three months to rule out whether or not it was causing my high PTH tests. I have steadily been feeling worse and read the Norman Parathyroid website which said that if my doctor subscribes high doses of Vitamin D, I need to stop taking it because it can cause me to stroke. I went to urgent care for bloating again and feel really nauseated right now. I was considering flying to Tampa to have the Parathyroid surgery since I don’t trust what my endocrinologist is doing. I have stopped taking the vitamin D. I am thirsty, bloated, have a headache and continue to have severe edema in my legs so much that I can barely bend them sometimes. I am considering making an appointment with UCLA doctors either Dr Yeh or Dr Harari. Anyone have similar symptoms to me. I also have had polycystic ovarian disease and have had a hysterectomy in the last two years. I have had two weird cysts that had to be surgically remove – one on my upper palate and one on my finger. No explanations.

      • Ms Teresa A Strong says:

        Have you ever been tested for food allergies? Over the past thirty years, I have gotten progressively sick. I was diagnosed with Graves disease and my thyroid was removed. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with borderline high calcium, high PTH, and a parathyroid adenoma, and I had surgery to remove one adenoma. Some of my symptoms went away, but not all. So over the next 2 1/2 years, my remaining symptoms became increasingly worse. I went to two more doctors who told me that what was happening to me was normal–heart palpitations, fatigue, inability to sleep, numbness in my hands. And sneeezing and coughing allergies that I had all my life were getting worse and worse But I finally found a functional medicine doctor who didn’t just blow me off and tell me I was normal. She sat down with me for an hour to learn my history, ordered a slew of blood tests on me and found out I was allergic to gluten, yeast, eggs, dairy, and tree nuts. She told me I was in a state of chronic inflamation/autoimmunity caused by food allergies. She told me my hyperthyroidism and hyperparathyroidism could have been caused by food allergies which caused leaky gut syndrome, which in turn can cause various types of autoimmunity. I also found to be suffering from a systemic yeast infection. It was totally blown away by this diagnosis. So, for the past four months, I’ve been really watching what I eat, I have been taking candida treatment , and it has made all the difference in the world. I feel fantastic. Some of your symptoms don’t sound like hyperparathyroid symptoms alone. Find yourself a functional medicine doctor. They try to get at the root of your illness. They don’t just treat disease and remove body parts. You might have something else that’s causing your hyperparathyroidism that surgery won’t fix. Try to avoid surgery if you can.

      • Barbara Bradley says:

        Please make an appointment to see Dr. Yeh. You will be glad you did. (I had parathyroid surgery in May, 2012.)

        Best of luck,
        Barbara Bradley

      • memargallo says:

        Thank you for commenting. I have never had allergies and am not sneezing or coughing I will start watching what I am eating. I am planning on calling UCLA and my insurance tomorrow. I am interested to see if others have also had other endocrine issues like me.

      • Midwest PTA says:

        Many individuals who have Hyperparathyroidism suffer at the hands of untrained medical professionals, My experience was 5 yrs before the removal of my “imaginary” adenoma. Since depression and anxiety are common the doctors see only horses and many refuse to look for a zebra. My specialist where at Mayo Clinic. Have the confidence to skip the primary care and RUN to a specialist. Get copies of all your labs and take them with you. Good luck.

  77. Annie O'Shea says:

    I am about 10 months post parathyroidectomy with Dr. Yeh. I have put off writing my story for too long so here it is …

    First the good news. Within hours of the surgery I felt 15 years younger (I am 65). I had been just trying to accept that I would be having these 90 yr old feeling aches and pains forever. It was astounding. I had been hoping it would cure my insomnia but alas it did not!

    The story: For over 5 years every time I had a calcium test and it was high , the Doc either said nothing or “Your calcium is a little high” and more or less shrugged. Finally, when I was turning 65 and decided upon a new Doc because of medicare, she said “Hmm, let’s test your calcium again in 3 months”. At that point I started to research, ended up on parathyroiddotcom, compiled a list if all my Calcium tests from the last 10 years and WOW…there it was in black and white…steadily rising. After three months my Ca recheck was around 10.6 and my PTH about 120. BINGO! My research led me to either the Doc in Florida (I forget the name ) or Dr. Yeh. LA was possible for me (I’m in Oregon) and because of Medicare I could afford it. One of the strange things was finding at least 5 other people in my immediate circle or once removed who had the same operation! Supposedly it’s sort of rare? Hmm.

    So long story short. I spoke with some of Dr. Yeh’s staff and then finally Dr. Yeh after all tests and paperwork was sent. The surgery was scheduled and I needed to get a bone density test. It was normal …thank goodness.

    I was a little nervous about everything going well long distance but all the staff were superb and of course, Dr. Yeh is great. They really have a good system for long distance.

    However , little but important glitches for out of towners to look out for.

    1. I called my home phone from our hotel a few nights before the surgery and after the initial visualization testing and there was a message from the surgery staff with important info about the next day. If I hadn’t called home I would not have received it. So be sure they have your cell as the MAIN NUMBER TO CALL.

    2.As I was being prepped for surgery they couldn’t locate important papers and lab results from the previous day that are done at a different location. ALWAYS KEEP AN EXTRA COPY OF EVERYTHING WITH YOU. I left copies at the previous location which they requested and they never made it to surgery. They found them in time!

    I also had an unfortunate experience of hearing as I woke up….”yikes she’s bottoming out” . I guess my blood pressure dropped very very low in recovery. Still don’t what that was about.

    They pumped me up with ??? and soon I was on my way. I didn’t really have a sore throat or any pain. In fact, we walked across the street and I ate a significant lunch! We flew home the next day at 9 AM so I think I survived very nicely.

    I am sorry to add a final story. It turns out I am highly allergic to the prep they used on my neck and chest. I broke out in a few days with a horrendous scarey rash that looked like a chemical burn…went to urgent care and they gave me some super strong cortisone like stuff that cleared it up in under a week but it was real scarey. If I ever need to have surgery again, I’ll make sure they don’t use that. I would suggest you wash your neck and chest with hot soapy water after you get home to help eliminate that problem. I think this instruction should be given to everyone.

    Overall it was a good experience and I continue to do well.
    Thank you Dr. Yeh and staff!

    • Ms Teresa A Strong says:


      I’m interested to see that you still have insomnia. I also have 2 years post 6 hour parathyroid surgery (MA General). My blood calcium became low after the surgery and I started to become very allergic all year around, very different from the seasonal allergies I always used to have. Well, I just got diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome and a yeast infection. Sometimes after surgerywith antibiotics or after cortisone treatment, your intestinal gut flora can can become unbalanced and you can acquire a yeast and/or leaky gut problem. It’s a nasty side effect of surgery and can slowly creep up on you. Had I not found an alternative doctor who ran the food allergy tests and candida tests, I would have never known why I couldn’t sleep still and why my allergies were getting so bad. Both have gotten much better since I stopped eating the foods that I’ve become allergic to. Weird but true.

      • Annie O'Shea says:

        Thx for your reply Teresa. I’ll keep that in mind. My calcium level is spot on and I don’t seem to have any allergies. I know from 15 yrs of being on and off hormone replacement therapy that my insomnia (actually waking up from hot flashes) is post menopause related. I have tried everything in the book both western/eastern/alternative medicine and nothing works except raising my estrogen level. Unfortunately that leads to problems with the endometrium. So…I sleep as I can and keep hoping my body will eventually fix itself! I am still feel of aches and painf
        from getting rid of the parathyroid problem.

  78. Patricia Donnelly says:

    Dr. Yeh was able to diagnosis my situation in a matter of minutes. I was pleased with the consultation. He made me feel comfortable regarding the surgery procedure, explaining everything in detail. After the surgery I had a mild sore throat but no nausea. Dr. Yeh told me the surgery was a success. I had to spend the night in the hospital so they could monitor my calcium and HPT levels – no problem. I returned to Dr. Yeh’s office in 14 days to have the bandaid removed. Jennifer the nurse practioner removed the bandaid – I could barely see the 1-inch line on my neck. She told me Dr. Yeh had just gotten out of surgery and wanted to see me. I waited for a short time and Dr. Yeh came in with a smile on his face. He asked me how I was feeling and if I had any questions – I told him that I was doing fine. I want to say that Dr. Yeh and his surgical team are a great asset to the UCLA Medical Center. Thank you Dr. Yeh for your pleasant manner and surgical expertise.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Yeh and his staff were superior. They made my journey from Maui Hawaii to surgery for hyperparathyroidism effortless and almost painless. I feel SO good and have energy to spare.
    Thank you for the distance program and what an excellent MD, that Dr. Yeh. I am a 69 year old woman who nows feels many years younger and much healthier. Who knew removing that tiny gland would make such a difference. (4 weeks since surgery)

  80. tocloseforcomfort says:

    Ooops, I am not tocloseforcomfort. I don’t know how that happened.

  81. tocloseforcomfort says:

    I had my operation about six months ago in Houston, Texas. From the time I woke up from the procedure, I felt better. I wrote about my experience in October on this blog.(October 2012 3:39). I try to take the calcium recommended by the doctors, but it really constipates me. But the past few weeks, I increasingly feel bone pain, joint pain, acid reflux, difficulty sleeping, extremely anxious and my eye sight is worse.

    Is it possible that having had a tumor so long, one of the other parathyroid glands have kicked into overdrive? I am really trying very hard to not over react, but I went many many years feeling awful and being told I was getting old and overweight and that was why I felt bad. Am I adjusting to something, or is this nightmare starting over.

    I do have two compression fractures in my back and hip. I know it could be that, but I had that after the operation and felt better a few months ago than I do now.

    Any advise?

    • Have you rechecked your parathyroid hormones levels, your blood calcium levels, and your vitamin D levels? That will give you a lot of information.

    • Rebecca says:

      I had surgery twice. Once in June 2012 8hr surgery and nothing? Then had on 1-7-2013 sucess the tumor was very large. I felt extremly well but now my eyesight worsening, pains are back in my joints and also I am retaining fluid and my hands and feet fall asleep and my handgrasp is weak? Md told me to stop taking calcium and get levels rechecked end of this month. i am glad I am not the only one who is havng difficulty(not that I wish anyone ill of course) I thought it was just me.

  82. Carol says:

    My Christmas present to ,myself was a trip to Disneyland and parathyroid surgery performed by Dr. Michael Yeh. It has been 4 weeks since my surgery, and my energy level has improved significantly. I am staying up later and waking earlier every day. My aches and pains have decreased. I am a very active 54 year old, and I’ve been cross country skiing twice since my surgery, and I’m finding it easier to get to the gym after a full day of work and commuting. I was trying not to let the tiredness and body aches and pains I was experiencing prior to surgery slow me down, but they did. Dr. Yeh would not promise that would improve, but I am so happy it did. I highly recommend Dr. Yeh and his team. I knew I was in good hands with Dr.
    Yeh. Not only is he a skilled surgeon, he is kind, caring, and personable. I enjoyed talking with him. I traveled four hours, and I stayed at Tiverton house the day of my surgery and went home the next day. I took pain pills for the ride home, but it really wasn’t necessary. Good luck to any of you needing surgery. I am so thankful to everyone who helped along the way.

  83. Mollie Vanderzyl says:

    I was diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism about 14 years ago. My internist’s recommendation was to continue to monitor the blood calcium levels and watch for symptoms. Overt symptoms did not appear, with the exception of what I believed was an episode of kidney stones. As the calcium level increased I was referred to an endocrinologist who recommended continued monitoring. I got bone density scans periodically with normal results until about two years ago when the bone density dropped into the osteopenia range. My doctors felt this was consistent with readings for a woman my age—73, and were not alarmed. In August of 2011, my endocrinologist ordered a CT scan of the neck, but said he didn’t see anything unusual. He recommended continued monitoring. In the spring of 2012, I began experiencing bouts of general malaise and fatigue with increasing arthritis pain. By June, my joint pain had increased and I was having bone pain in my legs resembling shin splints. Finally in August I went to see my internist who ordered blood tests. She called me the next day to say that my calcium level was higher than it had ever been at 11.4 and could be the cause of my pain. She recommended that I increase fluid intake to decrease the symptoms and to see my endocrinologist right away. I made the appointment, got the blood tests required for my visit, but the appointment had to be postponed for several weeks due to an emergency in the doctor’s family. When I inquired about the results of the blood tests I was told the calcium level wasn’t too high and that I shouldn’t worry about it.

    Frustrated, I began researching my condition on the Internet. I found that the symptoms can be subtle, easily mistaken for other illnesses, and realized that I had been having many of these symptoms for some time. I was impressed with the web site of UCLA’s endocrinology team and especially impressed with their research on hyperparathyroidism, which suggested that surgery is just as helpful in mild cases as it is in severe ones. I wasted no time in making an appointment with Dr. Avital Harari.

    Dr. Harari’s exam was very thorough and included a multi stage CT scan as well as an ultrasound. She was able to detect an enlarged parathyroid gland and recommended surgery to remove it. My surgery went very well. Dr. Harari was careful to utilize safeguards to prevent damage to the vocal cords and within days many of my painful symptoms had started to subside. My experience with Dr. Harari and her team couldn’t have been more satisfactory. She was very responsive, encouraging email correspondence and responding quickly with the information and help I needed. The hospital staff was professional and very caring. I am recovering nicely.

    But that’s not the whole story! During the initial exam, Dr. Harari discovered two nodules on my thyroid gland. She ordered a biopsy, which proved to be inconclusive, but she determined my risk of thyroid cancer to be about 50%. I opted to have the thyroid removed. Both surgeries were done at the same time. I have had hypothyroidism and have taken thyroid hormone supplement for nearly 40 years so taking additional hormone is not a burden. The incision scar is almost gone now—seven weeks out of surgery. I’m feeling better than I have felt for a long, long time. The pathology report on the thyroid indicated that one of the nodules was cancerous, but it was very small and encapsulated. An ultrasound of the lymph nodes in my neck showed them to be clear and no further treatment is recommended. I am very, very grateful for Dr. Harari’s skill and thoroughness. I believe she saved me from a much more serious illness by her careful examination and care. She’s my hero!

    Mollie Vanderzyl, Retired School Administrator
    Riverside, California

    • Ernie says:

      I am 52 and a Kidney Transplant recipient of a good kiney for 9 years. For the past 4 years I have been getting moody, exhausted, and have bouts of anxiety. The Docs said I have had Parathyroid desease for the past 3 plus years. My PTH is averaging 104 but when I started taking Vit D it came down and up 65 to 102. I feel ill. Bones hurt, Muscles feel weak,. Always cranky, forget things, feel old.. I was doing great working out and working full time up to about 4 years ago.
      I changed Nephrologsist and on my files was a note to look into my Parathyroid. My Cal, Phos, Vit D, Potassiun, and Magnesium is all low and my Pth numbers are high. They told me that all my PT Glands are likely large. I had a sestamibi and it was kinda incunclusoive – the ENT said he thinks he sees 2 large glowing things. My labs came back a little high and they said I h.ave mild PT desease. and are postponing surgery

      Any suggestions. I am trying to get my files and get another opinion.

      Chula Vista Cal

      • Carol says:

        I would recommend contacting Dr. Michael Yeh.

      • angelia says:

        I would respectfully urge that rather than rely on a “possibly less experienced ENT”, you investigate the AAES’s website to find a highly experienced Endo / surgeon who understands how to biochemically confirm PHPT–whether it is the institution most post of here, or another highly reputable one. It is my understanding that primary hyperparathyroidism can, & does occur concurrently w/secondary HPT. It certainly happened in my own situation. Prior to my parathyroid surgery, BUN & creatinine were elevated for a number of years, and eGFR’s typically came back at 48–low enough to be categorized as moderate kidney disease. Upon obtaining copies of past medical records, years of labs documented the decline in kidney function over time, yet my PCP wrote “essentially okay” at the bottom of each page. Resulting in the nurse phoning to always say “Everything came back ‘normal’ ”

        I did have my PTx 3 years ago and I am delighted to relay that within a few short weeks it resulted in a phenomenal turnaround in kidney function & only got better over the ensuing mos. (I would love to know if any others have this to relay) The eGFR range is now 100+…a gift I did not expect.
        (And of course, w/your transplant, this is a whole other mitigating circumstance which I did not have)

        And if it should turn out to be the case with you there’s a possibility you may have involvement with all PT glands being hyperplastic, again JMO, it would be advisable to have a surgeon on board who’s versed in cryopreservation and / or autotransplantation of parathyroid tissue.

        I will stay very hopeful for you that the two “somethings” that were seen were two PT adenomas, and the only two you have. Trying to find PCP’S/Endos/Nephros who understand how to biochemically diagnose is like trying to find four leaf clovers or unicorns. Most of us have had to learn the hard way– to cut the chase and get to a highly experienced PT surgeon (who does not insisit on a referral from an Endo, I might add). Whoever you choose, it does appear a multi-dimensional team approach would seem to be up your alley–again, not something we as patients usually encounter w/ENT’s. Good luck to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I suggest you should get a second opinion, especially if you have kidney stones.Some people benefit from surgery.If the nephrologist believes hyperparahtyroidism tire kidneys then you should have the surgery.

  84. Mary Anne Lanssens says:

    I’m a 53 year old female who had a trauma accident 5 years ago. A couple months after accident I started shaking and had major anxiety. Labs were run and my calcium came back at 11.3. My drs never addressed it and was told that they did not know what was wrong with me and put me on a therapeutic dose of Xanax. Spent the next year going through Xanax hell and tapering off of it. Every year from there on out my calcium would come back in the mid 10’s. Again no dr. Would address why it was high even though I questioned it. I continued to not feel right. Had UTI’s gained weight, fatigued, heart palpitations, blurry vision, thirst, depression and anxiety. Drs. Kept blaming my accident. I was also diagnosed with osteopenia. That brings me to June of 21012. Labs done and calcium was in the 10’s still and vit D was 23. Was told to start on vitamin D for the osteopenia and the low D levels. Fist month on 2000iu I felt good. As I continued the next month I started to get nauseated and fatigued. Peeing constantly and so thirsty, became anorexic and pretty much non functional, anxiety was through the roof and was having racing heart and pounding heart.. Found a new GP and he tested me and finally said my calcium was high 10.9. He tested my PTH and came back 67. He told me I had parathryoid disease and would probably need surgery. I searched and found Dr. Harari at UCLA. My prayers were answered and they scheduled everything. I had the sestambi scan which showed the adenoma and then saw Dr. Harari same day and had an ultrasound which again confirmed the scan. We scheduled surgery and within a month later had a adenoma removed on Oct. 23 2012. Dr. Harari and the UCLA staff and team where wonderful. I stayed the night since I had traveled 3 hours. I had the best care! They monitored me and were on top of it. once released my calcium had dropped and I had moments that I needed to talk to Dr. Harari. I was very impressed that she would call me and go over my issues. She even called me one night late when I had talked to the oncall dr. She was concerned and wanted to know what was going on. I highly recommend her and UCLA for this surgery. She did a great job and my incision is hardly noticeable. I am 10 weeks since surgery and am doing great. This was a life changing surgery for me. It didn’t happen overbite but after about 3 weeks I had considerable improvement and I continue to get better everyday. Thank You Dr. Harari and UCLA!

  85. Jackie says:

    My experience at UCLA was fantastic. I previously met with two surgeons in San Diego and the decision was easy to go with Dr. Yeh. From my initial meeting to the actual surgery I was extremely impressed with his knowledge, bedside manner, and most importantly his success rate. When I asked Dr. Yeh about his complication rate I learned it is extremely low and he did not have any patients ever lose the ability to speak. He is also known for making sure if there is cancer clearing it all out.

    My stay at the hospital was also great. While my husband was in the waiting room they kept him well informed. During my stay in the hospital my care was great. Whenever I pressed the call button it was immediately answered and I never waited more than just a minute or two for someone to come to my room.

    I also received the results from my biopsy the next day.

  86. Barbara99 says:

    I am in my early 50’s from Canada and have recently been diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism. I have had high ALP levels for five years, and high calcium and protein in 24-hour urine tests. My endocrinologist sent me for scans last month, but says that everything is okay and that I shouldn’t worry. She says that they will just keep an eye on my tests to see if the levels continue to climb and if they do, I will then have exploratory surgery (which could be a long time from now).

    I am very disappointed as I have so many symptoms of hyperparathyroid including heart palpitations, vertical fingernail ridges (indicative of calcium issues), petechiae spots on lower legs, acid reflux, constipation, and many aches and pains. Some days I can barely get out of bed and walk.

    I do not want to wait any longer and would prefer to have the surgery as soon as possible so that I can have a life again and my health does not continue to deteriorate. I feel that my endocrinologist is “old school” and does not believe in Dr. Norman’s theory about operating on the majority of individuals exhibiting high calcium levels.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just had an adenoma removed from my parathyroid. I’m 49 and I had all of the symptoms you mentioned, plus others-terrible headahes and severe fatigue. Your doctor is old school and you do need to get checked out by someone who knows better. You will only continue to feel worse as time goes on. I didn’t know I had a problem until I felt so bad I just couldn’t take it anymore and saw an endocrinologist. He is the one who told me it needs to come out. I still have some issues, but all in all, it has so much better. I actually have temperature issues as a result, but I’ll check with the doctor about that.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you need a fine dr contact DR.JOHN KENNEDY ATLANTA GA AREA…………MY surgery was a breeze and he knows what hes doing…I highly recommend him.Do yourself a favor contact him.

    • Doss says:

      I’ve spent the last nine months experiencing reluctance to treat my hyperparathroidism here in northern California. Seems the experts all agree On the diagnosis, but want me to “get worse” before they treat me even though I have 75% of the symptoms. The logic escapes me why the surgeon wants to wait til I develop a stone somewhere, a pathological fracture, atrial fib…or whatever. Isn’t prevention a better pursuit? There needs to be a mass complaint to the NIH
      and AMA to rewrite their standards of treatment. While your writing the well-deserved kudos to the great doctors like Dr. Yeh, write one more to our national watchdogs who set the standards that encourage reluctance to treat, intervene, or find someone who will treat you. Ive just this week found an experienced parathyroid surgeon who agrees with Dr. Yeh, snd also, Dr. Norman at Tampa General.
      Heaven help those patients who will suffer needlessly, due to these sceptic paralyzed-by-standards professionals, whom swore “to do no harm”.
      Follow your gut feeling and make an appointment with someone like Dr. Yeh

  87. anonymous says:

    My 15 year old son had a routine blood test prior to going away to summer camp. When his results showed a calcium level of 13, the doctor was concerned and referred us to an Endocrinologist. Further testing revealed nothing abnormal other than continued high calcium levels. His only real symptoms were some fatigue and moodiness which isn’t exactly strange for a teenager. We were then referred to Dr. Yeh. Apparently, Hyperparathyroid disease is more common in older people, as the intern entered the room and greeted me, as if I were the patient! My son was sitting on the examining table! Anyway, Dr. Yeh very calmly and graciously greeted us, quite quickly located what he believed was a growth on a gland, and clearly discussed everything pertaining to the surgery. He answered all of my sons questions, however strange. Curious, I asked him what would happen if he didn’t have the surgery. Dr. Yeh remarked that over time, my sons bones would be affected, so the surgery was truly proactive. After reading some of the blogs, I’m glad he had it!
    Prior to the surgery, the staff seemed a bit annoyed by all of his endless questions and concerns. Hey, he’s a teenager! A nurse had to endlessly scrub off the ink and fake tattoos from his arm, looking for a vein. It wasn’t pleasant for him! The surgery went smoothly He was supposed to stay the night but he was stable enough to come home at 10:00.There was quite a bit of tingling in his hands and feet for a few days, relieved by Tums every few hours. We were rather freaked out at one point about the tingling and even called Dr. Yeh on Thanksgiving! I felt rather bad, but he called back and said to keep taking the Tums.
    It’s been about 2 months, and he’s doing well. He just celebrated his 16th birthday with as much energy as ever. He has a thin scar on his neck which he covers with stylish scarves so the scar doesn’t get too tanned, or maybe so he can look hip.

  88. Alan Salter says:

    I’ve suffered with kidney stones for many years, one time even having them surgically removed. I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism showing that my calcium levels were very high. I was operated on my parathyroid unsuccessfully at another hospital. I was then referred to Dr. Yeh at UCLA. His confidence, bedside manner, and surgical operating procedure was phenominal. He is my new hero!

  89. Arlene Helgeson says:

    Depression, fatique, constipation, head aches, etc. hit me hard when I went back to work as a R.N. post breast cancer – I thought it was related to my chemo and radiation treatments, until after a post onocology lab report showed elevated calcium levels. I reviewed my past labs and noticed a trend of rising calcium levels. I researched my lab books, and the internet on reasons for this increase – HYPERCALCEMIA, HYPERPARATHYROID – were my results. My oncologist said to wait and recheck in a month. I said no way and immediately I notified my endocrinologist and asked for a thyroid scan (I have hypothyroidism) and a parathyroid nuclear scan. Also, my doctor ordered ionized calicum levels and a PTH level. All came back extremely elevated, and an adenoma was noted on one of my parathyroids. When I asked for a recommendation for a surgeon, my doctor did not hesitate, but said Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Yeh and his staff (all were awesome, friendly and helpful); I am now 7 weeks post surgery and feeling like a completely different person – full of energy, laughter and a joyfullness to be alive!
    I highly recommend Dr. Yeh at UCLA – for he is an expert surgeon and highly knowlegeable in his field. Thank you Micheal Yeh for all of your help!

  90. AC says:


    • SET says:


      You are so right! I am still dealing with parathyroid issues and it has been frustrating. My
      Primary Physician was even going to give me meds for depression. I said NO! and found another Primary Physician but not before asking my former one if they were waiting for the autopsy.(Yes, Really!) Fortunately, my Endocrinologist finally referred me to a Surgeon and I am hoping this is the end of four years of frustration. With my previous Doctor it would have been “Oh, the calcium is not that high? AARRGH!!!!!!! No wonder we are CRANKY!

      I feel that anyone with Osteopenia or osteoporosis should be screened for Hyperparathyroidism.

      • I agree about being screened if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis. That was my only symptom and thankfully my internist decided to look further after taking Fosamax for several years. Had one parathyroid removed in 2011 by Dr Yeh at UCLA .

  91. Anonymous says:

    During routine blood work, I would notice that my blood calcium level was always slightly elevated. This continued for at least four years. I was determined to find out why I kept having these results. As usual, I turned to my computer for some answers, and I came across the word “Parathyroid”. I kept on reading and reading until I felt that I was full of information concerning these four tiny structures that I never even knew existed. In my readings, I came across the name Dr. Michael Yeh, who was located at UCLA. I knew right away that UCLA was the best place I could go, and that Dr. Yeh was definitely the man I had to see. How lucky I was to have the best hospital and the most capable doctor only an hour away from where I live. My husband and I made an appointment to see Dr. Yeh. We were so pleased to find him able to answer all our questions regarding hyperthyroidism. I was immediately put at ease and felt confident in Dr. Yeh’s ability to cure my problem.
    I had the surgery this past September (2012). Only one of my parathyroids needed to be removed. All went well, and I feel more energetic than I’ve felt in a long time. When I woke up in the recovery room, I saw Dr. Yeh smiling at me and heard him tell me that my blood calcium level was now in the normal range. Wonderful news and a wonderful doctor !

  92. Anonymous says:

    My mother, age 85, was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism.
    The tricky part of a parathyroidectomy is locating the defective parathyroids so that they can be removed. Through a series of scans and tests, one scan which was an entirely new procedure at UCLA, Dr. Yeh was able to locate two parathyroids to be removed. After the surgery, we were told that the new test they were using was the result of collaboration with another hospital and the sharing of that information.
    Thank heaven for that transfer of information because if the parathyroids could not be located, Dr. Yeh would not have been able to operate. Understandably, they do not like to go fishing around for the tiny parathyroids, they want them located beforehand.
    My mother had a very positive outcome; her two parathyroids were successfully removed. Previous to the surgery her blood calcium levels were high and her bones were losing calcium, Osteoporosis. After surgery, her blood calcium levels came down to normal, and her overall well being, previously not that great, improved over time. My mother’s outlook and energy have greatly improved, she is once again her active self.
    From the first meeting with Dr. Yeh and his assistant, we were very pleased with his experience and regard for the patient. Also, he is a very pleasant doctor to talk to. I am so glad we were able to go to UCLA and have Dr. Yeh as my mother’s doctor. We felt very comfortable with him and his staff.

    • Sheila says:

      This is very hopeful note, my mother age 80 is presently in hospital awaiting surgery to remove her parathyroid gland to stop her hyper calcium. Mum was diagnosed in April with Hypercalcium, was discharged from hospital and was advised that her calcium would be monitored and would have surgery within 3 months. Her calcium levels rose each month there after and in October mums GP rang the hospital to admit mum when she attended their day clinic, however, the message did not filter through and my mum was sent home. Mum collapsed at home two weeks later. Mum was re-admitted to hospital on the 12th Nov and is still there today. Her condition has not been fully understood by her Consultant which has lead my mum to become seriously ill in hospital as the hospital thought she had a stroke, had dementia, could not swallow due to stroke, was delusional and psychotic due to dementia. The medical staff just do not understand the effects on your health from having a high calcuim level, and when I say high, my mum’s has been at times 3.1 for and 80yr old lady this is high. It had been very painful watch my mother deteriorate due to a lack of understanding, however, please God, even at this late stage, they can still operate on mum and that she survives the operation and returns to full health.

  93. Linda says:

    I am a 60 year old female with a history of kidney stones and osteoporosis. I had my first kidney stone in 1988 and was told that I had a high calcium level in my blood. I was told to eliminate all calcium from my diet. I was careful about that and I drank lots of water because I never wanted that problem again. I had a bone density test in 2001 which revealed osteoporosis. Went to an endocrinologist and was started on Fosamax. The doctor was disappointed because each year I had a repeat DEXA scan and I continued to get worse. My calcium levels were always around 10.1 to 10.5 but my PTH was normal around 29 to 45. My life seemed to be consumed with bone density concerns and calcium problems. I wanted to have the parathyroid surgery. In 2010 I had my first surgery which was unsuccessful . The general surgeon removed one gland . He was unable to see anything on the scan but he operated anyway. needless to say I was so upset to have that problem continue. In summer 2012, I decided to search for a doctor that could help me. My endo doctor wanted me to go back to the same surgeon but I didn’t want that. I searched the Internet and found Dr Yeh. Dr Yeh was not able to find my problem with the scans at first. I went through some blood tests and scans and was told that I did need a re-do parathyroidectomy but it would be difficult because nothing showed on the scans and a re-do was more difficult. Dr Yeh wanted me to have a CT scan to help locate the bad gland. That was successful. I was so happy. The CT scan at UCLA was different than other CT scans. They had perfected it so it was very successful in locating difficult parathyroid glands. In September,2012 I had my surgery. I had hyperplasia which means that all of the remaining glands were bad. I had 21/2 glands removed and my PTH dropped to 18 from a high of 68 during surgery. My calcium level dropped to. 8.8. I could not be more satisfied with the results. My scar is very small. Dr Yeh and his nurse,Jennifer , are so wonderful about answering questions. I called Jennifer a few times and she always returned my calls. I emailed Dr Yeh with questions and he emailed me back within a day. It is rare to have such a smart doctor who is always so polite and willing to answer all of your questions without making you feel like you are bothering him. Jennifer was very nice and knowledgeable . I highly recommend this wonderful team . They are the best when it comes to difficult parathyroid problems which is what I had. Thank you Dr. Yeh and Jennifer.

  94. Sharon Caddle says:

    I am a female, age 55 and, aside from than the usual childhood diseases, have been blessed with robust health. Several months ago, my UCLA primary physician recommended that I have a blood test to check my electrolytes since the blood pressure medication that I was taking at the time contained a diuretic. The results of the blood work indicated that my calcium level was slightly above normal (10.5) and I was referred to an endocrinologist for further review. Up to that time, I had not experienced any specific symptons of ill health, so the discovery came as a complete surprise. After additional blood work, bone density scan, sestamibi scan and ultra sound of my neck (the ultrasound showed a small nodule on one of the parathyroid glands), I was diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism and referred to Dr. Yeh for consultation. In the meantime, my calcium level was slowly trending upward – not dramatically, but enough to warrant further attention. Dr. Yeh was very helpful in explaining what primary hyperparathyroidism was, its consequences on my health (potential for kidney stones, etc.), and his recommendations for surgery. Knowing that I had never been in the hospital or had surgery before, he was very reassuring and took the time to respond to all my questions and explain his surgical technique. My surgery was scheduled for a Thursday morning. All of the staff at the UCLA Medical Center Outpatient Surgery Center were awesome. Every step, from the check in process, to meeting the anesthesiologist, through recovery, was seamless and much easier than I expected. Dr. Yeh ended up removing 2 parathyroid glands and in my follow up visit with him, was pleased with the outcome and how I tolerated the procedure. I checked in at 8:30 am and was on my way home by 3:00 pm. The only after effects I had was a sore throat from the intubation that lasted about 4 days. I did experience some tingling in my arms but that went away after a couple of days. Neither prevented me from resuming normal actiivties within the week. The surgical scar is minimal and will likely fade with time. Overall, it was as positive an experience as you could possibly have with many thanks to Dr. Yeh and the other UCLA professionals. The most interesting aspect to this is that even though I did not think I was “ill” before the surgery, I am now sleeping much better and my energy level is way up.

  95. Anonymous says:

    I had my operation in August 2012. I am much better but am concerned because every now and then I have that joint and bone pain. For years I have not felt well. I am now 54 years old but I believe my symptoms started 8 to 10 years ago, when I stopped having a period at the age of 46. I first noticed that I could not get comfortable in bed. Everything hurt. I went to a sleep doctor and stayed the night for tests. When I met with him, he told me that I did snore and that he believed what I really needed was a man in my bed. Now I know that sounds terrible, but I think he thought that because I was recently divorced, my trouble stemmed from that. My ex husband likes to say that when I reached menopause, I went crazy and kicked him out. Well, he needed to go regardless. It was an abusive situation and my sister-in-law told him that what really happened was that when I was no longer flooded with hormones that made me want babies and to nurture, I looked around and said “hey wait a minute, what about me?!” I think there is some truth to that. In any case, when I hit menopause, I was under a great deal of stress. I have 5 children, 3 were still at home. One child had scoliosis and had a 8 hour operation, one child was on her third baby, another on her first (all out of wedlock, all needing me) then Katrina hit New Orleans and I had family refugees, then Rita hit Lake Charles and I had my 86 year old parents as refugees. When all this happened, I was very fit and in good health. Then everything changed. I gained weight, was in pain and I thought it was from caring for elderly parents (all the sitting around and lifting.) When I would tell my doctor this, he would say, well you are over weight and getting old. Argh. My friends told me if would get a grip and loose the weight, they would introduce me to someone. In any case, it was very hard. So I went to see a psychiatrist and I told him my stressful story and said “you know, I feel like I have a lump in my throat, you know . . . like when you are about to cry.” He said, oh you are depressed. Well, yes, I’m sure that was true too. So as time went on and the pain in my body increased, I was given celebrex and sent to physical therapy. Hours and hours. I said, “don’t you think it strange that they keep sending me to therapy when they don’t know why I hurt?” Blank stares. Finally, one day when I went to see my doctor, he was out and a nurse practitioner was seeing his patients that day. I told her my tale of woe and she said “we are going to find out why you hurt. First, go have a bone density test and we will take if from there.” Two weeks later I get a call from the doctors office (where the nurse practitioner works) and am asked “have you been in a car wreck?” “No.” I respond. “Well you have two breaks in your back and hip. You have osteoperosis, start taking calcium.” I question that because an er doctor told me to be careful with calcium because of the kidney stones I had. “Well come see the doctor.” He sent me to a “osteoperosis specialist” who said that I could never bend over the rest of my life. Needless to say I was very upset. I teach ballet. She went on to say something about the parathyroid. I had never heard of that. I looked it up. Dr. Normans site said “do not take calcium if you have high calcium because it can cause a stroke.” ( I realize I’m over simplifying.) I lost confidence in that doctor. So I went to Houston and saw Dr. Grubbs. She is awesome and removed the tumor. I wonder, how many people are brushed off concerning their symptoms because they are middle aged, over weight, etc. etc. Yes I am bitter.

    • I was one who was brushed off even after my diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism. My doctor and specialist just wanted to “watch” it. I didn’t want to watch it destroy my bones and create kidney stones, so went to Dr. Yeh in LA and got it taken care of. I’m sorry for all your troubles. But I will say you have a writer’s mind and should start a blog!

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, thanks for the good wishes and the compliment on my writing. I love to write, but was afraid that it came off more as a rant. I’m glad you did not wait to have it taken care of. I actually had a receptionist at a doctors office walk me over to the emergency room because I was so enraged at her unwillingness to allow me to “walk in” to talk to my regular doctor after being told what great insurance I had by a bone specialist who did not believe I had a tumor. I told the er doctor that I was having a temper. He gave me a xanax and told me to go back and try again. ha ha. Thank goodness things are better now.

  96. software says:

    I’ve read a few just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you put to create the sort of wonderful informative website.

  97. Jo Ann Kanshige says:

    I am a teacher in Los Angeles and I just had parathyroid surgery removing two parathyrod. I also have nodules on my thyroids. During last year’s annual physical, the calcium level was high and my physician was suspicious that my parathyroid was out of whack. She always knew I had nodules on my thyroids for years and it was always a borderline in my blood tests. I was sent to my endocrinologist, I had to have a scan, nuclear imaging, and biopsy. Then I was referred to a surgeon, where I met Dr. Harari. She’s a wonderful doctor, she is very caring and I liked her the instant I met her. After a while and more tests, I had to go into surgery. I never doubted, or was scared or nervous, I always had the feeling I would get healthier. I had fantatic care at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. After surgery, I had a sore throat for a couple days, I went back to school after 5 days and went to Hawaii two weeks later. It’s been about a month later, my voice is back stronger, a faint scar is there on my throat, eventually wrinkles will cover it. I love the care I received from the doctors and nurses at the hospital. It was a great experience!

  98. Brian M says:

    I am a 65 year old retired casino executive living in Las Vegas for the past 40 years. Up until March of last year I considered myself very healthy and in reasonably good shape. Then my primary care Dr tells me my PSA test is bad and I should have a prostate biopsy. This was done in may which tells me I have cancer with a high Gleason score. After discussion with my Urologist I decided on treatment using HIFU (High Frequency Ultra Sound). This is a nonsurgical, non radiation type of treatment that takes 3 hours and a very short recovery time. The treatment went perfect and in 3 weeks everything was normal. I give you this background because of what soon followed. At 5 weeks I started experiencing intense pain and difficulty urinating. I immediately contacted my urologist and he put me on antibiotics thinking I had developed an infection. While things got somewhat better it soon became evident that there was additional issues. In December I went in for a TURP which looks at the inside of your prostate. What the Dr found was a ball of dead and calcified tissue lodged in my prostate. He removed it and my prostate issues went away. During this time I started experiencing other issues of extreme fatigue, light headiness, muscle ache, trouble sleeping and trouble focusing my thoughts. I contacted my primary care Dr and she ran some blood tests. My prostate issues also returned during this time and I had a second TURP. This time my prostate was full of calcium stones. My urologist was bewildered as he and the HIFU organization had never had this happen in over 4000 HIFU procedures they had done.

    The answer was learned when my primary care Dr told me my calcium levels were very high ( over 11) and I had hyperparathyroidism. She also said I was not to have my surgery done in Las Vegas and referred me to Dr Michael Yeh at UCLA Medical Center. To say this was a miracle would be an understatement. Dr Yeh and his staff were wonderful in getting me in as soon as possible as I was again experience prostate pain as the calcium was building up again. I had my surgery at the end of July and the results were amazing. My prostate pain was gone the next day as was most of the muscle pain. My energy level increased quickly and my wife and I got to enjoy our 2 week cruise 10 days after the surgery. It was a joy telling Dr Yeh on our followup phone consultation that he gave me back my life and the good health to enjoy it. I would recommend to everyone who has hyperparathyroidism or believes they may have to go to the UCLA Medical Center and Dr. Yeh. The are very caring, professional, and extremely competent. I am very thankful to them and in having a primary care Dr who was insistent that I had the condition, that it required surgery and that it had to be done at the best place possible. By the way, I can’t find the scar, which is great since I have two friends who have had the surgery from other Dr’s and have major scars to show for it.

    • Susan says:

      I am a 58 yo female living in Las Vegas just diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. I have suffered with symtoms, (horrible lethergy, hypercalcemia, depression, insomnia, extreme thirst, aching in my legs) for over 6 years and struggled to get my HMO Primary Doc to help. Finally now that my PTH has risen to 118, I got a referral to an Endocrinologist. He “gets” it and immediately ordered all tests and scans. I am now doing my research for surgery and Dr Yeh’s name continues to pop up over and over. Everything I have read about him so far has given me hope that I may have found the answer to my prayers. I am interested in knowing about how to deal with my insurance company, HPN POS, so they will cover my surgery at UCLA. Any help I can receive from anyone from the Las Vegas area will be greatly appreciated!

      • Well, congratulations in getting past your primary care doctor. I had the same thing happen to me. What you need to do is communicate directly with your insurance company. Research the cost differences between having your surgery locally and in L.A. If there is no difference, you should try to convince your insurance company that allowing you to go to Dr. Yeh would reduce your chances of complications and consequently lower costs to them. I would also call Dr Yeh’s office. They might be able to help with this process. You would naturally have to pick up your transportation costs to go out of state, but that seems like a small price to pay to make sure you stay safe. I think you’d need to have your primary care and endochrinologist stand with you as well. If they don’t, I’d look for someone who will. Good luck to you. You have a bit of a fight ahead of you. Not an easy thing to do when you are in the throes of hyperparathyroidism. My heart goes out to you.

  99. marianne says:

    I had para thyroid min. Invasive surgery jan 24th 2012. In florida.altho I live in wisconsin.
    It. Is 7 months later and I feel much better BUT I have times where I have hot tingling feet,also it sometimes goes up my body mostly on the right side.some cramps at times. I asked my gp a d he says I should not be taking any additional calcium. I live in a small community.
    I happened to talk to someone whose husband also had this surgery at a different place and she said when he gets that his doctor said to eat a bunch of tums. I had a severe attack last week and did this and in an hour it went away. Then had one more during the nite and did it again and it went away again.
    however, I went to my local doc and. My calcium is 8.5 and pth is 35 and he said I should not take tums.
    I think that my calcium. Must change or something in between visits or why would the tums work?

    • carol2000 says:

      Tums have calcium. You may have had low calcium immediately after your operation, and they fixed it. I don’t know why the doctor did not approve.

  100. Beverly J. Goldrup says:

    I kept feeling tired, unable to concentrate, and depressed. I had originally been diagnosed with osteopenia and took Fossamax. Dr. Vikram Kamdar, who is a first-rate endocrinologist, kept close watch on my calcium, and PTH levels, both of which were elevated over several months. It often takes a long period of monitoring before the endocrine anomaly can be identified.

    Even if you have a calcium level that’s between 10.0-10.5 (which is “normal”), double check and make sure you don’t have hyperparathyroidism. It’s so easy to miss, and I never would have know had it not been for Dr. Kamdar’s knowledge and insight. He ruled out early onset of osteoporosis and, after he noted high PTH levels, Dr. Kamdar authorized a Sestemibi scan. He subsequently diagnosed me with hyperparathyrodism and referred me to Dr. Harari,for consult.

    Dr Harari performed my parathyroidectomy 10 July 2012. I wanted to add my surgical experience because I didn’t see any comments about her talent and vast knowledge about the endocrine system. I couldn’t have been more confident in a surgeon: my confidence was well-placed. She is personable, provides a succinct overview of the surgery process, recovery, and possible complications. Her comments were clear, concise, and easily understandable. She is absolutely brilliant, and I learned a lot from her about this under-diagnosed condition. Dr. Harari discovered one enlarged parathyroid prior to surgery.

    During surgery, she noted that I had growths on all four parathyroids and removed 3-1/2. She made a minor incision that, only two months later, is invisible. No one knows I had surgery unless I point it out to them. Post-surgery, I had a sore throat for only two days.

    The parathyroid glands control calcium levels, so make sure you have a lot of calcium citrate (not calcium carbonate, such as Tums: the body doesn’t digest that form of calcium well). If you have a parathyroidectomy. I usually take about 7 grams per day, but check with your doctor first so you will know the appropriate doses for you: everyone’s different. I also take calcitrol to balance my vitamin D level. I also take renegel to lower my phosphorous levels which became quite high after surgery.

    A note of caution: you may feel some tingling in your extremities after surgery, which means you have low calcium after the surgery, I felt pins and needles throughout my body: the feeling was similar to having “pins-and-needles” in your feet. If this happens to you after surgery, go to your doctor or ER right away. Your calcium levels may have dropped too low. This condition depends on your own body chemistry and not everyone has this experience. Also, your phosphorous level may increase significantly, so expect to have a blood test very soon after surgery.

    I will have to take calcium–and perhaps renegel and calcitrol–for the rest of my life: it’s a small price to pay in exchange for how great I feel now. I’ve taken a lot of supplements all my life, so I hardly notice taking a few extra calcium pills every day.

    If you’re looking for an excellent endocrinologist and endocrine surgeon, Dr. Kamdar and Dr. Harari are a dynamic team who take excellent care of their patients. I will never be able to thank them enough for all of their careful attention and how much better I feel because of them.

  101. Anonymous says:

    My experience all started in July 2011, when I fell and fractured my hip and needed to have surgery to repair it. It was during the routine blood test they do when you are in the hospital that they mentioned my bloodwork showed I was low on potassium and gave me some medication for this. When I went to see my primary Doctor for a follow up visit, I mentioned this to her. I am a 78 year old woman who has had high blood pressure and high cholesterol for several years now and have by blood checked every 6 months and see my primary Doctor twice a year for this. Needless to say she called me ack a couple of days later and said she had gone back to check my blood work and felt I needed to see an endocrinologist and referred me to one. I made the appointment with him and he scheduled the ultrasound and the scan test. After the tests he said he felt I needed to have surgery on my parathyroid glands and wanted me to see Dr. Yeh at UCLA, who he felt was the best Doctor to do this kind of surgery, Since Dr. Yeh was out of network I had to wait for the approval and immediately called Dr. Yeh’s office to schedule the appointment. The earliest appointment he had was 6 weeks away unless I wanted to see someone else they could get me in earlier, but I felt if Dr. Yeh was the best for this job I would rather wait to see him. When I went to see Dr. Yeh, he did another ultrasound, ordered more blood work and another set of scans. Then met with him again for the results and to schedule the surgery. He is truly such a caring person and quickly puts you at ease. He felt he knew which side the parathyroid gland was involved and surgery would take a total of about an hour and a half from the time I went down to surgery and when I would be back in my room. He had said I would be admitted to the hospital following surgery and would spend the night. Surgery took longer than he thought and told my husband he had to remove half of my throid too. I did not see him until my follow up visit when he told me at that time that my surgery was one of the most difficult case he has had and he ended up having two women in the same week with the same kind of problem. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to have had Dr. Yeh as the surgeon and if I ever need to have more surgery on my thyroid I certainly will be heading back to Dr. Yeh and would highly reccommend him to anyone who needs this kind of surgery. Thanks again. Betty E.

  102. Elisse says:

    I wish to thank the UCLA endocrine surgery staff and especially Dr. Yeh for the excellent surgery on my parathyriod gland. Everyone was very professional, competent and caring. I had high calcium and parathyroid levels, that went to normal after the short operation. I highly recommend UCLA for this procedure. I stayed the night before at Tiverton House, near the medical center and reasonable . I had my surgery the next morning, and went home about 3 hours later. I was able to eat a small meal, yogurt, felt easy to eat. I never needed pain pills, but took tylenol just the first night. I had the operation Thursday and visited Las Vegas for a family occasion on Sunday. I did relax more, but was fine. The scar is on the neck about 1 1/2inchesIt fades some over time. I am not too tech savvy, so no blog. Thanks so much for the positive experience. Best wishes, Elisse, 70 yr. old retired teacher.

  103. Hello:

    I wish to take a moment to thank Dr. Michael Yeh for the wonderful care he provided after my diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism. I am a 65 year old woman who has always enjoyed good health. After many years of perfecting the art of avoiding doctors and hospitals at all cost,
    my dentist said that I needed to see a doctor about my high blood pressure. The doctor I saw noted my higher than normal calcium level and referred me to an endocinologist. After doing some online research about high calcium levels, it became quite obvious that any reading above 10.5 was cause for concern and the most probable reason for an elevated calcium reading is because of a benign tumor on one or more of the parathyroid glands. I learned that the only treatment was removal of the parathyroid gland, so I decided not to bother seing an endocrinologist at that time.

    After visiting an ear, nose and throat specialist in Rancho Mirage, California I was less than thrilled when they couldn’t even tell me what was involved with the sestamibi scan I was supposed to take. Then my cousin sent me the Website for Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA. I felt
    immediately that I was in the right place. From the first phone call I made to request an appointment with Dr. Yeh, to the final appointment with Dr. Yeh when he pronounced me
    ‘cured’, everything went very smoothly. Dr. Yeh is not only a very talented surgeon, he is very kind and reassuring and he runs a well-organized office.

    Tips for those about to undergo parathyroid surgery:

    If you are claustrophobic as I am, you do not have to freak out about the sestamibi scan.
    The first scan only lasts for 10 minutes. If you survive that, and I assure you, you will, then
    the 45 minute scan can be broken into 10 minute increments in your mind. I asked the gal to please let me know each time we hit the 10 minute mark, since I knew I could handle 10 minutes.
    It was over before I knew it and I did not have to cause a scene.

    Be prepared before surgery with Tums and Vitamin D so you don’t have to run out to purchase them right afterward. Apparently, it takes a while for your remaining “lazy” parathyroid glands
    to get back to functioning as they should, so you will have to take supplements for a time.

    I just received lab results for the 3 month post surgery mark and my calcium level is a normal 9.5.
    I also feel like my old self again and am very grateful to be able to enjoy continued good health.

    Thank you, Dr. Yeh.

    Kind regards,
    Barbara Bradley

    • Anonymous says:

      Dr. Yeh only handles textbook cases and doesn’t offer any other diagnosis. My diagnosis from him: “if you have hyperparathyroidism, it’s mild.” What the heck? What do I do with that?

  104. Ramon says:

    To whom it may concern:,

    Almost eighteen months ago Dr. Isidro Salusky informed my wife and I, that to correct our daughter’s high PTH levels which had been in low 1500’s to mid 4000’s and avoid several health issues to continue to get worse; like her increased weakness in her bones was getting so bad to the point where our daughter could not walk more than twenty feet, her legs begun to shape like an “x”. Because of this, we had to place her on her wheel chair. Also her phosphorus levels were so high, that she was restricted to eat a lot of the foods she enjoyed. additionally with the constant reminder that her calcium levels were so low, our daughter was frustrated with this life style, not to mentioned her kidneys failing and having to go to dialysis three times per week was really taking a toll on her life.

    Finally my wife and I after having spent many attempts to make our daughter understand how important the removal of her parathyroid glands, she decided to agree to meet with Dr. Yeah a Specialist in this field. Dr. Yeah was very instrumental in explaining to our daughter the whole procedure. We prayed and placed our daughters health situation in God and Dr Yeah and his team.

    Surgery to remove most of her four parathyroid glands was scheduled for May 28th of 2012. Today August 7, 2012, my wife and myself and especially our daughter are very happy with the results in the past two months!!! her ability to walk has improved tremendously, she is able to walk longer distances, her bones are much stronger,her shaped “x” legs are correcting, her PTH levels are under 25! which is about 95% lower!, her phosphorus levels are under six which is where they need to be, she does not have to take food binders, she is able to eat more of the foods she likes, she feels like if a heavy weight was lifted off of her! We are very happy and thankful to God for Doctors like Isidro Salusky , Dr J.J. , and Dr Yeah and his whole team! . Of course our daughter has to continue to take all of her medications, especially large doses of Calcium Carbonate and Calcitryol for her bone structure recovery.

    Our daughter, my wife and myself could not be more happy! and encourage every family with children with these situations to make a decision,and entrust their children to God and these Doctors that are definitely making a difference!!

    Thank you very much!

    God Bless you
    Ramon and Laura

  105. Steve H. says:

    After a life free of any medical complications or disease, I found myself visiting the doctors office with increasing frequency. Here I was at the age of 51 and I had no idea how my insurance worked or what my deductibles were and what’s a referral anyway? I had always prided myself on my fitness and self care. This was new to me. My complaints were varied from lack of energy, gastro-intestinal problems and joint pain to high cholesterol.

    My personal physician reviewed some annual physicals (from my employer) that I had supplied him and he found that I had had high calciuim levels for the past few years. In reviewing all my past physical records, I found that I had high calcium levels consistently for over a decade. These averaged in the mid 10’s.

    A referral to a endocrinologist confirmed the onset of osteoporosis and luckily, no kidney stones. A parathyroidectomy was recommended and I began my quest to find a suitable doctor and facility. Through research, I found that the highest success rates were achieved at high volume facilities with a skilled surgeon.

    I found a few specialists across the country that fit the prerequisites that I was looking for. UCLA came recommended from my endocrinologist here in Las Vegas and my research found that Dr. Yeh and his team at UCLA we’re among the top in endocrine care. A few phone calls to Dr. Yehs staff and my insurance and I was on my way. It took about a month to get scheduled but well worth it. I could not have scheduled faster here locally so this was not a problem.

    I drove to UCLA and stayed at the Tiverton (highly recommended). UCLA is a one stop shop for this procedure. I followed the websites instructions to wait and have the medical imaging completed at UCLA. I had my tests completed and visited with Dr. Yeh and his staff all in the same day, at the same building. I took a day off before surgery and enjoyed the lovely area around campus known as Westwood.

    Surgery day went as planned and I was in and out of the O.R. in about a half hour. A few hours later after being sufficiently “observed”, I was back in my hotel room with family. There was some discomfort from the intubation for a day or two, but that is distant memory now. The scar was small, the pain minimal and I got that haywire gland that had been poisoning me out of my body for good! Dr. Yeh visited before my discharge and showed me the graph of my PTH levels throughout the procedure. They were normal when I left UCLA.

    Within a month of returning home, I had a follow up blood test and visit with my endocrinologist. My PTH levels were still normal. I remember during my initial visit with Dr. Yeh, he warned me not to expect the procedure to produce the “fountain of youth” effect that some of the websites of other specialty centers promoted. He reminded me that I am, after all, 51 and subject to age related aches, pains, and energy levels. “The important thing is” he said, “you will reverse the bone loss and likelihood of kidney stones.”

    Hey, I was happy with that prognosis. Truth is, I feel fantastic, better than I had ever imagined. I am now 2.5 months post-op and it just keeps getting better. It wasn’t immediate. For the first two to three weeks I was having reservations but I had read that it takes some time for your system to wake up and get to working normally. I’m there. Clear head. Clear mind. Clear body.

    Thanks UCLA and Dr. Yeh and company.

  106. Jill says:

    Im a forty year old female having major problems with weight gain headaches neck pain trouble swallowing an tired mood swings an cant rememer things trouble concentrating an blood pressure spikes need some help PLEASE

  107. Linda says:

    For over a decade, annual health risk assessments for our insurance
    company reported my blood calcium between 10.7 – 11.3. Multiple
    physicians/health care professionals advised that I reduce my calcium
    supplements or stop taking Tums. In Oct. 2011, quite by accident, a
    large kidney stone was spotted from an unrelated lab test. I had also
    shown a significant decrease in bone density. An alert urologist,
    together with my family physician, put all the pieces together and
    diagnosed parathyroid. I was not comfortable with treatment options
    available in Las Vegas, so went on-line to do research. The web site
    for UCLA Endocrine Surgical Unit and Dr. Yeh provided all the answers
    to my questions. The outlined process was complete and detailed, and
    the comments from prior patients gave me confidence that this was the
    right choice.

    Dr. Yeh’s group walked me through each step of submitting the proper
    test results from my local physicians, completing the paper work and
    scheduling the procedure. All elements of lodging and logistics were
    put into place and I had my surgery on May 29, 2012. After resting in
    post-op for about 4 hours, we returned to our accommodations, The
    Tiverton House on UCLA campus, had a light meal and retired for the
    night. The next day, we returned to Las Vegas. For such a life
    changing procedure, it all seemed too easy. I have more energy, fewer
    headaches, stronger nails, more ambition and more of a “can do”
    attitude. I feel myself growing stronger, know that my bone density
    is getting better, and feel good that I will probably never have
    another kidney stone. It seems strange that something this important
    went so long with no attention.

    My husband and I were so impressed with the entire UCLA group.
    Everything on our 4 day schedule in LA happened exactly the way it was
    supposed to. After sitting down for the pre-surgery consultation with
    Dr. Yeh, I as full of confidence and very relaxed about the entire
    process. I highly recommend the Tiverton House for anyone who will
    need housing while at the Center. The location is great with no need
    to even move the car for your entire stay, and the people are
    wonderful. They have thought of everything you need to make your stay
    as comfortable as possible. The most impressive element, however, was
    the quality of care and concern we received from everyone we met at
    the UCLA Center. There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Yeh and
    everyone on his team truly care about me and my health.

  108. Reva says:

    Hello everyone. My name is Reva and I’m a surgical technology student who would love to talk with someone that would be willing to share their surgical experience with me. I have been reading the post’s and would love to learn more about your personal experiences. I hope to chat/blog with some of you soon.

    • Teresa Strong says:

      I can share. Does it matter that I wasn’t a patient at UCLA?

      • Reva says:

        Hi Teresa,
        Thank you so much for responding. No you do not need to be a patient at UCLA. I am a student in Michigan and have an assignment about following a patient and their surgical experience and if you are willing to discuss your experience further i would greatly appreciate it. Also if you do not want to discuss your experience on a public forum we can blog or email privately.
        Thank you again

        • angelia says:

          Reva if you would like to talk personally with either a few WI patients of Dr. Chen, or a couple of others in WI who are about to have surgery at Milwaukee facilities, feel free to join our FB Parathyroid Group (providing the posting of hyperlinks is allowed…)

          Good luck in your studies!

        • angelia says:

          I’ll try again:


      • Teresa Strong says:

        I had surgery in Boston, MA, at a very well known hospital. My surgeon was young but experienced. The surgery took six hours because he couldn’t find the tumor at first. A sestamibi scan was done a month before, and he said it was no help. He tried to do a minimally invasive surgery, but I can see on my neck that he made two 1 inch cuts in the lower crease of my neck. He tried to hide the scar. I asked him later what he did or 6 hours, out of curiosity and he said, “I dissected your neck.” He did eventially remove the offending tumor and verified it with an intraoperative PTH test. During this six hour ordeal, my poor husband didn’t know what was happening and thought I had died on the table. Nobody went out to talk to him in the now empty waiting room.

        I was hospitalized overnight because I was under general anesthesia or so long. When my surgeon came to visit me later that day, he looked completely wiped out and demoralized. He apologized for what happened. The surgery was supposed to take no longer than an hour and I was supposed to go home that day I comforted him. He explained that the tumor was flat and yellow, that it looked like a layer of fat laying under my wind pipe. And he missed it at first for that reason. I asked him if he used Radio-Guided Surgery, but he said that that wouldn’t have helped in my situation. He explained that the Radioactive Iodine treatment (RAI) that I had 30 years ago left lots of scar tissue and just a little nubbin of my thyroid behind, He said that the parathyroid tumor was where it was because the RAI treatment so blasted my thyroid that all my parasthyroids where pushed to weird places. He also told me that upwards of 25% of RAI recipients end up with a parathyroid tumor. He told me that if I ever had a second parathyroid tumor emerge, the surgeon would have a hell of a time getting the tumor out from all the scar tissue that would be in my neck. I asked him if he saw my other parathyroids and he said no. Meanwhile, my poor husband was still waiting down by surgery for someone to tell him where I was. He hadn’t eaten in twelve hours.

        My surgeon told me before the surgery about Hungry Bone Syndrome (and Internet sites did too), but none of the nurses on the floor that night knew anything about it when I asked them. Fortunately, I brought my own Tums with me and started taking them as soon as I felt the least bit of tingling. In twelve hours, I had to take 2,000 mg of calcium. I didn’t tell the nurses about this because I didn’t want to complicate things any more than they were..

        My husband picked me up from the hospital the next day and we went to the pharmacy to pick up the pain medicine. He was the first to notice that one of my eyes was very dark. The day after that, I finally looked in the mirror and saw that one of my pupils was indeed huge and the other wasn’t. Later I found out I had Horner’s Synfrome from the surgery. A year and a half later, I still have unequal pupils, but the anhidrosis that went from the middle of my chest to the top of my head seems to be mostly gone. My eyesight has gotten worse with blurry, double vision.

        Even with all the negative descriptions above, I am so glad to have that tumor out of my neck. It was killing me. Hyperparathyroidism was a far worse experience than Graves disease. It took eight different doctors and five years for the hyperparathyroidism to be diagnosed. During that time, doctors changed my T4 dose up and down trying to fix bad heart palpitations, and multiple other symptoms–the worse being major short term memory loss. When doctors couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so bad (my blood test were normal), they would attribute my symptomoms to menopause, normal aging, and finally depression. It was only after I went to an alternative doctor that put me on Naturthroid, and then straight T3 that it became quite clear that something besides thyroid issues were at fault. I don’t know how he figured it out–my calcium level was high normal. But he went ahead and did the PTH test and that go him going in the right direction. I’m so grateful to him.

        That’s my story. I still have great appreciation for my surgeon. He didn’t give up. He really cared and he was so honest with me. I think he should have had more support. A more experienced surgeon should have come in and helped him during surgery when he was obviously having troubles . But instead he was left on his own. And that was wrong.

      • Reva says:

        Theresa, Im so sorry that your surgery did not go as planned. I feel for your husband. I cant even imagine what was going through his mind waiting and waiting. Someone should have notified him of what was going on. It is great to hear how your physician was so determined to find the problem. Did you diagnosis affect any of your normal day to day tasks like work, family, friends etc…

        • Ms Teresa A Strong says:

          I started to have major health symptoms 5 years before I was diagnosed. Since I was a past Graves disease patient on replacement thyroid hormone, the different doctors I went to for help believed what I was experiencing menopause and the wrong thyroid dose. So my replacement hormone was constantly being changed, all the while I became more tired and developed scary heart palpitations. The memory loss began to happen in the fifth year and that was scary because I was afraid I would be fired from my job. I’m a teacher and I was having trouble holding all the complex details of my job together. My short term memory became very bad–20 seconds after doing something, I’d have no recollection of doing it. I knew it was happening, my students knew it too and took advantage of it. No doctor believed there was anything wrong with me except in my head. But I did finally find an alternative doctor who on a hunch checked my calcium level and it came back 0.1 over normal. Then he tasted my PTH–very high. Then came the 24 hour urine for calcium–very high. I’m lucky that my disease was caught in time. Two years later, I still have osteopenia in my arms, back, and hips. My memory is still getting better and better. I used to have a photographic memory, and that seems to be returning. It’s taken awhile.

    • I was a patient of Dr. Yeh’s and would be glad to share but think I had a pretty routine experience.

      • Reva says:

        Hi Linda thank you so much i would love to learn more about your surgical experience. Can you tell me what symptoms or problems you were having that led you to have your surgery?

      • Reva says:

        Linda Im sorry I forgot to say that if you would like to discuss your experience privately we can do so through a private blog or email. let me know what makes you more comfortable.

      • I’m fine with public forum. I really had no symptoms. I had a dexa scan done last August which showed progression of bone loss. I had been taking Fosamax several years along with calcium, a healthy diet and regular exercise. My internist thinking there could be another cause ordered tests for Hyperparathyroidism which turned out to be the cause of bone loss.

      • Reva says:

        You didnt have any other symptoms, just a DEXA scan showing bone loss? May I ask what tests were ordered that showed that you had hyperthyroidism? How soon after your diagnosis was your surgery scheduled for? Did you have any specific instructions to follow prior to surgery?

      • Reva says:

        Did surgery go as well as you hoped? How long was your surgery? Did you have any complications post-surgery? Have your DEXA screen improved or at least stayed the same since surgery?

      • After the dexa scan showed progression to osteoporosis I had a thyroid test and also a parathyroid hormone test which was elevated. I also saw an endocrinologist who did an ultrasound which showed a suspicious area. The dexa scan was done in August and my surgery was performed in November. My surgery went very well and was probably about 20 minutes. I did not have any complication except for a stiff neck for a day or so. I have not had a follow up dexa scan as yet.

      • Reva says:

        Linda, Have you ever had any other type of surgery? If so would you be willing to share?

      • I had a gastrectomy in 1998 due to misdiagnosed ulcers caused by H pylori. That is the only other surgery besides tonsillectomy in childhood.

      • Reva says:

        Linda, While undergoing the process of having your parathyroid removed were you able to continue regular everyday tasks. Did you work and if so did you have to take time off, If you have children did your diagnosis have any affect on everyday parenting (missing school functions or soccer games etc..) due to feeling not so good or pain if you had any?

      • I did not have children at home and was not working when I had surgery. I had surgery on Thursday, traveled back to home on Sunday and immediately returned to my normal routine with no real down time.

    • Teresa Strong says:


    • Anonymous says:

      i have had the surg twice 1 time at 18 they took 3 3/4 parthyroid then at 50 had all remove they grew back i suffer from stomach trouble constantly mine was done once at sequia hospt in calif 1 at uc portland org i take calcitroil and 8 tum with calc every day my insurance ran out before i could have the part put back in

    • Kay says:

      Hi – I also had a parathyroid op and am happy to discuss it. Pretty routine though. I’m in the UK.

      • Reva says:

        Hi Kay, I would love to hear about your experience. If you wouldnt mind may I ask what issues were you having that led you to the diagnosis that you were given. How did this impact your daily life in regards to work, children etc… Thank you so much for your time.

    • anita B says:

      Hello Reva
      I’m Anita and I recently got the news that I need to remove my parathyroid gland(s)
      it seems that the Scan done did not show which gland is abnormal
      so the general surgeon will order an ultrasound of the neck area. If that does not show it either he will order an MRI.
      My question for you and the bloggers is how safe is to have this delicate surgery with a General Surgeon.
      I am concerned because he told me that I will need 2 weeks out of work to recuperate(not good because I will start I new job next week), that the scar will be noticeable and that there is a change that a neck tendon will be damaged, or that I may get an infection.
      Almost everything that he explained today was the opposite of what I researched about this surgery.
      Can my Endrocrinologist order a referral to an specialist, is it needed?
      my health insurance provider is Kaiser Permanente.

      I will really appreciate any input or advice regarding my concerns.

      these are my level/test results
      CALCIUM 10.9
      PHOSPHORUS 2.2

      sincerely yours,

      • Reva says:

        Hi Anita, I am a surgical tech. student so I will not be able to give you any advice as a tech. but I will be able to help by giving you my personal feeling about your specific situation. If I was in your shoes I personally would find an endocrinologist to do your surgery. I would find one who has performed the surgery that you have been told that you need. In response to your insurance I am not sure I will be able to help. I can say that if you call your ins. company they most likely will help you locate an endocrinologist that is close by. And if you find a doctor who you feel 100% comfortable with but your ins. does not cover your care with them then have the doctor write a letter explaining your situation in detail and most of the time the ins. company will say its ok for you to continue to see that specific doctor. Ok in regards to the general surgeon, all possible risks were expained to you by this doctor which is normal practice but I think the reason why the info that you read was different then what was expained to you by the general surgeon is because the endocrinologist has had specific training and education with regards to the endocrine system. It is the system they work with everyday so they are able to perfect the surgery and make your experience a good one. Most of the posts that I have been able to read spoke very highly of their physician and the surgery they had. And they had it performed by an endocrinologist. So if i was you I would absolutely find an endocrinologist to perform surgery. I hope I was able to help a little. Please keep in-touch and let me know how your doing.

        • anita says:

          Thank you Reva for your reply :)
          I really appreciate it.
          I will call my insurance and see if they can refer me to a surgeon/ endocrinologist.
          they referred me to an oncologist that also performs this kind of surgery, but i’m not that confident either.
          take care!


      • I had parathyroid surgery in November at UCLA and I would highly recommend finding an experienced surgeon who has done this surgery many times. I did not have a visible scar and no real down time after surgery. I did see an endocrinologist before and she did an ultrasound. You will need s sestamibi scan done before surgery to locate the diseased gland. I would wait and have it done by the surgeon who will actually do your surgery. The key is an experienced surgeon. Also I found the website Parathyroiddotcom very helpful. Good luck!

      • AC says:

        Anita, it’s a delicate surgery that should be done with a well trained doctor. Find a good ENT surgeon who has experience and specializes in this area. I had the surgery. I had 3 of the 4 paras shut down with one that was over working and very close to my artery. I now have 3 up and running. My scar is unoticable he was an excellent surgeon.

      • angelia says:

        Anita the most reliable source to locate an experienced parathyroid surgeon is the AAES’s list. Although much to the frustration of patients, they do not necessarily divide out the specialities of each surgeon on the list, but I will say when you click on each surgeon’s name, although cumbersome, you can read if they are experienced in PT surgery. (Unfortunately, not each state has an AAES designated surgeon.) “Some” will offer a consult w/o an Endo referral, and some will not. Good luck in your pursuit and hopefully you will find one that understands the importance of running an ionized calcium in conjunction w/the total calcium & PTH for a biochemical confirmation of PHPT.

    • Tamara says:

      Hello Reva. I would like to share my experience with you. I feel it’s important for others to understand and to increase awareness about an issue that is so under diagnosed. My first scary symptom came in September 2012 when I started feeling a lump in my throat. Although I say this is my first symptom it really was not. It was just the symptom that was disturbing enough to seek a doctor consultation. However, for years I had been feeling bad (migraines, joint pain, especially in my hips, muscle cramps in my legs, fatigue, random skin rashes that would come and go, heart palputations and weight gain) but just thought it was normal because of aging or lack of exercise or stress…..blah….blah. I am 43 years old now. I started feeling these symptoms very mildly at the age of 31.
      I saw a doctor at Laguna Beach Community Clinic who examined my throat and immediately ordered blood work. The doctors were checking for issues with my thyroid. A week later, my labs came back and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and I was hypothyroid. My THS was 25.27, T3 & T4 were in normal range and my TPO was > 1000. I was started on 100 mcg of Levothyroxine and an ultra sound of my neck was also ordered. The ultrasound results revealed a possible parathyroid adenoma. I was at a stand still in my follow up care at this point because I did not have insurance and the doctors wanted to perform an ultrasound guided needle biopsy, more blood work and a sestamibi scan. I quickly acquired insurance through my employer but had to wait the 90 days before it was active. It became active on January 1, 2013 and I have chosen a primary physician who has been a long time family doctor and an internist. He was no longer accepting new patients but made an exception in my case because he treats most of my family and is aware of my family history. My aunt (Mother’s sister) also has the Hashimoto’s and an aunt from my Father’s side (his sister) and another Great Aunt from my Mother’s side……jeeeez….talk about screwed….Lol… I see him on the 14th and will then continue my treatment. You are welcome to share my journey if you like and so can anyone else. I have learned alot from others experiences and appreciate the information. My personal email is I’m willing to share information with anyone so please do not hesitate.

  109. BJ says:

    I have had all of my parathyroid glands removed over the last 10 years, the last one being in 2008. Following the last surgery I had extreme light-headedness and dizzy spells with complete lack of energy. I have been on varying doses of Rocaltrol (calcitriol) (Vit D prescription) that has helped considerably and taken away the light-headedness. I do have major problems now with feeling well after I do any major exercise. It seems to take several days to feel “normal” again. I was a very good athlete participating in half Ironman and Ironman races and running races. Now it seems I cannot take the stress of any races, even short-distance. I find that small things in life are far more stressful than they should be. I seem to shut down. I don’t believe there is a synthetic parathyroid hormone available without major side affects. I’m wondering if anyone else has had this “stress” issue and if anyone has any idea of supplements or prescriptions that they have taken that have helped them through total parathyroid removals.

    • Jill says:

      My husband had his parathyroid removed 1st May 2012. He still feels ill just like you, lightheaded, weak, lack of energy, muscle pain, pressure on his head. He doesn’t feel well at all just like you have got. Just had more blood tests done, waiting for results. We thought he would be better after the operation like most people are. Does vitamin d really work, be interested to find out.

      • Teresa Strong says:

        didn\’t feel well either after surgery, which was upsetting since everybody else seems to get well right away. I\’ve been taking supplemental iodine for several months now and it seems to be helping me. It may be that my hyperparathyroidism was caused by treatment with radioactive iodine for Graves disease 30 years ago. And it could have been that my Graves was brought on by an iodine deficiency to begin with. I hope your husband finds out what will work for him.

      • BJ says:

        The “prescription” Vitamin D (called Rocaltrol brand name–calcitriol) worked wonders taking the light-headedness away. I started off with .25 mcg/day and went all the way up to 2.5 mcg/day when I had all of my parathroids gone. But now I’m down to .5 in the morning and .5 at night and it seems to be the magic number. It made the calcium from foods and supplements absorb. I am not supposed to take too much in the way of supplements; best to get the calcium from foods. I did have to take Tums after the surgery for a bit but definitely the Rocaltrol has made the biggest change for the positive. Now if your husband only had one removed the others “should” kick in to start secreting the PTH (parathyroid hormone) necessary to draw calcium from the bones to make things normal again. Blood tests should show if his PTH levels are back to normal and also his blood calcium levels. It’s important that he have those checked to make sure the symptoms he is having are addressed. I also had “jabbers” of pains in my muscles after the surgery for a bit but that has completely gone away. It’s important to have blood calcium lab checks from time to time (I go every 3 months because I have no parathyroids). I get ionized calcium blood labwork. It shows more finitely how the calcium is in the blood. I also ask for copies of my bloodwork so I can know whether the way I am feeling is related to the blood calcium levels.

        My first parathyroid surgery was 12 years ago. I was fine after having one removed and was told that it’s very unlikley to have more than one go hyper. I was tested every 6 months to make sure things were okay. It’s not healthy to have excess calcium in the blood–something that happens when the parathroid goes hyper. But, after 6 years the next one went and then this last time (4 years ago) both were taken out. Mine had small adenomas (benign tumors). They are almost always benign but they get big and then stop the parathyroid from doing what it should do and has to be removed.

        I wonder…did your husband every get a reason for why his went? Over the years I’ve had different endocrinologists and doctors and no one seems to have a reason for it happening. I was asked once if I’d had head x-rays. I no longer have any dental x-rays.

        I am hoping that in the future there will be a synthetic parathyroid hormone that regulates the blood calcium levels just as the parathyroids do. Calcium is one of the most important elements in the body.

        • Jill says:

          Thanks for your advice, I’ll get him to mention it to the Dr about prescription Vit D. Its worth a try anyway, see what his blood test results are first.

  110. Sandy says:

    I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in May 2012. My calcium level was 11.5 with a repeated blood test which was 11.6 with a vitamin D deficiency. I recently had an ultrasound done which revealed that I have nodules on each side. I will be seeing an endocrinologist next month, but in the mean time I just received a consultation from ENT, my question is does ENT do the Sestamibi Scan?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just be sure whoever does the scan is VERY experienced. They are easy to mess up. I had mine done at UCLA before Dr. Yeh did the surgery.

    • If you are going to see Dr. Yeh wait and do the scan at UCLA because they will repeat it anyway. Also I agree that you want someone very experienced and with the best equipment. Good Luck.

  111. Ryan Piel says:

    For the better part of the last year, I haven’t felt myself. I would make comments to my wife that “I just don’t feel right,” yet I couldn’t really explain what wasn’t feeling right. I was tired, regarless of how much sleep I had the night before; I couldn’t concentrate; I felt forgetful, even for everyday tasks; I generally just didn’t feel 100%, but couldn’t put my finger on what was going on.

    I had an appointment with my Pimary Care Physician in July 2011. I have bloodwork done to monitor my cholesterol, which was the topic of this visit. My doctor told me my cholestrerol looked good, but that he suspected that I could have a condition known as “Primary Hyperparathyroidism.” He gave me a brief explanation of what it was and how he had suspected it based on my elevated calcium and creatinine levels. He refered me to an Endocrinologist. Leaving the office, I relayed the information to my wife, who immediately started researching it online. By the time I got home, she had printed out literature and had tagged several articles about Primary Hyperparathyroidism.

    After undergoing scans and testing with the Endocrinologist, it was confirmed that I did have Primary Hyperparathyroidism. I was then referred to an General Surgeon in my medical group to have the surgery known as a “parathyroidectomy” performed.

    I went to meet the General Surgeon in January of 2012. I left the meeting not feeling very comfortable or confident in what was potentially going to take place in the near future. I went back to my Endocrinologist and expressed my concerns with the referral. Immediately, he got the ball rolling for me to see Dr. Yeh at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Yeh was considered “out of network” from an insurance standpoint, which is why I had not been referred to him before. I needed to get approval from my Medical Group in order to be covered by insurance. After a few weeks of phone calls and waiting, the request was approved.

    I met with Dr. Yeh in March of 2012. I was very pleased with the courtesy and attentiveness of his staff, and was even more impressed with Dr. Yeh. He answered every question and concern that I had. I didn’t feel rushed at the appointment, as Dr. Yeh and his staff made me feel like I was the most important thing going in that moment in time. I left that meeting comfortable and at peace.

    Surgery was scheduled and performed in April of 2012. Two of the four glands were removed, and a third was biopsied. Dr. Yeh deemed the operation a success and I would have to agree with him from a patien’ts standpoint. I felt confident in the abilities of him and the staff that treated me at UCLA Medical Center. I was not anxious for the surgery, but excited knowing that a few hours into the future, I would be better off! I am so thankful to my Primary for his suspicion; for my Endocrinologist for fighting for me to see Dr. Yeh; for Dr Yeh for living up to his reputation and doing a fantastic job; and for my wife for her love and support throughout the process. I feel so much better; I feel myself again!

    I would recommend Dr. Yeh to any and everyone who has been diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Although it is rare, should my remaining glands become overactive and I be found to have this condition again, I’ll be making my way to see Dr. Yeh, knowing that I will be in good hands.

  112. Anonymous says:

    In March 2011, I was tentatively diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism;
    it was later confirmed and a presumed adenoma of the left superior
    parathyroid was discovered. My condition was complicated in 2011 in that I
    had I had had sigmoid resection for diverticulitis, pelvic phlegmon,
    ileostomy, cerebral CVA, a second colon resection and take-down of
    ileostomy, an abdominal fistula with incision of abdominal wall abscess and
    prolonged I.V. and subsequent oral antibiotic therapy. Among many symptoms,
    I had less than no energy, vertigo and my short-term memory and cognitive
    ability were seriously impaired.

    I was told by an internist, not the UCLA endocrine surgery department, and
    others that parathyroid surgery was not advisable since I was 78 years old.
    Nevertheless, I believed that I would feel better after parathyroidectomy.
    Indeed that was the case. Almost immediately after that surgery, I had more
    energy, there was briskness in my walk, I regained a sense of well-being, my
    memory was better and my cognitive ability improved. Although I had had
    vertigo for one year after the CVA, it too improved after parathyroidectomy.

    I have the highest regard for Dr. Yeh and I think Ronald Reagan UCLA
    Hospital is great.

  113. mitchell kaplan on behalf of LILA BLANE says:

    My 89 year old mother was operated on my Dr. Yeh and beautifully taken care of by his staff and others in the OR at UCLA.

    He is a marvelous surgeon and a wonderful human being.

  114. jess says:

    Hi , I have been feeling ill for the last 2 years, feeling tired constantly,dizzy,lack of energy,aches in my bones,etc I’m always at the doctors because I know there’s defo something not right but each time I go the doctor they can’t help much and take blood tests , after a few months I was diagnosed with vitamin d defficeiency however after taking vit d supplements I havnt felt no better what so ever! I don’t know what to do anymore its really badly effecting me and I can’t cope no longer and feel that going to the doctors gets me nowhere and they think I’m dramatic or depressed …. After researching thyroid problems I strongly believe this is what I may have but , what shall I do ???!! If someone who has gone through the same as me please could u help thankyou

    • anonymous says:

      Thyroid and parathyroid are two separate problems. Thyroid glands regulate metabolism, as an example, and parathyroid glands regulate blood calcium levels.
      If you think you have thyroid problems ask the Dr. for thyroid blood tests.
      If you think you have parathyroid problems ask the Dr. for calcium blood levels and parathyroid blood levels testing. An Endocrinologist Dr. is the specialist for these two problems.

    • If they can’t find out what’s wrong with you, consider taking an iodine supplement at no more than 3mg a day–don’t go higher than that. After both RAI for Graves disease and a parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism, it wasn’t until I started taking iodine that the rest of my remaining symptoms went away. I have been able to go on a lower dose of synthroid, which keeps me in a normal TSH range and my bad heart palpitations have stopped. It’s worth checking out. If you aren’t getting enough iodine, you are going to have a lot of thyroid and other symptoms. Good luck.

  115. I’m nearly three months out from my parathyroid surgery. I have had some weight gain which is starting to recede. My thyroid medication needed to be adjusted. I am seeking regular physical therapy because of my bone loss. Acupuncture is helping me to regulate body systems. In general, I am experiencing more well-being. I still have days when I don’t feel quite right but it takes time to recover from surgery as well as the long-term impact on body systems of high blood calcium and excess parathyroid hormone. I have been actively working with my scar, gently mobilizing it to prevent adhesions. I use frequency specific microcurrent for that as well as endermologie. These are treatment tools that I use in my private practice as an acupuncturist. They work great!

  116. Bran says:

    In 2010 I was diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency. While going to the doctor and getting blood tests done my doctor said everything was great…just my calcium was slightly high at 10.4. I went to the doctor last week because I have been feeling very fatigued and just not right..almost depressed. I don’t enjoy doing stuff that I used to and I wanted. So of course with having my previous diagnosis of POI she wanted to run more blood tests. I couldn’t get through all 5 vials because I ended up passing out…bit she did find my calcium was high at 10.9. I went back today to have an in office blood draw to check my vitamin D levels. I keep hearing a lot of people with my same symptoms that have hyperparathyroidism. She mentioned that if my vit d is low that could be why my calcium is high. Should I get another opinion?

    • anonymous says:

      I would ask the Dr. for a Parathyroid levels blood test. I had Primary Hyperparathyroidism caused by a parathyroid tumor and it caused my parathyroid blood levels to be high
      (initially 177 then to 296) with high calcium levels ( rising to 11) and low vitamin “D” levels (at 23). I was sent to an endocrinologist at that point and then went to UCLA.

  117. Lauren says:

    Hi. I am so glad to have found this blog. Would really appreciate some thoughts/advice. I have been suffering from depression for over a year and finally went to a psychiatrist without the knowledge of my doctor, who is actually a friend of mine so I was embarrassed to tell him. Very long story short, antii-depressants didn’t seem to be doing the trick, eventually he prescribed lithium and when I went for the initial blood tests my calcium came back high (10.5). I was told to see my “doctor.” So…I told my friend, the doctor, and sent over the blood test results. He immediately took me off the lithium and did another blood test…calcium still high (10.7)…and then he did another blood test and parathyroid high (83). He diagnosed hyperparathyroidism without caveat. So then i struggled to get insurance, have pre-existing condition of diabetes, and finally did through one of the programs set up through Obamacare (thank you!!!). So, I made appointment with random endicrinologist who seemed to be qualified in hyperparathryoidism. But obvoiusly my depression has not gotten any better and once these tests seems to confirm hyperparathyroidism a whole bunch of other “stuff” I’d been feeling/going through for years (muscle weakness, lack of energy, disorientation, hot flashes, etc) started to make more sense and I was obviously eager to just get this out of me so I could get on with my new life. Well, my friend, the doctor, called his friend, the surgeon – who specializes in cancer surgery but has done parathryroidectormies — and got me an appointment at the end of this week. The idea is no reason to waste time seeing an endicrinologist when we know what the problem is and how to take care of it. So, here’s my question. I have been reading a lot about hyperparathyroidism since I found out and really want to learn more about how it may have already affected my body. Should I keep my appt with the endicrinologist to see if I need additional tests such as bone density, etc., shoudl I see another type of doctor to investigate tthe muscle weakeness/neck-back pain, or should I go to the surgeon, get this taken care of and everything will work itself out. Or…should I insist that I see the endicrinologist and go through all of these tests absolutely before I see the surgeon which would necessarily make this more expensive and a more delayed process? thoughts and advice would be very much appreciated.

    • I would say to you to only have surgery when you are ready. For me, it seemed doctors would try to talk me out of surgery. I’m the one who pushed for surgery because I could stand the parathyroid disease any more. You are probably right to take more time to sort things out for yourself and to do more research. As I found out, surgery is not to be taken lightly. My case was different because I had radioactive iodine treatment for Graves disease. My surgeon told me he had a horrible time even finding my parathyroid tumor because I had almost a completely destroyed thyroid with scar tissue everywhere, and after 6 hours he finally found the tumor in a very odd place. That’s the issue with this surgery–the parathyroid may be hard to find. That’s why they need to do the Sestamibi scan. It helps them find the thing. Als;, radio-assisted surgery can help with locating the thing. I asked my surgeon what he did for six hours and he said, “I dissected your neck.” I came out of the experience OK–a mild case of Horner’s syndrome that may still resolve.. I’ll never know if it could of gone better or worse with another surgeon. But I can tell you this: hyperparathyroidism is a nasty disease that seems to be hard to diagnose. You’re lucky to have ound out about it before it did a lot of harm. My surgeon was not concerned with getting a bone density scan beforehand. He just said that it was obvious my bones were affected (from blood and urine tests), and to just have a scan after the surgery. The point is to have the scans at yearly intervals to make sure the bones are repairing themselves.

      Did your doctor tell you about hungry bone syndrome? After the surgery, you have to take calcium to avoid going into a too low blood calcium situation.

      Hope this helps.

  118. Sue says:

    I have had elevated calcium levels for 5 years and many of the symptoms you all described. My problem is that the diseased parathyroid is near my heart on top of the left valve,I think. I dont feel confident in the surgeon who I was sent to for an evaluation. I live in Orange County ,Calif. Does anyone have a doctor who has performed a successful removal where mine is located. I am a 64 year old ,female,otherwise in good health. Thank You!

  119. Heidi Vu says:

    Does any one out there have to remove your parathyroids due to kidney failures (dialysis patience)?

    • Patty says:

      I had a kidney removed in 2004 because it was a birth defect and something was blocking off the drainage. The birth defect was that it was smaller, deformed and it was in my lower right pelvis instead of behind my left rib cage. The removal was due to it swelling and blocking the rig kidney ureter.

      2 months ago……I went to Urgent Care for racing heart rate and first heard of a parathyroid. ( my symptoms go back 23 yrs )

      I am currently going in circlles with doctors over High calcium and low renal function. Calcium levels have been bounces between 8.9 -10.5. I drink tons of water. GFR was 61 in 2009 when I made a trip to ER and they kept win CICU overnight. Now it’s 48 as of 04/13/2012.

      I think it is the parathyroid. I eliminated calcium threats 2 weeks and feel better. Went to kidney specialist outsider insurance and he wasn’t afraid to order X-rays and CT. Kidney is draining with no obstacles…….so back to finding an Endocrinologist totaled serious. Last month my referred Endo spent 5 minwith…..didn’t get much chance to say anything. Ona couple basic labs, she said kidney failure them the next day said everything was ok. I was taking lasix to alleviate symptoms.

      At 45′ I’m becoming quite agitated at being ignored and sent away while being charged $316.00. Online Endo urged metro find a new dr.

  120. anonymous says:

    I was diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroidism last year. I am a 51 year old female. I live on the central coast of California.
    My blood calcium levels were on the rise for 5 years. From 8.5 to 11. They never went down. My parathyroid levels were high at 296, urine calcium levels two times higher than normal and I had low vitamin “D” levels (23). Other symptoms I had for many years were kidney stones, osteopenia (a dexascan showed early bone loss), GERD & high stomach acid, muscle pain & weakness, bone pain (lower legs), brain “fog”, lack of concentration, worsening headaches, irritability and a great deal of fatigue
    Apparently I fit into the classic “moans, groans, stones & bones with neuropsychiatric overtones”, as stated on the UCLA Endocrine Surgery Website.
    If I could go back through the process again, I would get an appointment with a UCLA Endocrinologist for the diagnostic workup and get the imaging done at UCLA. Apparently skill is necessary in parathyroid imaging I learned.
    When I got to the point of being referred to a local surgeon in my home town, I said “No, I want to go to a specialist at UCLA”.
    So here I am 8 weeks post op with Dr. Yeh’s minimally invasive surgery technique and doing well. I had one bad gland removed with a non-cancerous adenoma (tumor) on it. The other 3 glands were normal.
    I am so happy I drove into the “big city” from “rural health care”.
    The surgery was uneventful. All the staff at UCLA so pleasant to work with. They come highly recommended.
    I guess I shouldn’t say uneventful. As soon as the tumor/gland was removed my parathyroid levels dropped from 296 to 54 during surgery monitoring. The next morning it was 37. Normal again. A most amazing event to me! I feel cured. Very much “bright and alert” again is the best I can describe the feeling. My quality of life is improved as well.
    I was back to work a few days after surgery feeling a lot better. I told my boss at work “look what I found in Los Angeles…my smile! I have my smile back!”
    Many thanks to Dr. Yeh and the entire staff at UCLA for their exceptional care. Very much appreciated.

    • Can you please tell me how you were diagnosed. Very interested. I have been researching Vitamin D deficiency. My test results were 11.1. Have not spoken to my Dr yet (Internal Medicine). I have an appt in a couple of weeks. Trying to get my ducks in a row so we can have a REAL conversation. So tired of feeling sick and tired :/

      • anonymous says:

        My blood calcium levels were slightly elevated at 10.8. A recheck confirmed elevation at 10.9 and a parathyroid blood test high at that time (176) with low vitamin “D” levels.
        I was sent to an endocrinologist. I can’t remember all the tests he ordered, but I remember I had high 24 hour urine calcium levels, low vitamin D, a sestamibi scan that said one thing and a parathyroid/thyroid ultrasound that said another. So I went to UCLA endocrinology.
        It’s easy to ask your Dr. for a parathyroid blood test and a calcium blood test.
        Ask him why your vitamin D levels are low and you want to rule out parathyroid disease.
        I was told the high calcium levels from my parathyroid disease was binding with the vitamin D causing my low vitamin D levels. I had primary hyperparathyroidism.
        Hope you feel better soon.

  121. Sheri Held says:

    I am a 67 year old woman. I was first made aware of elevated calcium levels by a doctor at the Lindora weight loss clinic. While it did not prevent me from being able to join their weight loss program, he recommended that I have my parathyroid hormone levels checked by my regular doctor. I was not particularly heavy; I only had about 15 pounds I wanted to lose, so that was not a major issue for me. I was in good health otherwise. A year passed before I mentioned to my general practitioner about my calcium level showing high, and, sure enough, further test showed it was and also my PTH levels were high and my Vitamin D low. As it turned out, my calcium levels had been high for about 4 years, but not very – hovering in a range of 10.1 to 10.3. This was low enough not to cause alarm but high enough to be a warning – unfortunately my doctor either didn’t notice it or didn’t think it was high enough for further tests. This taught me to get my lab results and read them thoroughly to check for patterns developing. Anyway, I was referred to an endocrinologist who did ultrasound which did not reveal anything for certain, but he suspected something on the right thyroid. He did a biopsy of the right thyroid along with a wash which was supposed to show if the right parathyroid was affected, but all came out negative. He ordered a bone scan and an ultrasound of my kidneys and both were completely normal. He treated me for a about a year with Vitamin D, but while the Vitamin D levels became normal, the calcium levels remained high as well as the PTH. He was convinced that I had a tumor even though a second ultrasound was not conclusive because there was no other diagnosis that was possible. He suspected it was behind the right thyroid. Long story short, he told me that surgery was really my only option. I live in Orange County, California and he said I could either go see a surgeon locally that he knew and trusted, or, if I wanted to make the longer trip and go to the “creme de la creme” of surgeons doing this type of work, Dr. Yeh at UCLA was the one to see. I instantly opted for UCLA and Dr. Yeh, and went to see him. He found the tumor right away with a sestamibi scan and I had the surgery without incident. Dr. Yeh was wonderful and the incision was about an inch and it has been about two months since the surgery and you can barely see the scar. As far as how I feel, I must say I was lucky that I did not have any severe symptoms and would never have said I was sick or even feeling bad. The only thing I can say about the way I felt was that I complained about “feeling my age”, and was amazed at how quickly I was feeling older with less energy and less ability to concentrate and focus and it seemed impossible to accomplish much in a day. Overall, though, I had no complaints. But I will tell you, now that I have had the surgery, I feel twenty years younger. I am full of the energy I used to have and my mind is really clear and focused. I have ambition and drive again and am able to take on many more projects in a day and finish them. My mood is elevated and I am generally aware of a new happiness and optimism in my life. After reading the blogs of others I realize how lucky I was to not have the serious side effects that so many had, and I am glad I was able to find out my condition relatively early in its development. I am convinced I would have gotten progressively worse because in the last months before surgery I was beginning to have muscle cramps and mood swings that were new to me. I will tell you all – UCLA is the place to be. I had a prior experience there with my husband who was in the ICU for 3 months and except for the quality of care he received he would have died for sure. UCLA is not Number 3 in the nation for no reason. By the way, Dr. Yeh said I might be hoarse for a week or two after surgery because of the close proximity of the vocal cords, but I wasn’t a bit hoarse. I received pain pills but did not take any. My neck was a little stiff for a day or so, and on the day after surgery I was really tired and didn’t feel well, but a couple of ibuprofen and a nap cured that. Also the ice cream. That always works.

  122. Gale Fielding says:

    I am a 70-year-old woman who had been under the care of a medical group in the San Fernando Valley for several years, had undergone lab tests occasionally but never aware of a calcium elevation or Vitamin D deficiency until I changed my healthcare to UCLA. I had been an employee at Jules Stein Eye Institute and then tranferred to the Division of Pediatric Surgery, where I was employeed for 10 years. It wasn’t until my last year of employment that I decided I should move my care to UCLA being aware of the great care offered there, and I was convinced that I was not receiving the kind of medical care that should be given. Upon the first visit with my new Primary Care Physician, routine blood tests were performed and the calcium/Vitamin D issues were brought to light. I had never taken calcium supplements, so needn’t stop taking anything, but was put on 3000 mg of Vitamin D daily. The only symptom I had was being very tired all the time. Some months later blood tests were performed again and due to the continued calcium elevation and still a lack of Vit. D, it was recommended that I undergo an ultrasound (US) of my parathyroids. Parathyroids? Never heard of them, though I was certainly aware of the thyroid. Ok, let’s undergo the ultrasound and see what’s going on. Following the procedure, and being an employee of the General Surgery Department, I was obviously aware of Dr. Michael Yeh’s reputation and knew where to look for answers. I spoke to his wonderful assistant and asked if he would look at the results from the US, which he kindly did. She notified me that he requested I make an appointment with him for evaluation and discussion as soon as feasible, which was done expediently. Though I was already aware of his abilities and knowledge, it wasn’t until I actually sat in an exam room listening to him explain the disease and treatment that I realized what a saint he actually is. I was completely at ease, knew I was in the best hands anywhere, and never for a moment had any concern about my outcome. My surgery was performed 5 days following my 70th birthday, and 4 days after my retirement from UCLA. It was a total success and the scar is but a small line on my throat. Dr. Yeh not only removed the malfunctioning parathyroid, but checked for any other issues and found a small benign growth which he also removed. This only shows how thorough the care is that one receives from him. From Dr. Yeh’s Administrative Assistant, to his clinic office, to his Physician Assistant, surgery scheduler, to the surgeon himself, I have felt like royalty, receiving exceptional outstanding medical care. At every turn, including the surgery staff and postoperative care, I am so very thankful for an exceptional surgeon and UCLA Medical care.

  123. trufflesjourney says:

    For almost twenty years, I have felt HORRIBLE. I can’t even describe all of the things I was feeling. My heart would race uncontrollably, I felt dizzy, and tired all the time just to name a few symptoms. I went to doctors, the emergency room and even an endocrinologist. The doctor’s answer was to put me on antidepressants because he said I was, obviously having panic attacks. Please remember that my blood calcium has been, in the range of about 10.5 for all these years. The antidepressants did nothing for me except to trigger ulcerative colitis, which is another story altogether. I made dozens of trips to the emergency room for bizarre symptoms that I could not explain, feelings that vacillated somewhere between a heart attack and a stroke. They pegged me as some kind of a hypochondriac. They did not really care. They had made their diagnosis and that was that. I resigned myself to trying to treat my symptoms individually and to suffer through. Many years later, I finally went to an endocrinologist who told me that I needed antidepressants because I was having panic attacks even though he knew that my calcium level was still high. He put me on massive doses of Vitamin D because my blood tests showed that I was low. ( Note that Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, Google it, you’d be surprised) I did not take the antidepressants and the vitamin D just gave me hot flashes and heart palpations. I found out later that persons with high calcium levels have low levels of vitamin D (you’d again be surprised and that giving a person with a parathyroid tumor vitamin D, is wrong). I was then diagnosed with osteopenia, which is a precursor to osteoporosis and my doctor wanted me to take Boniva to counteract this. here we go again. I didn’t take that either. I knew she was wrong and I needed to find an answer. One day I woke up and something told me to look up a parathyroid tumor. I was told (back in my early 40’s) that they suspected I might have one. When I did, I was shocked and surprised that ALL of my symptoms matched the symptoms of a parathyroid tumor. I asked my family doctor to have me tested, even though she actually told me that, “it wouldn’t matter, because I feel you are mentally unstable.” I had my test done out here in “yokel land” and the test showed nothing. It didn’t even pick up my salivary glands and that is when I knew I was never going to get a proper diagnosis here in this town. He told me that he thought he saw something but it would be a “soft call” and that I should watch it for a couple of years to see what develops. That was when I knew I had had enough. I have a master’s degree, I am a biologist and I am not stupid. I know when I am sick and I think I would know if I were nuts.
    At that point, I went on-line to look for the “number-one” parathyroid surgeon in Southern California. And that is when I found the UCLA site. After I had done a ton of research from the Parathyroiddotcom site, I decided to talk to the UCLA group. I figured if Dr. Yeh told me that he couldn’t find anything, then, I would resign myself to being crazy and just live out the rest of my life in misery and get over it. I made the call and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to talk to these people. My goodness, it made me cry (moods swings and emotional outbursts are a symptom, after all) but nonetheless, I cannot tell you how welcome I felt. They scheduled my appointment, blood work, and a new scan, gave me directions and, figuratively, held my hand. I came to the hospital and my blood work showed the same high calcium level and I didn’t even have to wait the full 2 hours to complete the scan. I had a fat tumor right there on my right side. When I watched the scan download on Dr. Yeh’s computer I saw my salivary glands first and then I saw that ugly blob that everyone else in the world said didn’t exist. It made me cry, again. Dr. Yeh was kind, soft spoken and didn’t try to tell me that I was crazy. I knew I was in the right place. I was scheduled for surgery and was also placed on the “next cancellation” list. My surgery was performed a week early, on February 23, 2012. This was outpatient surgery and I don’t think it lasted longer than about a half an hour. I had a sore throat because of my throat didn’t really feel like having an airway put in it, but didn’t require any pain medication. I just took a couple of aspirin for a couple of days and that did the trick. Once you have the surgery, you have to take a calcium supplement because you bones become “loan sharks” and demand all that calcium back that your tumor had been sucking out all those years. I got some leg cramps and tingly feelings for a couple of weeks. When I got worried about that, I called Jennifer (Dr. Yeh’s nurse) and she calmed my fears and told me what to do. (You see, my family doctor told me that I was taking too much calcium and I cut the dose…not a good idea. Listen to Dr. Yeh, he knows)
    It has been almost 6 weeks since my surgery and I cannot tell how well I feel. I am perkier, happier, have more energy and my students like me better because I don’t have any mood swings like I did before and I don’t feel sick all the time.
    I can tell you, that had I not taken matters into my own hands and found Dr. Yeh, I would be in the same boat that I have been in for the last 20 years. I am so excited about my future, now, because it looks pretty bright. I am glad that I found Dr. Yeh and I tell everyone that I encounter that they must be their own advocates when it comes to their healthcare. It is a three-hour drive to UCLA from my house but the way I feel now, compared to the way I felt before my surgery, I would have crawled for 8 hours to get there. Thank you for believing in me and for making me well again, Dr. Yeh. And thanks to everyone in your office who made me feel important and welcomed.

    Nanette Cook

    • I know how you feel–joyous because you finally got help, and mad because you had to put up with bad treatment and sickness for so long. Congratulations. I feel your joy!

    • I too feel like they think I am crazy. Over the last 12 years, i have been referred to a psychiatrist 3 times. I had a Dr tell me that I was crazy and it was in my head more than once. I wish I would have read the article that prompted me to request my vitamin d level be tested much sooner. Like 12 years. I know I am not crazy. Trying to explain to the Drs how i feel makes me sound crazy. I understand that. Every symptom has a cause. Thanks for sharing.

    • AC says:

      I wish we could talk….we have had the same problems..

  124. I have been dealing with osteopenia and osteoporosis for for about 20 years, since my early 40s. Other complaints included depression, low energy, aches and pains. Two years ago, I discussed these worsening symptoms with my primary physician and expressed that I felt I was losing ground. Then, a year ago, my blood calcium levels began to inch up and 6 months ago high parathyroid hormones levels showed up. Unfortunately, even when these abnormal levels showed up along with very, very low Vitamin D levels as well as continued bone loss, no scan was ordered nor was the issue of hyperparathyroidism discussed with me. Four months later I saw my physician again for new symptoms and blood tests showed that the abnormal numbers had continued to rise. This time a scan was ordered which came back positive for a parathyroid tumor. While waiting for the results of the scan, I educated myself about the condition and decided that I would search for a surgeon who used a minimally invasive approach. I came across Dr. Yeh’s website. The site helped me to learn more about the condition and his surgical approach. His YouTube video cinched it for me not only because of its content, it was also his body language and the way he presented himself, calm, confident, and caring. He also exhibited these qualities when I finally met him in person. I also have to say that I was very impressed by his office personnel who took time to answer my questions. Finally, the websote photos of post-surgical scars were very helpful. When I finally made my decision to go with Dr. Yeh, I had to wait three weeks for an appointment. In the meantime, I began to aggressively prepared myself for surgery.

    I am an acupuncturist and my education and clinical experience helps me to look at illness from a different perspective than Western medicine. So, I used acupuncture and herbal protocols to strengthen myself before surgery. This was so important for me because hyperparathyroidism had wreaked havoc on my system.

    I am now 5 weeks post-surgery. The day after the surgery, I felt much better. Although I had to heal from the procedure, my spine was no longer aching, my mood felt stable, and I had a deep sense of relief/well-being which I hadn’t experienced in years. The “edge” that was being generated by the endocrine imbalance was gone! I still have a ways to go to undo the bone loss as well as improve my health overall, but am very grateful to Dr. Michael Yeh and his amazing surgical team for a wonderful, positive experience that has contributed to my health and wellness for years to come!

  125. Patty says:

    It’s been one year since I had all four parathyroids removed – they were hugely enlarged with multiple adenomas, and also my thyroid had completely shut down because it was suffocated by a multinodular goiter! Previous Endocrynologists and fine needle aspiration biopsy had the doc say, “let’s watch and wait.” Well! Don’t !!!! I nearly died! and I was hospitalized four times following the surgery with wildly high blood calcium levels, (literally over 17) which resulted in kidney failure. I now have permanent kidney damage on top of the bone issues, memory issues, confusion, heart palpatations, now have heart disease/enlarged heart, hot flashes that wake me and last up to five minutes throughout the night which means I’m not sleeping well at all, and the fatigue that never really seems to go completely away. So – does this nightmare last forever? Any recommendations? I’m being following by an Endocrynologist, Nephrologist, Cardiologist, and Internist. I just started yoga and swimming – which exhausts me! I’d like to just be normal again! Help anybody!!

  126. Adina says:

    The time between a routine blood test with my new UCLA internist, Dr Patrick Yao, to parathyroid surgery with the incredible Dr. Michael Yeh, took only 3 months, however, I had had high calcium levels and low Vitamin D levels for years which other doctors sadly misdiagnosed. I had been feeling tired, especially during the day, but had always blamed the fatigue on my hectic schedule and other stress issues. I saw a cardiologist (not affiliated with UCLA) for hypertension. He gave me a blood pressure medication and told me to take at least 2000mg of calcium supplements a day and prescribed 50,000 mg of Vitamin D a week (which I didn’t do as it sounded excessive.) A year later, I went to a doctor (not at UCLA) for bone density and blood tests. I was told I had severe osteoporosis for my age (early 60s) and high calcium, low Vitamin D levels in my blood. The doctor prescribed Fosamax for the osteoporosis; advised me to take 2500mg of calcium supplements per day; increase the calcium in my diet; take at least 1,500mg of Vitamin D daily; and walk a lot. I was warned to avoid any other exercise, such as carrying weights or running or jogging, and to be very careful not to fall. The Fosmax gave me a number of annoying side effects and my calcium blood levels remained high. It wasn’t until a year and a half after the bone density test that, thank goodness, I saw Dr Yao at UCLA and was finally advised I might have a parathyroid condition.
    What followed was a series of tests – blood test for parathyroid hormone (pth) and serum calcium level. When they were both high, I was referred to an endocrinologist for an evaluation and sent for an ultrasound of the thyroid & parathyroids with an excellent UCLA radiologist. The test was expanded to include a biopsy of a thyroid nodule (negative.) The ultrasound was positive for a malfunctioning parathyroid and a sestamibi test was ordered to further verify which parathyroid was abnormal. I am a medical wimp and I can tell you that these tests were not painful and had no side effects. With the results in, my endocrinologist referred me to the amazing Dr. Michael Yeh, who carefully explained the test results; drew pictures of which parathyroid wasn’t working properly; and let me see the photos taken during the sestamibi procedure. I was then scheduled for surgery.
    This was my first surgery and I was very apprehensive. I was given mild general anesthesia and was out before I hit the OR and woke with no pain. I would have thought the operation hadn’t taken place except for the 1 ½ inch tape on my neck. There was no pain in the hours and days after the surgery and no bruising. I never took any pain medication except for a Tylenol for a mild headache later that night, probably from the anesthesia. It’s three months post-op and my calcium and vitamin D levels are normal, my high blood pressure is consistently lower, and I am not dozy in the afternoon. My only regret is not being properly diagnosed and treated years ago.

  127. Beverly Russell says:

    I have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. I have been taking Boniva for three months. How long before surgery must I discontinue the Boniva?

    • Adina says:

      I immediately dropped Fosamax before surgery as I was told by my endocrinologist that it was probably doing nothing to help & had side effects. After surgery, he said not to take Fosamax for at least a year and then have another bone density test. I was happy to stop the drug.

    • I also stopped taking Fosamax and also calcium as soon as I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. After surgery I am taking calcium and vitamin D. Was told by Dr Yeh that I will regain bone loss and do not need to take Fosamax.

  128. Jerry W. says:

    I am a “senior” male who lives in West Los Angeles, CA.
    After monitoring high blood calcium levels for the past year, my internist referred me to an endocrinologist at Cedars Siani Medical Center. In addition to my possible parathyroid issue, a nodule on the left lobe of my thyroid was identified. A needle biopsy indicated that this nodule was benign, His opinion was to wait and watch, and that no immediate medical attention was necessary. After researching hyperparathyroidism on the internet, I revisited my internist and expressed my concern with the passive approach recommended. He agreed that another expert opinion was in order, and referred me to Dr. Stephanie Smooke, an endocrionoligist at UCLA Medical Center. She ordered a battery of tests and when the results were in, advised me that I was indeed a surgical candidate. Dr. Smooke then referred me to Dr. Michael Yeh, for a surgical consultation. My surgery was scheduled and subsequently performed by Dr. Yeh, on February 10th, at the new UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. The experience was extremely positive in all respects. The personnel were all attentive, efficient and professonal. I was especially well treated by the nursing staff in the recovery room and subsequently in my own room, where I remained overnight due to the removal of the left lobe of my thyroid, the nodule thereto attached, and the parathyroid adema. I would highly recommend Dr.Smooke and Dr. Yeh to
    those readers of this blog who may be beset with conditions similar to mine. They are the best of the best.

  129. I am 63 year old female living in Northern California. My hyperparathyroidism was discovered after a dexta scan showed progression of bone loss to osteoporosis in my spine. My internist questioned that something else was responsible for the bone loss since I had been taking Fosamax for several years along with calcium supplements, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. A PTH test confirmed elevated calcium and probable hyperthyroidism.

    I was referred to an endocrinologist who perfomed an ultrasound that showed a suspicious area on the right side. I immediately educated myself with research online. My internist had given me a prescription for Actonel and wanted me to fill it and start taking it while deciding about surgery. My research online indicated that it would be of no help, so did not fill the prescription. I also stopped taking calcium supplements before surgery. A Sestomibi scan was ordered, which I refused after reading that in all probability would have to be repeated by the surgeon.

    I was encouraged to use a local surgeon but after reading horror stories of exploratory surgery using general surgeons with very little experience, I decided to find a surgeon with extensive experience in minimally invasive surgery. My research took me to doctor in Florida. Hoping to find a surgeon closer to home I did further research and found the UCLA site and Dr. Yeh. After more research and learning about the UCLA distance surgery program, I decided to send my records to UCLA.

    The process was very easy. I spoke to Dr. Yeh and he confirmed that I was a candidate for this type of surgery. My surgery was scheduled for November 3, 2011. My husband and I drove to LA on Sunday with reservations to stay at the Tiverton House near Ronald Reagan Medical Center. I highly recommend it as it is within walking distance to the medical center as well as to restaurants, grocery stores, and yes, even a Starbucks

    Monday I underwent the nuclear scan and then met with Dr Yeh later that day. I found him to be very personable; he answered all my questions and was very reassuring and confident. I felt like I’d found the right doctor and facility. Dr. Yeh’s staff was very professional and helpful.

    My surgery was scheduled for Thursday morning. The surgery was short without much discomfort and I walked back to my room at the Tiverton in mid-afternoon with a stop for some frozen yogurt on the way. I left for home the next morning.

    I was given a prescription for pain which I did not use. I did experience a bit of stiff sore neck a couple days later which was relieved by taking Tylenol. I was back at the gym the following Tuesday for light exercise. It has now been two months post surgery and my scar is small and barely noticeable. I thought I felt pretty good before surgery but feel great now. I highly recommend Dr. Yeh and UCLA medical center for a terrific experience and care.

    • Anxious says:

      I live in the uk I had a parathyroid nodule removed recently. (approximately 3 weeks ago) Everything seemed to go well – scar average size and fading. However, at y check up, more bloods were taken and I was told that although my calcium levels were acceptable the hormonal levels were double what they would usually be.

      I was rather shocked and perhaps did not ask as many questions as I should have. I was told that I would have regular blood test to ensure that the calcium levels would not rise again. This obviously means that there may well be another “rogue” gland. Can anyone tell me how the hormones can be raised without the glands producing too much calcium? What harm can raised hormone levels do (not counting the possibilty of raised calcium levels)?

  130. len bailes says:

    my doctor diagnosed the suspected problem and subsequently I did my own research on the web. I found out the the most experienced and proficient MD for this type of surgery was Dr Yeh. I scheduled an appointment and he was fantastic. He communicated all the steps that were required and a detailed explanation of the operation. He performed the surgery effeciently and I was out within the day. I had one follow-up visit and everything has been perfect since. I would highly recommend Dr Yeh and his team to anybody and everybody who needs this type of surgery or related surgeries of the throat.

  131. Anonymous says:

    how do u feel when surgery is over?And what is recovery time?

    • I’m finding that the recovery took well over 6 months. At 8 months, my hair had become much thicker and is no longer dry. I am no longer feeling the intense fatigue as before the surgery. I am now able to sleep and my memory is pretty much where it used to be. The heart palpitations were gone immediately ater surgery. The surgery was definately worth having, but be prepared for a long recovery. Not everybody feels great immediatley.

      • Jill says:

        Can you tell me how long it takes to feel normal again. My husband had surgery 2 weeks ago and is still feeling ill. He’s not as tired as he was but he’s still got symptoms like bad heartburn chest feels tight and he feels funny, not him self. Every one else says there back to normal straight away, he,s very worried thinking something else is wrong. Is this normal to be feeling like this.

    • Adina says:

      Felt fine immediately after the surgery and have had no related problems since. Because of the anesthesia, you have to have someone drive you home afterwards. I was eating and drinking following the surgery and on the town the next day. I never took any pain medication. Everyone has a different experience, however, from the blogs, the vast majority of people feel better shortly after the surgery. I have been told it takes awhile for bone density to improve.

      • anonymous says:

        hey Jill,
        Maybe you better take him to the emergency room or talk to his primary care Dr. to get him checked out. Have you called the surgeon?
        2 weeks of illness does not sound right.
        I had one parathyroid gland removed and was fine 48 hours later. I’m 3 moths post op and I’m down to one zantac now every 24 hours for the stomach acid.

  132. barb says:

    I’m a 53 year old breast cancer survivor. My oncologist caught my elevated calcium levels and suggested I had an overactive parathyroid during the myriad blood tests he did on me. But my general practitioner couldn’t validate the calcium levels and told me not to worry. I pushed and asked for a referral to an endocrinologist who found elevated parathyroid hormone levels, did a biopsy, arranged for scans and supported surgery, recommending Dr Yeh. I was very pleased with the surgery except for the size of the scar. Minimally invasive meant a pinhole sized scar in many of my friends, but mine is one inch. Should have asked more questions up front, so this is my fault completely. Dr Yeh needed that inch to do his magic. I was normal immediately after and had a hard time following his instructions not to lift since I felt so good! Nice problem to have after surgery. You’re in good hands with Dr Yeh and his team!

  133. Gwen says:

    I need help. My calcium was taken in the ER at 14.9. Stayed in the hospital for 5 days with IV fluids and it went down to around 10. One week later, was up to 11.4. Hospitalized for IV fluids, and calcium went down to 9.4. Next day it was 10.3 and one week later 11. Parathyroid is checking out fine, MRI and chest Xray done. Kidney function normal. Active vitamin D level way high, 168 I think? Im also pregnant, so that kinda puts a wrench in the mix. Always tired, super thirsty, no energy, blah. I’m on steroids, which the Dr’s are waiting on to see whether it helps. Any advice would be great, I’m drained…

    • Were you taking a lot of vitamin D supplements? That can cause hypercalcemia. Usually primary hyperparthyroidism causes vitamin D to go low.

      • Gwen says:

        No, not even one supplement. And the Dr. says it’s not from anything I’m consuming, it’s the active vitamin d that’s triple what it’s supposed to be, and they aren’t sure where the calcium is coming from. Calcium was 10.3 last wed and 10.9 friday, so I have to make another trip to the Dr. I know he’s talked to some of his friends, and I travel about 2 hrs to see him because he’s an endocrine specialist of some kind. Just wondering if anyone had any ideas…I’m not taking prenatal vitamins anymore because of the calcium and vit. D in them…

        • Anne says:

          Have you talked with Dr. Yeh’s office? You should give them a call …

      • Gwen says:

        No, I haven’t given them a call. I live in WI, so I don’t think a trip to see him is do-able. My active vitamin D was measured today, and it was over the scale. The high end of the scale only goes to 230, so the Dr. said they were going to have to dilute my labs to get an actual reading of what my vitamin D is. My calcium was 10.5 today, and that was after 3 days of a lot of steroids. They are thinking now that it might have something to do with the fact that I’m pregnant, maybe the placenta is going into hyper-drive with vitamin D production or something? All way over my head, but the Dr.’s I’m working with have been more than helpful. They all seem to be talking to people they know or old colleagues, but it still seems like no one is quite sure why my calcium and vitamin D are always skyrocketing. Just wondering if anyone had heard of something similiar. Thanks!

    • Anne says:

      Wondering how you are doing now?

    • frances ruiz says:

      To female pregnant & worried. I am 59 yrs old Diagnosed with Osteoporosis with high calcium levels of 211 by an endocreinologist who decided to observe my condition. I then self referred myself to UCLA Dr. Yeh Endocrinologist team. I had my parathyroidectomy surgery today 2-14-12 and was told my harmone level from 200 is 40. Currently recovering with a neck incision approx 1″ I regret not consulting Dr.Yeh sooner

  134. Normally I do not read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

  135. Christopher Tang says:

    20 some years ago, my family doctor alerted me of my elevated calcium level and wanted me to see a endocrinologist. I ignored his advice as I was in my early 30s and felt great about myself. A few years later, I had my first kidney stone attack and not knowing what was happening, I went for emergency care. Since I traveled extensively, I didn’t bother to follow up with further medical exam thinking that was a separate incident because of my poor diet and not drinking enough water. I had no glue that I actually have problem with my parathyroid. Not until I had a few more kidney stone passing problems, and I was diagnosed with a pretty large thyroid nodule, I then decided to pay attention to my health problem. I spent the last 2 years visiting different doctors, going through many different tests and I was still in the dark. Got totally frustrated, I started my own research on the internet learning more about thyroid and parathyroid issues and found Dr. Yeh, believe it or not, on youtube. After learning about Dr. Yeh’s background and getting to know UCLA medical center a bit, I know I found hope.
    Spending less than 30 minutes with Dr. Yeh and his team in my first visit, even sadly I was diagnosed with problem with both my thyroid and my parathyroid, I still felt completely relief because finally someone could help me.
    The day of the surgery, I have to say i was a bit nervous because half of my thyroid and the bad parathyroid will be removed at the same time and it was my first operation. I had my operation at the UCLA Santa Monica facility and I had a wonderful experience there. The pain after surgery is nothing as compare to my kidney stone passing. I felt great!
    With their advance surgical technique, Dr. Yeh and team did a wonderful job in leaving a very small scar on my neck. In fact, weeks after the stitches were removed, the incision almost faded away completely. I consider myself extremely lucky in having Dr. Yeh as my surgeon and I sure would recommend any patients who need help regarding their parathyroid or thyroid issues.

  136. Jay says:

    I am 62 and live in Santa Barbara. About a year ago, my calcium level was high. After a series of tests, I was told that I had a benign tumor on my parathyroid and should have it removed. I learned that, while parathyroid surgery is not difficult for the patient, it can be very tricky for the surgeon, and it is important to have a surgeon who is very experienced in parathyroid. After some research, I found Dr. Yeh at UCLA. He came highly recommended by another physician I know. I was very pleased with Dr. Yeh and the entire surgical process and team at UCLA! During the surgery, my calcium level returned to normal. I am due for a follow up calcium test soon.

  137. Anne says:

    I had the same experience with Dr. Yeh and his staff. It’s so good to hear how well you are doing … what a blessing!

  138. Vicki W. says:

    Reading many of these blogs has just brought me to tears. I have suffered so long with symptons and the frustration of always feeling “old” way before my time. (I am currently 54). I was told once when I was 32 and on a liquid (Oprah) diet by my family physician “Hmmm. Your calicium is on the high side”. And that was it. Nothing was done. Over many years (22 now) I have heard the same remark “Your calcium is high” and then nothing done. So, I blew it off thinking that’s just the way my body is. Well, FINALLY last October my family physician told me I should have it checked. Out of ignorance I didn’t do it. I blew it off. “Well it’s been high all my life”. I finally ended up in the hospital March of 2011 with diverticulitis. I thought I had a reoccuring episode a few weeks later and my gastroenterologist told me I was having pain in my abodomen becuase my calcium level was so high (11.1). OK. I got it. Time to check this thing out. Well, I had to wait 4 weeks until I could get into an endocrinologist and then 6 weeks of testing, biopsy on thyroid, sestimibi testing, etc. Then another 6 weeks to get into to see Dr. Yeh. (Yeah!) The symptoms I have currently have are the joint and muscle pain, abdominal pain, constipation, kidney and urinary pain, headaches, mental confusion (always feeling sedated or in a fog…no clarity of thought), acid reflux, extreme fatigue, weight gain, depression, irritability, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations (and I lost my mojo). I think that about covers it ! After so many years I can’t imagine my life being any different and I’m so hopeful to be “normal” and get on with life and recover what I’ve lost with it. The stories are so inspiring and I hope and pray by the grace of God to have a quick recovery without complications. Thanks to all of you and your words of hope.
    Vicki W.

    • Anne says:

      Good luck to you Vicki! Be sure and post after your experience with Dr. Yeh and associates to let us know how everything went. And how you feel! My surgery was in June and even though I didn’t have the severity of symptoms you do, I feel so much more energetic and normal than before surgery. I had to push my local doctors to test and diagnose, and they were still unwilling to do anything, so Dr. Yeh was a real blessing! He cured my hyperparathyroid condition. Just had my first follow-up calcium check and it is normal.

      • Vicki W. says:

        Thank you Anne for your comment. I had my surgery on 9/9 and when I woke up on 9/10 my joint and muscle pain was completely gone. I couldn’t believe it!!
        I had tingling in the lips and hands but took my calcium and after 3-4 days the tingling stopped. I have had more energy, no more headaches, and most of the other symptoms have subsided are almost gone completely.
        I have my follow up with Dr. Yeh in October. I’m so grateful and feel so fortunate to have met him and had him do the surgery. I couldn’t be more blessed. He is absolutely awesome and the personal attention he gave me and my family was more than expected or I could ask for.

  139. Gary Paster says:

    I’m a 67 year old man, living in Sedona, Az. My primary physician told me two years ago that I had elevated calcium levels. I did a bone scan which detected a degree of bone loss. After taking fosamax for a year my bone scan indicated an increase in bone density. At the end of the second year, my doctor found I had a marked increase in blood calcium levels. He felt that I needed to have the surgery on my parathyroid and suggested investigating the UCLA Endrocrine Program.
    My wife and I have children in Los Angeles and so it was an easy decision to come to UCLA for the surgery. All of my medical records were sent to Dr. Yeh’s office. Several days before before the scheduled surgery I had a pre-op exam, including an ultra sound of my carotoid artery.
    My surgery was scheduled for mid morning. My wife and I checked in and the staff made us both feel very comfortable and reassured. The nurse told my wife that she would see me back in the same room in a short time. Unfortunately, my surgery took longer than the “normal” amount of time.
    As Dr. Yeh described to us later, the adenoma was removed but the calcium levels remained high. He then checked the remaining parathyroid glands only to find that two parathyroid glands had embedded within the right lobe of the thyroid gland itself. Accordingly, Dr. Yeh removed that lobe of the thyroid and my calcium level drooped dramactically.
    I was returned to the recovery room, and my wife, some three hours later. Dr. Yeh explained that, because of the thyroidectomy, I would need to stay overnight. I don’t remember experiencing much pain beyond a sore throat from the breathing tube. I was released the next morning and felt fully recovered almost immediately.
    I feel generally more energetic, alert and much more optimistic. I also still feel sixty seven. Overall , the experience was a good one and I would like to thank Dr. Yeh and his associates for their excellent care. Additionally, I am grateful to my idoctor in Arizona who diagnosed my condition and recommended the UCLA Program.

  140. Terri says:

    IMy surgeon mistook the flattened parathyroid adenoma under my windpipe for a layer of fat and continued to look elsewhere for it. Several scans showed exactly where it was, but he said it didn’t help him. Consequently, the surgery lasted 6 hours and I now have Horner’s syndrome. My eye hurts sometimes and so does my head. I don’t sweat on the right side of my body from the chest up, my right eyelid droops and my right pupil stays contracted. Reading is now much more difficult. I’ve been told that this Horner’s syndrome is probably permanent.

    It’s been three months since my surgery. I still feel tired and a little forgetful. How long can it take for the tiredness and cognitive symptoms to go away? I had symptomatic hyperparathyroidism for 5 years before anyone diagnosed it. Thanks for any ino.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was Dr Yeh your surgeon?

      • Terri says:

        Oh, no. This was in Boston.

        • Diane says:

          I also live in Boston. I am so sorry for the Horner’s syndrome you now have. If you could help me, where did you have your surgery. My diagnosis is in progress for hyerparathyroidism. My primary doctor is convinced I do not have it because my calcium is only 10.2 (within normal limits) and a sestimibe scan ordered by my endocrinologist showed no evidence of adenoma. Yet my bone density scan is positive for osteoporosis, my PTH is 234 and I have already had kidney stones. I will be seeing my endocrinologist again after my ultrasound. My endocrinologist wants to refer me to a surgeon at MAss General. I would appreciate any help you may be able to give.

        • Hi Diane,

          When I went to MA General and my surgeon was pretty young and inexperienced. He didn’t realize that the flat, yellow object he first saw was my offending parathyroid. So he kept digging and digging looking…for 6 hours. When I had my surgery, no one in Boston was doing radio-assisted surgery. He told me that didn’t matter, but I can’t help but think it might have helped him locate the gland.

          I went undiagnosed for 5 years and was just desperate to have the surgery. So even though I had read that experience was key, I went with a young doctor because I didn’t want to wait for months. My primary care doctor thought I should watch and wait, but I was losing my mind and afraid of losing my job because of it. Initially, my calcium level was high normal, but further testing revealed that my 24 hour urine for calcium was double what it should’ve been, my pth 90. As my diagnosis became more positive and my serum calcium was being checked fairly regularly, it turned out that my levels were all over the place–my blood pressure, my pth, and my calcium levels flutuated wildly. The parathyroid doctor from Florida says that is typical because a parathyroid tumor doesn’t really regulate calcium any more. so one day you might be normal, then another day you might be terribly high. It’s all by chance it seems that you’ll get an accurate diagnosis. I finally told my primary care doctor that it didn’t make sense to wait and just get sicker.

          If I had to do it over again, I would have stopped taking calcium. Everyone kept telling me to keep taking calcium. That just made me more crazy and unable to think clearly. I can’t help but think that if I had stopped taking calcium for a few months while I sorted things out, I would have not so desperately gone wiith the first available surgeon. I was a dificult case, he told me, because I already had so much neck scarring from radioactive iodine treatment. I needed a Dr. Yeh or someone of similar experience. Can you get a referral to Dr. Yeh? It would seem to me that insurance would want to pay for a better outcome without bad side effects. It would make financial sense. Whatever you decide, go with the most experienced surgeon. Don’t get pushed into anything less. Let me know how it goes.

    • Anonymous says:

      i’m getting ready to have that surgery. was looking on internet. said the most important thing for you do to is find a good surgeon that has done them befor. at least once a week said if they only do it every 6 months find another dr. i’ve been in terrible pain for 5 yrs. addicted to pain meds. the only reason they found it now is my calcium is high. my dr is sending me to a ent not a intercrinologist. so i’m asking her which one. i what to make sure i get a good dr. they also said it shouldn’t take more than 20 min. sorry things didn’t go so well for you. oh and it said you should feel better with in one to 6 hrs after surgery. are you sure they got the right one. find another dr. ask more questions. good luck. linda

  141. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience. Dr. Yeh, his staff and all of the people at the hospital were wonderful. Having undergone numerous surgeries in various hospitals this was by far the finest group of professionals I’ve encountered. The surgery went just as Dr. Yeh described. There was little discomfort and I started feeling the benefits within a few days. I would have no reservations referring family or friends in need of help.

  142. Irene says:

    Hi there,

    Several months ago my blood work showed that I had an extremely large amount of T3 hormone being produced by my thyroid. My endocrinologist discovered I had a nodule on the right side of my Thyroid Gland. He felt that if I had it removed that possibly the left side of my thyroid will start working and I would not have to take medication. He referred me to Dr. Yeh. Dr. Yeh agreed that perhaps removing the nodule would do the trick. I was scheduled for surgery, had a general anesthesia and the only discomfort I experienced was a bit of a sore throat when I woke up. The procedure took approx 45 minutes and the recovery time was short. I was scheduled to arrive at 7:30a, surgery was at 9am and I left the surgery center by 2:30p. My scar is almost nonexistent at 4 weeks. Unfortunately my blood work shows that my thyroid has not kicked in so I had to start Synthroid medication but there still is hope it will wake up. Dr. Yeh was wonderful as well as his staff. He answered all of my questions and provided encouragement. I highly recommend the UCLA staff experience.


  143. Anne says:

    I had my parathyroidectomy through the distance surgery program June 16, 2011. It is now a week later and I feel GREAT! My story is much like those at this blog: calcium levels in the elevated range showed up about 2 years ago and my primary care physician said we could watch it. We watched it bounce around for a while. I began doing research and found this was typical of parathyroid problems. I requested that she check my PTH and it too showed the “bounce around” pattern. Though she did not seem too concerned, I requested that she refer me to an endocrinologist, who did more tests including 24-hour urine (calcium was about double the normal), Vitamin D (low) while calcium continued to bounce around between 10.2 and 10.9. This doctor had me go off calcium supplements and retested. In March the endocrinologist diagnosed me with primary hyperparathyroid disease, called it “very mild”, said surgery would not make me feel any different and I would just end up with a scar. She said surgery was not indicated unless/until there is bone loss, kidney stones and calcium over 11. She recommended monitoring and retesting everything 3 times per year. When I seemed doubtful, she recommended a web search on “primary hyperparathyroid disease and indications for surgery”. I found myself at the UCLA Endocrinology website, which I read “cover to cover”, becoming convinced that I needed to contact Dr. Yeh. I found out I could refer myself, sent in all my test results and had an extremely informative phone consultation with Dr. Yeh. He said that the only explanation for my numbers was hyperparathyroid disease, and it could be cured with surgery. He asked thorough questions concerning my health and lifestyle and felt I was a good candidate for surgery. (At every step of the way, my complete health history was reviewed and passed on to all concerned with my surgery.) I traveled to UCLA from my home in Idaho with my husband, had scans on Monday followed by an office visit with Dr. Yeh that included ultrasound of my neck. These tests found two enlarged glands. I found Dr. Yeh and his associates to be extremely helpful, humble, friendly and efficient, validating my decision to have surgery. I returned on Thursday, had a 20-30 minute procedure that removed one “huge” and one “plump” gland, followed by a 3 hour recovery period during which my PTH and calcium levels returned to normal. I had a bit of a sore throat for several days, and just a tad of soreness at the incision site, but have not needed pain medication. I flew home the next day, gradually increased my activity levels. Though I was not feeling terrible prior to the surgery, I was definitely not my usual energetic self. Now I am! Most importantly, I do not have to live in fear of kidney stones and osteoporosis, and I do not have to have expensive and time-consuming tests three times a year. I highly recommend Dr. Yeh and the distance surgery program at UCLA! Thanks to Dr. Yeh and to Yasmin for truly caring about patients!

  144. Ed Bernstein says:

    I just wanted to thank Dr. Yeh for the excellent work performed by him and his team. I had an elevated calcium level of over 11. My doctor put me through a CT scan and ultrasound last year, but there was no indication of a tumor. Same high calcium levels this year, and I went right to Dr. Yeh based on the recommendations on this website. Dr. Yeh immediately pinpointed the parathyroid gland causing the problem, and surgery was scheduled for the end of May. Everything went as promised. The process at UCLA was perfect. All the nurses and assistants were very caring and very helpful. The procedure was about 20 minutes, I spent about four hours in recovery, and went home that evening. Back to work in 2 days, and leaving on a wonderful Hawaiian vacation, feeling energized and all thanks to Dr. Yeh. I can’t thank him enough.

  145. Roy Schoenbeck says:

    I am a 66-year old male living in Sparks Nevada who underwent Parathyroid surgery by Dr. Michael Hey on 03/30/2011. A 3cm (1.18″) adenoma at the right superior parathyroid gland was removed. ———-

    My calcium level was elevated for many years prior to the surgery. Why so long before correcting – at first my then doctor and I thought it was just a mild condition and we should monitor it. After it continued to be elevated other medical issues took precedent – a prostate scare, a heart attack with a difficult recovery and an ongoing lung condition. ———-

    In 2011 with other health concerns stable, it was time to address the calcium situation. Lab tests confirmed the diagnosis but a parathyroid scan locally was negative. The excellent UCLA website made me aware this is not uncommon and I decided to go for UCLA’s distant surgery program that condenses the need to travel for surgery to less than one week. ———-

    Post surgery I had some difficulty with the need to take calcium supplements. Calcium Carbonate caused me stomach bloating and I lost weight. Not taking anything caused my fingers and toes to cramp up. After talking with UCLA, I tried Calcium Citrate which my body tolerates. ———

    My calcium level is now 9.1 against the reference range 8.4 – 10.2. What has a normal calcium level meant to me? I have renewed energy and no longer struggle to stay awake during the day. My mind is exceptionally lucid – I enjoy reading again and comprehend technical material easily, typing is more accurate, in general I feel much more alert and a part of things. ———-

    I was fortunate that Medicare and AARP supplemental insurance covered the cost of the surgery. It is expensive to travel and stay in Los Angeles but I gladly paid for it. The value of a normal calcium level – priceless! ———-


  146. CE says:

    I am a 58 yr old Asian female, currently living in a rural area 3.5 hours outside of L.A. My blood tests over the last 18 months showed consistently higher levels of calcium. I was referred to Dr Yeh in January 2011, and had my hyperparathyroidectomy in March. The Endocrine Surgery website is wonderful for information!

    Even with the long distance, UCLA Medical made the logistics (and surgery) as painless as possible. Due to the long drive, I was able to schedule my surgery for late afternoon. Before I was released, they showed me that my calcium level had dropped to normal range. I stayed overnight at the Tiverton House, which is within walking distance of the surgery unit, as a “just in case”.

    My recovery went well. The only problem I had was the realization that I am allergic to steristrips! I had one follow-up appt two weeks later. Dr Yeh was most apologetic for the allergic reaction, which was certainly NOT his fault. Except for a slight darkening of my skin where the steristrip was applied, the surgical site is fine — smooth, no ugly scar. My only remaining follow-up is a blood test with my primary physician — one in June and another in September. Thank you Dr. Yeh!

  147. Patricia says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. My calcium level has been high and my vitimin D level low, in addition to having several other symptons described in the definitions and information provided at websites describing hyper-parathyroidism. I was mentally preparing myself to accept that I had to travel across country to get this procedure performed by specialists, when I thought I would look up reviews for any specialists in the Los Angeles area. From reading your comment, I feel confident that I can find a reputable specialist here. Again, please accept my gratitude.

  148. katayoon says:

    I have been diagnosed with papillary carcinoma thyroid cancer on thanksgiving day, 2010.
    For few days my life was like hell. I couldn’t eat,sleep and even not thinking straight.
    I believe it was my destiny to find Dr.Yeh.
    As soon as I visited him, I knew I will be in a good hand. He explained about my disease and the procedures and also he assured me it is curable cancer. I never forget his assuring sentence: “You can participate in my retirement party.”
    He gave me such a peace and relief which I continued my normal life , going to the college , finishing my finals and enjoying my time with my family and friends during Christmas time and getting for my surgery on February 2011 .I knew I will be in a good hand, and I just tried to be positive and do all my routines until my surgery.The surgery and all its procedure was really great, and he did such a fantastic job.
    I personally %100 recommend him, he is one of the best! I never forget what a fantastic job he did for me.
    May God bless him !
    Thank you again Dr. Yeh
    Your are the best.

  149. Davis says:

    I am a 49 year old male and had my surgery Feb 2011. My Calcium level and PTH levels had been high. I did all of the routine test that goes with the diagnosis but when i had my bone destiny done, everything was normal. My primary doctor who happen to be a good friend insisted that I should go thru the procedure and remove my para thyroid to avoid future irreversible problems. The one reason that mafe decide to have the procedure done is the fact that I had been suffering fro headaches as early as age seven. My headaches had been getting worse for since age 35. I visited UCLA and Ceders pain center with no sign of relief. The years before the surgery I had end up with an average of general head pain fir an avegare of 20 days per week. I went thru a number of neurologists and they never picked up on the high levels of calcium in my blood. I am happily married with two beautiful kids. I am self made hand have a successful architectural business and void give all of it up if I could only be able to getup in the morning and not feel the pain in my head.
    I meet Dr. Yeh and decided to have the surgery frusta chance for the remote possibility that it may have an effect on my headaches. When I asked Dr. Yeh if there is any chance. That I may get any relief, i was told unlikely.
    Now I have to say, it has been two months since I had the surgery and Dr. Yeh did a fantastic job removing one of my hyperactive parathyroid glands. My calcium levels was lowered right thru the surgery. The first question I asked him after the surgery was, is my pain going to go away?
    My head pain headaches has disappeared. I am full of energy working and having fun 24/7. I don’t know if there is any connection between the two or it’s my imagination. But I like to get the word out because during the past 20 years I visited numerous physicians to figure out a cure. The only response has always been a number of horrible preventive medications and potent pain reliever and yet not result. Funny enough they never send me for a blood test.

    It has been two months of joy and I hope it lasts. That you Dr. Yeh.

  150. K W says:

    I am a 43 year-old Caucasian male from southern California who was successfully treated for hyperparathyroid disease by Dr. Michael Yeh in November 2010. Following is the history of my case, including the initial diagnosis, symptoms, diagnostic tests and surgeries.

    In February 2009, my internist pointed out that my annual blood test revealed a calcium level of 10.6 and ionized calcium level of 4.6, but he didn’t think this warranted additional tests at that time. In March 2010, my annual blood test showed a calcium level of 10.7, and ionized calcium was 4.7; both of which are on the high end of the normal range for the laboratory that provided the results.

    I was referred to a board-certified endocrinologist for additional tests, which included a blood test to measure my calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, creatine blood and PTH intact, and a bone densitometry (DEXA) scan at a hospital-imaging center.

    My results were consistent with my earlier blood test; my calcium was 10.5. Additionally, my vitamin D level was 20, which is low, and my DEXA scan showed that I had lost a “minimal” amount of bone. My endocrinologist had me take 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D for eight weeks to get my vitamin D level back to normal, which it did, but my calcium level was still in the 10.5 to 10.7 range in early 2010, and one test showed it jumped to 11.4. In addition, my PTH score was 86, well above the normal high of 65, and my ionized calcium was 6.1, which above the normal high of 5.6.

    In April 2010 I was diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism and discussed my treatment options with my endocrinologist. There are no medical treatments available, and I didn’t want to wait to get treated, so I decided to go forward with surgery in July 2010 with a well-known general and laparoscopic surgeon. On the morning of my surgery, I had a nuclear sestimibi scan at the hospital and the radiologist couldn’t pinpoint the location of my diseased parathyroid gland; there was “only a slight glow” that could be seen. A second nuclear scan was conducted, only with the same result: no definitive location as to the problem gland.

    My surgeon informed me of this and told me it’s uncommon, but nothing to worry too much about, and the surgery was performed. My procedure lasted just over 4 hours and the problem parathyroid gland couldn’t be located. While a benign parathyroid gland was removed, the source of my parathyroid problem was a mystery. My intraoperative and postoperative calcium and PTH scores were high, so my condition was the same as it was prior to surgery. My surgeon was fully capable, too, but my case was just too difficult. He is a well-trained, board-certified surgeon with over 20 years of clinical experience and countless success stories to his credit.

    The recovery time for my initial surgery was painful for the first 4-5 days, with the primary discomfort occurring while sleeping or moving my head and neck. Eating and drinking was painful for the first 5 days but got better soon thereafter.

    I had a postsurgical follow-up with my initial surgeon and then my endocrinologist, and both of them advised me to seek out an endocrine surgeon who specializes in thyroid and parathyroid surgery, particularly extremely difficult cases like mine.

    My wife and I spend countless hours on the web researching the handful of board-certified endocrine surgeons in the US, and the one whose credentials impressed me the most was Dr. Michael Yeh at the UCLA School of Medicine. I liked the fact that he is not only board-certified, but also fellowship trained, which means he has completed several years of additional training in his highly specialized field. I called and scheduled my appointment with Dr. Yeh, and hos coordinator, Yasmin, couldn’t have been more helpful or knowledgeable of endocrine disorders, and in the steps necessary in the diagnostic process. She answered all of my questions and scheduled me for my nuclear sestimibi scan and appointment with Dr. Yeh approximately 6 weeks after my initial surgery.

    When I arrived at the UCLA School of Medicine for my nuclear sestimibi scan, the waiting room had patients from southern California — as well as other states — who also chose Dr. Yeh based on his impressive credentials. My wife and I met some of them and it was nice to see a level of confidence they had.

    My nuclear sestimibi scan at UCLA was inconclusive just like it was prior to my first surgery, and Dr. Yeh explained this to me during my consultation. He has an outstanding bedside manner and makes you feel comfortable and confident in the level of care he provides. He is patient and explains everything in simple, easy to understand terms so you are fully informed about your condition and treatment options. Dr. Yeh conducted a neck ultrasound in his office but couldn’t locate anything of concern. He told me the final test to help pinpoint my problem parathyroid gland was a parathyroid interventional venous sampling, which would be conducted by Dr. Christopher Loh, a board-certified interventional radiologist and Assistant Professor of Radiology, at the UCLA School of Medicine. This procedure was conducted in September 2010 and took two hours, but the problem parathyroid area couldn’t be located. However, I was very relieved to learn that the parathyroid wasn’t located in my chest region. Recovery for this interventional procedure was quick; the puncture wound for the catheter healed immediately and the discomfort was minimal and went away completely after a week.

    I spoke to Dr. Yeh and he said my case was mild even with my calcium and PTH levels, that no immediate surgery is necessary, and that the success rates for a second parathyroid surgery aren’t as high as they are for the first surgery (obviously). However, I wanted to go forward with the second surgery and hopefully get cured, and Dr. Yeh was the surgeon who instilled confidence in my decision.

    I had my surgery in November 2010 and when I awoke from the anesthesia, I was told that I was cured. I asked one of the residents to pinch me to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and they smiled and told me what my intraoperative and postoperative calcium and PTH levels were. I spent the night at the UCLA School of Medicine and Dr. Yeh came to see me the next morning. He said my case was extremely rare because I was born with one parathyroid gland under my thymus, and it split up and became overactive, thus causing my high calcium, high PTH and low vitamin D levels. During surgery, Dr. Yeh, went through a tiny (3 inch) incision just below the entry point of my first surgery, and went down and carefully removed the problem parathyroid from under my thymus, as well as some of the surrounding tissue. He also explored my neck for other possible problem areas and removed the scar tissue from my first surgery.

    The recovery for my second surgery was exactly the same as it was for my first surgery, only this time I had the emotional benefit of knowing Dr. Yeh cured me of my hyperparathyroidism. I went for my postsurgical appointment with him and he told me (again) how rare my case was and that he “had a hunch” my problem parathyroid was located under my thymus, but he didn’t tell me this prior to surgery because he might “jinx” himself.

    It is now April 2011 and I just received the results from my annual blood test. My PTH level is 12 (the normal range is 10-65); my calcium level is 8.9 (the normal level is 8.6-10.5) and my vitamin D is 33 (the normal range is 30-100). I take calcium and vitamin D supplements daily as recommended by Dr. Yeh.

    Finally, I am a very active person and never understood why I felt tired and had cloudy thinking the past three years, and now that my hyperparathyroidism is cured, I feel great… like I am 25 years old! My wife likes the fact that I no longer yawn during the day or forget things that she tells me. Dr. Yeh’s expertise as an endocrine surgeon didn’t just improve my health; it improved my overall quality of life. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done, and I would recommend him to anyone who needs highly specialized care for hyperparathyroidism or any of the related endocrine disorders he treats.

    • Steve says:


      Thanks so much for your story. I myself have had 2 blood tests and my calcium levels have been at 10.4 and at 10.8, and my PTH Intact is at 147 (normal is 11-51). I’m a little taken back in that I had the systemibi scan and it showed nothing?

      I would love to get a contact phone number for this doctor from UCLA if you have it. I have been feeling very fatigued and minor headaches, and have been wondering if those have anything to do with high calcium?

      Thanks again.


      • Davis says:

        Talk to dr. Michael yeh at UCLA.
        I understand that high levels of calcium in blood can contribute to pain in some people.
        Good luck.

  151. Nancy F. (age 55) says:

    Late in 2009, a routine blood test showed I had an elevated calcium level. My regular doctor said he’d do another blood test in a couple of months. In April, 2010, the next blood test showed the calcium level was still high and he said it might be hyperthyroidism and he’d do another blood test in a month. A month later, same thing, another blood test, same results. I was starting to feel like a pin cushion and I wanted action, not another blood test. I researched hyperthyroidism on the internet and found that the symptoms were exactly what I’d been struggling with for months and I had thought I was just getting old! I had extreme fatigue, never could get enough sleep even if I slept for 12-14 hours, random bone and joint aches & pains, a recurring muscle cramp in my neck, excessive thirst and irritability. I was a flight attendant and was struggling because I didn’t seem to have enough energy to do my job. I found Dr. Yeh and the UCLA endocrinology dept and decided to take matters into my own hands. I called Dr. Yeh and got an appt for a phone consultation. When he and I spoke, he was very informative and helpful, but asked that I go through a few steps before he would see me. He asked that I go to a medical doctor at UCLA to get checked out to make sure there wasn’t something else wrong. I followed his instructions and went to a regular doctor at UCLA and got checked out and finally after more blood work and several other tests she confirmed that I did indeed need an appt with Dr. Yeh. At my first appt with him, Dr. Yeh said he didn’t think I was a candidate for surgery but ordered a couple more tests. I was very frustrated because by this time I was really suffering with my “symptoms”. Finally after those tests and more bloodwork, he told me that I did indeed need surgery. I was very anxious to get some relief from the fatigue and aches and pains (by this time I had even given up my job) so I told him I’d take the first available slot he had for the procedure. He’d just had a cancellation so 3 days later, on Feb 3, 2011, I had my parathyroidectomy. Minutes after the operation, my calcium level went back to normal. I went home 5 hours after the surgery and although my neck was sore for several days, my energy level soared. For the first time in several years, I woke up each morning ready to jump out of bed! Dr. Yeh had been very careful not to rush into surgery if it was not absolutely necessary. Although I was anxious to feel better, I was glad in the long run that I was in the hands of a surgeon so thorough and meticulous. Thank you, Dr. Yeh!

  152. N. Johnsn says:

    I am a 45 year old female who has suffered from Parathyroid disease for many years before I was properly diagnosed by doctor Yeh . I passed kidney stones on a regular basis. I underwent 5 kidney surgeries as a direct result of this disease. I suffered from memory loss, and was tired all the time. I had numbness and tingling in my arms and face. The list goes on and on. I had all of the “typical symptoms that come with this disease. I was so tired and frustrated and didn’t know where to turn. I was so ready to give up on every being well. That is when I had the very fortunate pleasure of meeting Dr. Yeh and is wonderful staff. He found the problem in less than 10 minutes on an ultra sound. Scheduled my surgery on the very first visit and I have been on the road of recovery ever since. I have read that some say they feel an immediate change. That was not the case for me. It took time and each day I feel a little more like my old self.The best thing about having this surgery is that I have not passed one kidney stone since my surgery in December of 2010. I am forever grateful to him and his staff.

    • N. Johnsn says:

      I forgot to mention that as a result of this disease going undetected for so many years I now have Osteoperosis and have to now take medication every month to help slow it down. My hope is that if you think you have this disease take the time and see Dr. Yeh, I wish I would have found him years ago. It may have saved me from long term side affects of it going undetected for so long.

  153. Susan says:

    Dr. Yeh:

    I just wanted to give you an update on my father, Bill. Last February you removed one of his parathyroid glands because his blood calcium level was increasing. He recently had a physical, including blood work. His calcium level is at 9, and he is very happy. Since last summer he has mentioned to me several times that he hasn’t suffered any depression since the surgery (this had been a fairly common issue with him), his blood pressure dropped enough that he no longer has to take meds for it, he has lost weight and has more energy.

    In short, he is feeling great, and he credits you for that. My sisters and I joke that ‘we have a new dad!’

    He also talks about how the whole experience with you and UCLA went very smoothly. He is not known for his patience, so that’s huge! And since I was the one that accompanied him on this journey, I really appreciate how well everything went and how nice everyone was.

    I don’t know if you often get follow-ups, especially with your out-of-state patients, so I wanted to let you know how well he is doing. Thank you so much!


    Paris, Texas

  154. Sam R says:

    Dr. M. Yeh:

    In response to your request for thoughts on my recent para-thyroid surgery I offer the following:
    1) The diagnosis procedure worked quickly and well.
    2) Everything was handled easily within the UCLA system.
    3) The surgery was faultless.
    4) My post-surgery recovery was great, (I never even took an aspirin).
    5) I’m a retired 74 year old Easterner.
    6) Everything (my calcium levels were too high) is now back to normal.

    Hope this feedback is of some help. Thanks again for your fine work.

    Sam R

  155. Anonymous says:

    I am a 62 year old female. I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism by my GP about 7 years ago after a routine blood test showed elevated levels of calcium. I was referred to a local endocrinologist who monitored my condition. My PTH and calcium levels remained slightly elevated and the endocrinologist was unconcerned about the symptoms of general aches and muscle spasms, cognitive impairment (poor memory, inability to focus and organize thoughts), and feeling much older than my age. My local physicians seemed unconcerned by the symptoms. Both said that the PTH and calcium levels were too low for hyperparathyroidism to be causing my symptoms. I searched on-line and found that many times symptoms exhibit at the slightly elevated levels and that waiting for the calcium and PTH levels to raise to some undetermined higher level was unsupported. Fortunately for me, a co-worker had had parathyroid surgery and mentioned that my symptoms were very much like hers and referred me to her endocrinologist at UCLA, Dr. Susan Davis, who ordered the Sestemibi scan, 24-hour urine calcium test, PTH and blood tests, and a bone-density scan. On my second visit to her, she referred my to Dr. Michael Yeh. The Sestemibi scan was inconclusive. In the meanwhile, Dr. Yeh and an intern performed an ultra-sound which showed a growth on one parathyroid gland. I was scheduled for out-patient surgery to be done 6 weeks later. Two visits to the endocrinologist, Dr. Davis, and one to the surgeon, Dr. Yeh resulted in the removal of two parathyroid glands. Post-surgery pain medication was unnecessary. My neck was slightly sore from being extend backward, and my throat was a little sore from the anesthesia tube. The discomfort was very slight and I was back to doing my regular routine the very next day. The surgical scar, as others have noted, is small, horizontal, and easily camouflaged by normal neck wrinkles. No one notices. Surgery was two and a half months ago and the symptom that I was most concerned about, cognitive impairment, has subsided.

    The physicians and other medical staff were very professional, efficient, and approachable. They are friendly and helpful – willing to answer questions and take their time doing so.

  156. Robert B. says:

    I am a 52 year old male. I have been mostly healthy and have exercised regularly through my life. About 10 years ago, my calcium levels started to become “slightly” elevated beyond the normal range. Shortly thereafter, I had a case of kidney stones. I went to a Urologist who did a bunch of tests and basically put me on potassium citrate and told me to drink a liter or more of water a day and avoid certain foods (all for the rest of my life). A couple of years later, I got another episode of kidney stones. Although my calcium levels continued to be elevated during this time, my PTH levels were in the “normal” range, and I can only guess that this is the reason my Urologist and general doctor didn’t seem overly alarmed or at least seriously consider the probability that I had hyperparathyroidism. They had mentioned it in passing but did not suggest anything further.

    When I turned 50, I started having general aches and pains which I attributed to just getting older. But I was thinking that if I felt this way at 50, I couldn’t imagine how I would feel at 60 and really began to wonder why people would even want to live to an old age. I could function OK, but it wasn’t pleasant, and I really began to wonder if I would ever feel really good again. That is something that is easy to take for granted until you don’t feel it anymore. Also, my short term memory was diminishing and it was disturbing to me. Again, I attributed this to getting older, but it seemed a bit extreme and not consistent with my friends my age.

    Finally, my general doctor did a bone scan and found that I was osteopenic. She got very concerned (as did I) and said she suspected hyperparathyroidism and sent me to an Endocrinologist who told me he suspected the same thing. He recommended a local surgeon.

    I have had surgeries before (including two hernia repairs) and was not enthusiastic about having another surgery. I delayed dealing with this for over a year after that, but the more research I did, the more I realized that this was only going to get progressively worse and the quality of my life was being diminished. I bit the bullet, and after doing a lot of research on the internet, made an appointment with Dr. Yeh. As for the rest of my story, I can only say “wow, wow, wow.”

    I went in for my appointment at UCLA Medical Center. Everything was professional and state of the art. After some initial consultation and chart review, I was given a sestamibi scan (totally painless). After that, i met with Dr. Yeh. He is very nice, patient, calm and personable, but I also immediately sensed that he is very smart, confident and competent. He had reviewed my scan and told me that he had a high degree of certainty that I had one adenoma located at my left inferior parathyroid. Then he gave me an ultrasound (again, totally painless) and told me that he was able to see the adenoma and confirm the location. He then took a picture of it and showed it to me. He also told me he was highly confident that I had no other adenomas which would be confirmed at the time of surgery. While I was still not looking forward to surgery, I actually felt an enormous amount of relief that this problem had been diagnosed and that there was a cure for it.

    About a month later, I went in for the surgery. My experience was very similar to the other statements above. I was put under, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. I was a bit uncomfortable, but nothing remotely like a hernia surgery. After a little while, Dr. Yeh checked up on me, told me the surgery went well and as expected and that, within 5 minutes upon removal of the diseased parathyroid gland, my PTH “dropped like a rock” essentially confirming that the problem had been resolved.

    I went home a couple of hours later. There was some discomfort, the same sort of level as a sore throat from a cold. I didn’t “need” the pain pills, but I did take one, just to feel more comfortable, which I did. I went out for dinner that evening and ate with no problem and slept well that night. I was back to my normal routine the next day (mostly working at the computer). Two weeks later, I had my follow up with Dr. Yeh and all was well. The scar pictures on the website were totally consistent with my experience. I am now 5 months post surgery and can barely see the scar and I never notice it unless I look for it. No one has EVER questioned me about it, or as far as I know, noticed it at all. My calcium levels and lower PTH levels are now normal. First time in 10 years.

    I feel much better. I don’t want to overstate this because many of the manifestations of this disease are subtle. But the aches and pains went away within a day or two. That was really amazing. I am still 52, but I feel like 52 and not 80. My memory has improved and I just feel sharper.

    If I can offer any advice it is as follows:

    1. Don’t wait to have symptoms of hyperthyroidism like bone loss and kidney stones. i honestly thought I was dying with my first episode of kidney stones, and while I knew what was going on the second time, no one should have to experience that kind of pain if they don’t have to. The bone loss may reverse to some degree, but I should have taken care of this much sooner and avoided that altogether. I am disappointed that I did not get this taken care of sooner. But even if you do have symptoms like I did, just do it and get it done. You will have a better life.

    2. Any elevation of calcium beyond the normal range is not ok. Mine always seemed “slightly” elevated (usually around 10.9) and PTH level were always “normal.” General doctors do not seem to really understand this disease very well. Dr. Yeh understood my condition immediately and did the tests to confirm his suspicions.

    3. Go to an expert who does this work all the time. Although I live about an hour away from UCLA, I would have travelled across the United States to be treated by Dr. Yeh. It is worth it. This whole process can be fairly simple and fairly painless in the hands of a highly skilled and experienced expert. I think the chance of complications or problems increases dramatically with less experienced professionals who do this work only part time.

    I am sure I have left out things that may be of interest to others and would be happy to answer any questions about my experience.

  157. In 1980, while living in Central Florida, a routine blood test indicated a very high calcium level. I was having constant headaches and body aches. Further tests indicated the probability of hyperparathyroidism. I might add that my sister, father, and grandmother all have or have had hyperparathyroidism, so it is apparently hereditary in my family.I was referred to Shands Research Hospital at the University of Florida Medical Center. Surgeons there removed half of my parathyroid glands. My symptoms did not improve. Further tests indicated the presence of ectopic parathyroid tissue in several places in my thoracic cavity. Major surgery followed to remove the ectopic parathyroid tissue. An implant of parathyroid tissue was done in my right forearm, in an attempt to maintain a normal PTH level. My symptoms and lab tests did not improve.One evening I developed intense abdominal pain. I was rushed to the ER. At first they diagnosed me with a gall bladder attack, but then it was discovered that I had a rupture in my small intestine, which was repaired.My primary care doctor referred me to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, where my sister had had parathyroid surgery. At Mayo I had one of the top surgeons and parathyroid specialists in the country. He removed all but one half of one parathyroid gland. I had speech therapy after surgery, due to nerve damage to the vocal chords. After several weeks of therapy my voice returned to normal.After moving to Southern California, my symptoms continued – constant headaches and body aches, and a very high calcium level. One night I developed flu-like symptoms, including intense abdominal pain and nausea. I was rushed to the ER, and tests revealed two intestinal ruptures. I had emergency surgery, removing half of my large intestine.I remained under the care of a gastroenterologist and an endocrinologist. The gastroenterologist determined that the high PTH and high calcium level had caused polyps to develop on my intestinal wall, which would burst – resulting in a rupture.My endocrinologist referred me to Dr. Michael Yeh at the UCLA medical center. He removed my one remaining half of a parathyroid gland, and the results have been absolutely miraculous and remarkable. I now have no pain, and no problems. I have follow-up tests and visits monthly with my primary care physician, and have the best health reports I have had in 35 years!Through the years I have battled all of the problems that come with hyperparathyroidism – kidney stones, high blood pressure, constant headaches and body aches, and osteoporosis – then later, perforations of the colon. When first diagnosed with this disease, medical knowledge about it was very minimal, and treatment was slow to develop. I have spent many days and weeks in hospitals with radical surgeries and treatment. This makes the surgery that Dr. Yeh performed simply amazing – a true miracle.The surgery Dr. Yeh performed was by far the best of all the neck surgeries I have had. Not only is the neck incision difficult to find, but I was able to go home the same day of the surgery – and best of all, not even a hint of a problem with my voice! Dr. Yeh is my hero, and I have told him so! I have been fortunate to have been treated at the finest medical centers in the country, by the top specialists in their field. My case study has even been written up and published in national medical journals. Dr. Yeh, and the UCLA Medical Center Department of Endocrinology are without question the very best. I am 70 years old, and still practicing as an R.N.

    • Abir says:

      hey, i have a similar story. 3 and half glands removed but still not cured. ur story gives me some hope. Since you had ur 4 glands removed

  158. NM says:

    I am female and 57 years old. Dr. Yeh performed my parathyroid surgery in October of 2010. I was very happy with the care and treatment I received from Dr. Yeh and his team after traveling from out of state for the surgery. My calcium level was high for at least two years before being diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. In 2008, my family doctor did some blood tests because of my chronic back pain and told me that I had a vitamin D deficiency. What I did not know was that the lab tests showed a high serum calcium level. My parathyroid hormone level was not checked. Instead, I was treated for a vitamin D deficiency.In September of this year, I saw a different physician because my regular doctor was not available. I had widespread bone pain and pain in both elbows. I also had constant, mild nausea and poor appetite. My case was complicated because of chronic back problems. The new doctor ordered lab tests, which showed that my serum calcium and parathyroid hormone levels were high. She told me I had hyperparathyroidism and would probably need surgery. I was referred to a local endocrinologist who agreed that I needed surgery to remove a benign parathyroid tumor (adenoma). A bone scan showed that I had developed osteoporosis.I live in eastern North Carolina and the only parathyroid surgery available in my area is the standard, invasive parathyroid surgery, which takes hours to perform and leaves a large scar. For me, the standard surgery was not an option—it sounded scary and more risky, and I did not want to be left with a large scar. After doing some research on parathyroid surgery, I decided to look online for a surgeon who does minimally invasive parathyroid surgery regularly and who has years of experience doing it. I was most impressed with Dr. Yeh, and I liked his informative, professional website. Plus, my family lives in California so I would have their support during and after the surgery. After my records were sent to Dr. Yeh’s office, I was surprised that Dr. Yeh himself took the time to call me. When I explained that my support network was in California, he agreed to do my surgery.Dr. Yeh’s office gave me all of the information I needed to plan for the surgery. Dr. Yeh took the time to answer all my questions and to reassure me about the surgery. My surgery went well and my calcium level dropped to normal, so I was able to leave the hospital that afternoon. My throat was sore along with my neck muscles, but the pain wasn’t bad. I was really impressed with the care I received at the hospital.The day after the surgery I was very tired and felt a bit shaky from the change in calcium level, so I was glad that I had planned to stay a few days before flying home. The pain in my elbows disappeared two days after the surgery, along with the nausea that I’d had for weeks. My voice was hoarse for about three days and then returned to normal. The shaky feeling decreased gradually. It has now been a month since the surgery. My neck muscles still get tired, but are better each week and the shaky feeling is gone. The incision from the surgery is almost invisible. Dr. Yeh says I heal really well, but I credit his skill—no one even notices that I had surgery on my neck. My mood has improved since the surgery. I didn't realize prior to the surgery that the hyperparathyroidism was making me feel cranky, so the improvement has been a nice surprise. I highly recommend Dr. Yeh. I can't say enough about how happy I am that he did my surgery. His skill and compassion for his patients are obvious, and he has a great team–everyone is caring, organized, and efficient. This is the highest quality of care. Most people would not need to travel 2500 miles for this surgery, but it was worth it for me.NMNorth Carolina

  159. My hyper-active parathyroid was confirmed by Dr. Saltman (endocrinologist) to whom I was referred by Dr. Murashigi (primary doctor) and re-confirmed by Dr. Yeh. For several years my blood calcium level was out of the normal range, but I had no symptoms of any problems. When I pressed my cardiologist to explain to me why the elevated blood calcium he suggested that I may have a parathyroid problem and that it may be a good idea to see an endocrinologist. Researching parathyroid on line I discovered that indeed the 4 parathyroid glands control the calcium level. Since I had been diagnosed with having osteopenia and was on Actonel it became clear to me that I needed to do something. I'm a milk drinker, cheese eater and calcium supplement taker and was shocked at the bone density results even though the test showed only mild bone loss. Dr. Yeh was highly recommended to me by the endocrinologist. After researching Dr. Yeh's educational background, his number of parathyroid surgeries and meeting him I was confident this was the absolute best doctor to do see and to do the surgery, if needed. Tests were taken. The ultra sound immediately showed the enlarged gland and surgery was scheduled. Since Dr. Yeh's office was unable to give me a time for the surgery (only indicated that it would be in the morning) my family and I stayed at the Tiverton House the night before to avoid the nasty drive in. Well, as it turned out the time I was told my surgery would begin was to be in the afternoon………….all that $$$$$$$ wasted on one night in the hotel! I was relieved to hear that there was a cancellation so my surgery was going to be in the morning after all. My only recommendation for the endocrinology center is to be a little more precise with the time. Surgery took no more than 1/2 an hour, and recovery was 4 hours to make sure the blood calcium and PTH levels had returned to normal. I wore a bandaid for 2 weeks until I returned to see Dr. Yeh. Off it came and what a surprise to see how small the incision was! I was told to avoid sun exposure to the incision for 6 weeks so I found a light weight hair band to wear as a little neck scarf so I could go out and work in our yard. It's been 3 months since surgery. It's almost impossible to see the scar, and am totally unaware of the surgery site. I've stopped Actonel and have increased the amount of Vit. D that I take. Can't wait for my next bone-density test. Since I had no prior symptoms of problems my body feels just the same as always.I'm 70 years old and will look forward to continued skiing, hiking and yard work. If anyone has seen elevated blood-calcium levels reported to them on their blood tests I'd suggest visiting an endocrinologist. If surgery is recommended I can't imagine going to anyone else other than Dr. Yeh. He listens, looks you directly in the eyes and all the while has a pleasant smile on his face. Like I told him, he's every mother's dream; bright, scrubbed clean, handsome, gentle and knows what he is doing!Joan T. Stevens Diamond Bar, CA

  160. 3 months post Parathyroidectomy. I was diagnosed with Hyperparathyroidism. My calcium levels were in the 11 range. My surgery went extremely well and have had no problem since. Calcium levels have gone back down to the normal range. I am very grateful to my Endocrinologist Dr., Farzana Naqvi (Newport Beach) for sending me to Dr. Michael Yeh. I have a very small scar that as each day passes it goes more and more un-noticed. Dr. Yeh you are a true hero in your field. i would recommend anyone who has any type of Endocrinology situation to contact Dr. Yeh.

  161. Joyce says:

    My diagnosis was made by my endocrinologist, Dr. Vikram Kamdar of the UCLA Healthcare/Santa Monica Specialties. For a while my lab tests indicated high calcium. He made the referral to have Dr. Michael Yeh perform the surgery.During my appointment with Dr. Yeh, an ultrasound was performed and it I was found to have a growth on one of my parathyroids. The decision was made to have it surgically removed. This initial consultation and evaluation was very efficient. Meeting with Dr. Yeh and being able to ask questions made my decision to have the surgery easy.The only problem I had with the scheduling of the surgery was not being able to find out the time until the day before. I am diabetic and could not verify an early surgery time until 4:00 the day before. coupled with this, we had a death in the family, and our relatives were in Los Angeles for the funeral. The night before surgery was the funeral and family dinner.The day of the surgery was very smooth and everyone was very friendly and comforting. I awoke from the surgery a little groggy, but with no pain or any side effects from the anesthetics. My recovery at home was easy, and I did not need to take any pain medication. I was up and around by evening.I had a post surgery appointment with Dr. Yeh and he indicated he was happy with the results.I am currently waiting to see my regular endocrinologist, Dr. Kamdar to see how my calcium level is doing. I had an early April appointment with him, but the UCLA lab had an accident with my blood test and I needed to redo my blood test and reschedule my appointment. I am now waiting to see Dr. Kamdar earlier in May.

  162. Anonymous says:

    Over a year ago, I went for my physical with a laundry list of complaints to discuss with my primary care physician. I was becoming forgetful, feeling foggy and disoriented, losing hair, exceptionally thirsty, urinating frequently, having problems with my skin and nails, and experiencing pain in my bones before, after, and during exercise. The worst aspect of it all was that I was unable to get a decent night's sleep. I also had temperature spikes – almost like hot flashes. My PCP did a blood panel and it showed that I had hypercalcemia. She referred me to an endocrinologist in the group (it is an HMO). This doctor claimed that my numbers were elevated because the lab was known for making errors (then why did they use that lab?) and she said that my PTH levels were normal. I did not believe her. I went to the business and medical records office and pulled my chart. There it clearly showed that my PTH levels were elevated as were my calcium levels. I then requested a referral to another endocrinologist. In the interim, I took the initiative and went on the net to see who was a key mover and shaker in the world of parathyroid surgery. Dr. Yeh's name popped out at me. I read extensively about the nature of hyperparathyroidism, the best tests for determining the presence of an adenoma, the ins and outs of surgery and recovery. Once I got to the next endocrinologist in my medical group, I had to deal with a very negative personality who was absolutely unwavering about having to do anything further to ease my discomfort. She told me that "how you feel is irrelevant" and that my numbers weren't high enough to warrant any further action. I was appalled but I was determined to get further information, so I was not going to let her intimidate me into submission. I insisted that I get a sestamibi scan and ultrasound to confirm or rule out an adenoma. She finally assented and I had both tests. They showed that I did indeed have a parathyroid adenoma. When I returned to her office to go over the test results, she denied me the opportunity to speak with a surgeon. I demanded to see one and finally got my wish. He was a novice doctor who had done perhaps 5 parathyroid surgeries in his entire career. He also wanted to intimidate me by telling me that he wanted to do a bilateral jugular investigation (barbaric) to see whether or not I really needed surgery. It was at that point that I decided that I had to go outside of the HMO and go to see Dr. Yeh at UCLA, even if it meant that I had to pay for services outside of my HMO group.I was not going to chance my life with these barbarians!I was able to get an appointment with no problem (2 weeks instead of 7 weeks at my HMO). Dr. Yeh and his associates were welcoming, professional, compassionate, and they all made me feel comfortable.The surgery was scheduled with ease. When I arrived for the surgery, I was prepared by Dr. Yeh's team of anesthesiologists, nurses, and associates. Dr. Yeh came by and I felt completely relaxed and confident that things would go as planned. The surgery was uneventful and successful. The recovery was quick. Aside from the minimal scar on my neck, I felt numbness in my tongue and my fingers (normal) for about 6 weeks. My fogginess lifted, my aches and pains subsided, my skin improved, the temperature spikes were quelled, and the best of all, I was able to sleep through the night. I still have issues with hair loss and brittle nails. My mood has improved dramatically.Dr. Yeh is my hero and his team is comprised of outstanding professionals who are compassionate and knowledgeable. I highly recommend that you advocate for yourself when it comes to hyperparathyroidism. Not taking care of it will ultimately reduce the quality of life.I had the surgery in December 2009, just prior to turning 59 in January. I live in a suburb of Los Angeles (Encino), California, and I am a high school teacher of Spanish. Harriet Sasson

  163. Norma says:

    Liz, Dr. Yeh might recommend someone… but I have to recommend that if you want the best, make the trip to California to see Dr. Yeh. He , and his crew, is the best. It's worth the effort and the expense.

  164. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dr. Yeh,I am an American living in England (I've lived in Europe for 20 years) and have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. My problem is finding a referral to a good (top!) surgeon here. Do you know anyone yourself or can you advise me on who I can ask? The NHS can be great here, but with a rare condition like this, it's been difficult to get OBJECTIVE information – there are some private surgeons who are good at advertising themselves, but how can I find out if they are the best surgeons? I would be grateful for any help you can give me.Sincerest regards,Liz from St Albans, Hertfordshire, UKP.S. I would be happy to add my experiences to your blog, but only once the surgery is sorted out – it's too stressful for me right now.

  165. It has been almost a year and a half since I woke up, around 2:15 pm, in the afternoon, on the day of my operation. This was my first operation ever. I had never been “under the knife” before. I was very pleased that my long investigation had come to a final resolution. Thanks to Dr Yeh’s professional surgical team, who skillfully removed a “Concord” grape size parathyroid from my throat I could relax knowing that my body was in recovery. I was 47 at the time and a routine annual medical examination reveled that my calcium level was “way” over the normal range. My doctor made a double check, to make sure that the first results were true. The second reading of my calcium level and PTH confirmed my (and a blood test in my humble opinion, tells the truth) which was hyperparathyroidism. I advise you to go to Dr Yeh’s group very informative website to better understand what the condition is and what surgical methods are used by the UCLA team. There are other websites as well, and I recommend you to take the time to read up on the subject matter. For myself, I rather have more information than less, so when I talk to a doctor I can have an informative discussion. There are two schools of doctors in my opinion; one that would operate immediately; and one that take the “wait and see” attitude. If your current conditions do not pose any immediate harm to you, why expose yourself to an operation? I have difficulties with both. The first one would (in my mind) lead to a removal of the parathyroid in a hospital that is not specialized enough for this procedure, but have a good surgeon on staff. There are good general surgeons but the parathyroid is not your general kind of operation. The second kind; the doctor’s attitude might lead to an acute situation, where the decision to operate is made only when things are getting much worse. When I say much worse (learning from Dr Yeh), I am talking about kidney stones and osteoporoses that are side effects of having hyperparathyroidism condition for a long time. The elevated hormone level is asking the body to release calcium in an abnormal way, depleting the bones in the process.After doing my desk research it became very clear that Dr Yeh;s Minimal Invasive Parathyroid Surgery (MIPS) was the only satisfying solution for me. Lucky for me that UCLA and Dr Yeh is local, but if I had to travel within the western US, I would definitely go to Los Angeles and UCLA hospital for this procedure. At Dr Yeh’s office the enlarged parathyroid was detected almost immediately. He knew were to look and how to find it. One reason for the immediate result was that the ultrasound equipment that was used. UCLA uses a high resolution ultrasound which is tailored for this kind of examinations. It took Dr Yeh less then five minutes to find it, size it, and give me a black and white image of it. Some things should remain black and white, who needs to see the color version of an enlarged parathyroid anyway…Six months after my initial diagnosis I went to UCLA endocrine unit and had my operation. I was scheduled as number two that morning and checked in at the surgery center 6.00 am in the morning. The procedure went really well, and even though my parathyroid was very big, (I believe 40 times bigger then normal) my scar is almost invisible. I was well enough to be discharged the same evening from the hospital and nothing beats a good night sleep in your own bed. I would like to thank Dr Yeh for his care, before and after the procedure. His professional team cured my hyperparathyroidism condition. I have more energy and throughout the day and my body feel better. I did accrue osteopenia in my hip bones due to waiting too long for the blood sample to alert me that something was wrong. My advice to you is; next time you go to your doctor, ask him to check for calcium and PTH levels. Stay well and be well,

  166. Norma says:

    Almost 2 years later, an update on my Mom.She is know 100… and counting. She is doing so well that she seems to be getting younger!People that haven't seen her for a while are amazed, and the great change happened thanks to the removal of the pesky parathyroid! Good riddance! … and once more: Thank you, Dr Michael and crew!!!

  167. Jan Maynor says:

    My mom is 85 & has heart problems & high bp. 2/09, her cardiac doc discontinued her thiazide diuretic due to elevated blood calcium. Googled "high calcium", found "caused by thiazide diuretics OR hyperparathyroid disease". 7/09 – she takes Tylenol a lot. Ask what hurts & the answer is "my bones hurt". Google "bone pain". There it is again – hyperparathyroid disease! We ask for blood tests. Levels: 78 PTH and 11.1 calcium. Her doctors brush us off since PTH is only slightly elevated. I have NO medical experience, but felt we should rule out PHPT. We went to my doctor & requested sestamibi scan. I was shocked to hear she had 2 adenomas!Surgery was a concern given Mom's constant pain, age & health, so went to a & asked a doc if he thought we could find a surgeon in LV. He directed us to UCLA Medical-Dr Yeh & Yasmin. Yasmin was awesome. She answered our questions, set up a phone consult with Dr. Yeh & assembled a binder of all the med reports we sent her.9/20/09, we drove to LA. Stopped several times due to Mom's pain – she had to get out & stretch. It was a long, hard trip for her.9/21, sestamibi scan at UCLA & consult with Dr. Yeh. He was amazing. Very impressive. He is a friendly, polite, patient & brilliant young man. He explained clearly what was going on & what he was going to do about it. 9/22, Surgery time. This was the moment I realized that this young man not only lived up to, but exceeded, his stellar reputation. Anesthesia team-also exceptional- visited & explained their plan (local w mild sedative rather than general, due to heart condition). Mom went into surgery 3:30 & was expected to be out in an hr. The second bad gland was not the one ALL tests seemed to indicate – it was far back & didn't show on the tests. Dr. Yeh removed the first, found & removed the second & checked the other 2. At 5:30 he phoned us in the waiting area to tell us she was out of surgery & was fine – he was waiting for final lab numbers. 6 p.m., Dr. Yeh came down to tell us all was well & explain what he did. Dr. Yeh is smart, talented and apparently very cool under pressure!Mom was kept in the hospital overnight due to heart & age. 9/23, We're going home 20 hours after surgery. Mom walked to the car, got in unassisted. 300-mile trip – we stopped one time. She got out of the car, walked 75 yards into the gas station, walked back & got back in. She sat all the way home. Pain was GONE – legs, knees, ankles & feet – ALL gone! I was & remain amazed. Today, 5 days post-op, still feels great – no pain, sharper mentally and not acting "strange".If you are reading this, I probably understand what you're feeling. I can only tell you that if ANYONE i know needs endocrine surgery, I will urge them to see Dr.Yeh and his fabulous team. You will be in the best possible hands. If there was ever a group of people who had a right to be arrogant, it's Dr. Yeh and his colleagues – doctors, nurses and assistants. They are SO NOT THAT WAY!!! Everyone was polite, kind, respectful & patient with my mom, my husband and me. If you have these diseased glands, Dr. Yeh is the man to see. Mom thought she was going crazy – memory problems, depressed, constantly "itching", & could hardly walk. Dr. Yeh got rid of ALL of that, and her quality of life has soared. Everyone she has seen or spoken to has seen it. If I had this disease, I'd be seeing Dr. Yeh, & I'd have no worry, fear or anxiety about my choice.We are lucky to have found Michael Yeh, and Yasmin is right – we need to clone him! UCLA Medical is the best – totally impressive!Best wishes to any who might read this, & a major THANK YOU to Dr. Yeh & the team – we are eternally grateful to all of you.Sincerely,Mary Marook's daughter, Jan

  168. Anonymous says:

    I am a 67 year old male, two time survivor of cancer(colon and prostate).For 5 years I had high calcium levels and had level 2 ostepina. Two of my former internists never addressed the reasons that I had these high levels. My current internist looked at my results and referred me to an endocrinologist Dr B to further explore this condition.After weeks of testing, Dr B explained that my condition is due to a diseased parathyroid gland. He recommended surgery. I found Dr.Yeh. His credentials were exactly what I was looking for. I made an appointment for a consult at his office in UCLA. Immediately upon meeting him, he made me feel comfortable. He spent an extensive amount of time with me, reviewing the tests that I had done that morning, and looking at my medical background. He understood my apprehension, knowing that I have gone through a lot in the last few years dealing with the 2 cancers. He explained the parathyroid function and how that related to the high levels of calcium. The one thing was that when he did the ultra sound, he could not find one of my parathyroid glands. He felt that it may either be hidden behind or in my thyroid gland. It was at that moment- Dr Yeh knew that I had a unique case. We agreed that I needed surgery to correct this condition. Dr Yeh's concern was for the quality of my life. Arrangements were made for surgery the following month. His staff called me on a regular basis during the pre-surgery time to insure that I had all the tests and labs and information needed for the date of surgery. They also advised us of the hotels available on UCLA property, within a 2 block walk to the hospital.There was even a shuttle available from the hotel to the hospital.Dr Yeh met me in the pre-op area and we discussed the action plan of the surgery. Typically a normal parathyroid surgery takes 27 minutes BUT Dr Yeh had allocated 2 hours for this surgery. The surgery did take almost 3 hours. Dr Yeh removed one of the parathyroid glands, one was alluding him, possibly may be in the thyroid itself, removed one lobe of the thyroid, as it was infected with Hashimotos disease, removed some lymph nodes and the goiter. I was kept over night in the surgical center. The levels were not coming down as quickly as Dr Yeh had expected. Several hours later, they did start to come down. I was released the next morning and stayed at the Tiverton just to rest up another day before our journey back to Las Vegas.We received a call 2 days later from Dr Yeh that the pathology revealed that I had thyroid cancer. Papillary micro carcinoma. He strongly recommended that I return to UCLA as soon as possible to remove the other thyroid lobe. We drove back to UCLA and the next day I had the other surgery. It also had papillary micro carcinoma. During the surgery, he removed the two remaining parathyroid glands and reinserted them in my neck so they could re-establish a new blood flow away from the now removed thyroid. Dr Yeh came to see me right after surgery and again the next morning to explain the road that I was facing.Hormone pills, low iodine diet, radioactive isotope. A lot of information for me to digest.. now I need time to research what I just went through as well as what I was going to go through. Post op- I experienced very little pain, I did have swelling in the neck for about 2 weeks and it was difficult to swallow. My scar is barely noticeable right now- approximately 2 1/2 inches.In the last 6 weeks I was on a low iodine diet to prepare for the radioactive isotope I-131. Last week I was admitted to receive the I-131. I was in for 1 night and released. I had my body scan and now waiting for the results. I am very grateful to Dr Yeh to be as thorough as he is. My case was quite unique with many different conditions going on at one time. Fortunately Dr Yeh was focused and determined to correct all that was wrong. I highly recomend Dr Yeh, not only for his outstanding surgical skills, but it is very rare that you find a surgeon that is as caring, sincere and dedicated as

  169. Anonymous says:

    I'm a 62 year old male and i'm a marathon runner. So i was quite surprised when i started having multiple fractures that limited my physical activities. I tripped once, while running and I sustained a metacarpal fracture. This was followed by a metatarsal fracture and then a fracture of my radius while skiing. I'm not a clumsy person (not really) and my daughter, who is a physician, was concerned about these multiple fractures. She insisted that I see my family practice doctor to check my calcium and parathyroid level. My PTH was >100. I had dexa scan showing osteopenia and a follow up parathyroid scan showing an enlarged parathyroid gland. After being referred to 2 ENT's and one endocrinologist, I decided that surgery was the way to go. However, given my lifestyle I wanted minimially invasive surgery. My insurance, Kaiser, did not have any ENTs who performed MIP. After researching online, we found a surgeon in Florida who performed MIP surgery daily. My daughter was hesitant about me going out of state to have surgery. Being an UCLA alumni, she found Dr Yeh through his website and emailed him. The rest is history….Suffice it so say that upon meeting Dr Yeh, i decided within 5 minutes that I wanted him to be my surgeon. In addition to his excellent credentials, he was very friendly and very professional. He answered all of my questions and my emails in a timely manner. On the day of surgery, he was very attentive and made me feel at ease. I asked him right before the surgery whether or not I would be able to sing afterwards. He asked me if I sang well before the surgery. If not, I shouldn't expect a miracle. I went home the same day after multiple PTH levels were checked and my levels were dropping appropriately. I had a rx for vicodin but never used it post-op. I met with him 2 wks post-op. Everything went so smoothly. Overall, i had a wonderful experience and would definitely recommend Dr Yeh to anyone who needs MIP.Thanks Dr Yeh!

  170. Just adding a bit more: My health plan had dilly-dallied around for more than five months, a year since the missed hypercalcemia, and there was still no treatment plan in place. Imaging within my HMO was inadequate, and this certainly influenced the surgeons' wishes to perform a more drastic surgery. There are options, and the Department of Managed Health Care is there for situations such as mine.

  171. Some years ago I started having symptoms which I passed off as fatigue- and stress-related weakness and gut problems, insomnia, and back and side pain. They escalated to the point where I was unable to function normally. My muscles were weak. I was losing my balance, even falling. My blood pressure was erratic, sometimes startlingly high. Skin itched like crazy; lesions that three dermatologists couldn't explain. My hair thinned dramatically. I lost a significant amount of weight. I'd "pee like a racehorse." Then, the obstructive kidney stone at 1 a.m. in the high desert, dirt roads and 40 miles between me and the hospital. The worst symptoms were the neuropsychological ones. I once played complicated arrangements on the piano, but eventually couldn't read the simplest of music. I dropped a couple math classes. Everything read like hieroglyphics. The disorientation and memory problems frightened me. I stopped relaying those symptoms to my doctors, afraid of being diagnosed with dementia, tired of being offered antidepressants. My family noticed the personality changes and physical problems. Nobody could pin down the cause for these "unrelated" complaints.Last year I was referred to an endocrinologist for a thyroid nodule. She requested previous labs from my PCP and discovered a high calcium level which had been missed. PTH level was ordered. You can guess the rest.Scans through my health plan were interpreted as normal. Radiologist and surgeons could not find the parathyroid adenoma. The first one called my case "complicated" and "complex" and referred me to his colleague. He wanted to remove my entire thyroid to facilitate exploratory surgery, with hospital stay, drain, large incision, risk of damage to my healthy parathyroids, greater risk of losing my voice, and lifelong thyroid hormone replacement. I sought a second opinion with Dr. Yeh. Scans were performed before my visit. I gave Dr. Yeh the film from my previous scan; he identified a probable adenoma. The adenoma was clearly identified on the UCLA scan. On Dr. Yeh's high-resolution ultrasound, even I could see the culprit! The quality and technique were far superior.Dr. Yeh answered all my questions thoroughly. He looked as if he genuinely enjoyed his job; his demeanor was reassuring. He explained the procedure including removal of the thyroid nodule. Not particularly complicated or complex; no need to remove a functional thyroid. Risks and complications were addressed.The day of surgery, the anesthetist and nurses went over everything thoroughly. I was told what to expect on awakening. After the surgery, my throat felt awful. I'd been intubated before; I guess with neck procedures the manipulation increases the discomfort. It was a day and a half before I could swallow without wincing. Numbness from the nerve block on the left side of my face soon wore off. I was able to sleep that night if I had my pillow just right. The drive home was tolerable. Recovery was quick. The scar ain't nuthin'.My symptoms have improved or resolved. I can read music. I'm working on Chopin and Joplin pieces! Aced my last two courses in school. Still apprehensive about upcoming math classes. Blood pressure normal, skin problems gone, and I'm doing fun things again!With calcium, "a little high" is like "a little pregnant." Something's ultimately going to need to come out. It needn't be very high for symptoms to manifest. Mine ranged from 10.4 to 10.9. If the calcium is high, period, something's wrong. Waiting just lets damage accumulate. In April I was given a pacemaker for a heart rate in the 10s and 20s. Wonder what role hypercalcemia played.Dr. Yeh performed my surgery less than two weeks after my initial visit, was quite patient with me during my postop period, answered all my questions good-naturedly. For professionalism, experience, and compassion, I'll recommend Dr. Yeh to any family member, friend or colleague who needs an endocrine specialist.

  172. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to Dr. Yeh and his entire team for an outstanding experience at UCLA.Sincerely,M. Bledstein

  173. Anonymous says:

    I was 57 at the time of parathyroid surgery, Feb. 22, 2009That was 4 months ago. By the time I found Dr. Yeh, I was desperate. My primary care doctor tested my calcium level in January, which was 14.4. PTH was 587. I got the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism.He referred me to a local ENT, who didn't do enough parathyroid surgeries to win my confidence. Thankfully, I found Dr. Yeh. I e-mailed him and gave him my lab info. In less than 24 hours, he called me and I got appointments for the next week. I had the surgery the following Sunday and was released on Tuesday. The surgery went very well. I left the hospital with instructions to take 2,000 mg of calcium (TUMS) 3 times a day. The next few weeks were a bit shakey for me. I gradually got my "wits" and strength back. The most difficult time for me was the second week post surgery. I had a very high level of anxiety, kind of like one long panic attack. At the two week follow-up with Dr. Yeh, he said my body had undergone major hormonal changes, and it must be related to that. I also had high blood pressure which I hadn't had before. Dr. Yeh thought that my blood pressure would return to normal in time. He gave me a perscription for Vitamin D and told me I could gradually reduce the calcium dosage. However, I started to have tingling and kept the dose at 12,000 mg. per day. The endocrinologist who is monitoring this told me that I most likely have the "hungry bone" syndrome and I continue to take about 10,000 – 12,000 mg. of calcium. My April lab tests showed 9.2 calcium and 88 PTH. I have had a bone scan and came out with osteoporosis in my left forearm and osteopenia in all other areas. Four months after the surgery, I am feeling great energy-wise. I still have high blood pressure and recently started taking a beta-blocker. The pounding in my heart/throat is still an issue. It will go on for 7-10 days and then subside. I haven't mentioned the symptoms I had prior to the surgery, and what I was being treated for. I have fibromyalgia and consequently when I am fatigued or in pain, I attribute the symptoms to that. I have also been treated by a naturopathic doctor for adrenal insufficiency, starting in 2004.Looking back, in 2006 I had a physical by my primary care doctor. The labwork done then showed a slightly elevated calcium level of 10.8 Nothing was ever said about that. In August of 2008, I went to a chiropracter because I was in a lot of pain. In the next few months, my pain got worse and I became weaker and weaker. I went to the naturopathic doctor and was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency from an adrenal stress test which tests saliva. I went on a detox diet and took lots of supplements. One of my symptoms was increased thirst, which of course resulted in a lot of trips to the bathroom. I was thinking I must have diabetes. I tested negative for that. My skin had been very itchy for several years also. I was having more trouble concentrating over these months prior to the surgery, and was emotionally fragile. My memory was poor. I became so physically weak that I could barely get up from a kneeling position. I noticed also that I was having shortness of breath. Any chore was a major thing and I felt like I would have to rest. I couldn't get through the day without a nap. I was having some heart palpitations and was having difficulty sleeping. I was also very cold. I managed to get by fairly well until about the last 4 months before the surgery when I went down hill pretty fast. I went to one endocrinologist, who told me she couldn't help me because I had been taking adrenal supplements and I would have to stop those for a month before she could get any accurate lab work. At this same time, I had made an appointment with my primary care doctor. I am very thankful he checked my calcium level right away.At any rate, it is wonderful to have so much energy. I am grateful to Dr. Yeh for removing the tumor, which got me so out of whack. My scar is very small and hardly noticeable unless you are looking for it. I am enjoying life again!

  174. Shanell Owen says:

    I had a parathyroidectomy on April 23, 2009. I am 41 yrs old, live in Elko, Nevada, a rural gold mining community, where I am the City Clerk. My calcium level had been high for years but my dr. told me it was because I took water pills for water retention. Last year I went to a different dr. for my annual and with my calcium still being high she wanted to check into it further. My PTH level ended up being high as well. My sestimibi scan was negative. I went to the University of Utah where they found some type of tumor near my main artery but they did not think it was the parathyroid tumor. They suggested that I go to an ear, nose and throat surgeon. I began doing my own research and found Dr. Yeh and after sending my records to him was scheduled for surgery through the Distance Program that they have available. I dealt directly with Yasmin at Dr. Yeh's office, she is Awesome! For a couple of years I had been not feeling 100%, with symptoms of heartburn, major anxiety, difficulty concentrating or holding thoughts, constipation, high blood pressure, nightmares, insomnia and achy bones. I attributed these symptoms to getting older and not exercising enough. Since the surgery, all of these symptoms have disappeared with the exception of the high blood pressure. High calcium levels can really mess with your brain and cause problems that affect your thinking, dreams, anxiety, etc. I also didn't realize how much my bones really ached until after the surgery and the aching was gone. My first appt with Dr. Yeh included an ultasound and sestimibi scan. Dr. Yeh was certain that what they had found at U of U was the parathyroid tumor. It ended up that my tumor was entangled with scar tissue from a previous neck fusion (C4-5) I had 8 years ago, so there was quite a bit of cutting to get to it. My neck is not as flexible either. So, my recover wasn't as easy as I had read it would be and I was very stiff and sore for a couple of weeks. I saw a gentleman at the Tiverton House (the hotel I stayed at) that had the same surgery the same day I did and the day after surgery he was in the breakfast room and looked great with suitcase in hand. I was a little disapponted that I was feeling like a truck had run me over and was no where near the point of being able to travel back to NV. I ended up going home after 2 days post op. I went back to work on day 4 and could only work 1/2 days for that first week. I had some tingling and muscle cramps post op, which is normal, and had to take tums to help alieve those. After two weeks I was feeling a lot better and now, two months later, I feel great. I don't have to take anxiety pills, I can concentrate and complete projects, and I feel light as though someone lifted a weight off my body. My calcium is normal and my pth is also normal. My incision is a little more than an inch long and is a fine red line that will hopefully fade. I am very pleased with the services I received from Dr. Yeh, the UCLA staff and Tiverton House. Alot of people thought I was crazy not to continue with a closer facility but I wanted to get this taken care of by an expert that would only take out what absolutely needed to go, with the smallest incision possible, and a quick recovery. I would be happy to discuss in more detail my situation or the processes involved, my email is Good luck to you!

  175. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Yeh is the best if you have been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism and need surgery to remedy the problem. Firstly, this surgery is basically painless and minimally invasive, and secondly, I had a quick recovery time. I was Dr. Yeh’s first patient at 7:00 a.m. and was out before noon. The UCLA out-patient surgery center is very friendly, and never was there less than 1-2 nurses by my side at all times until I checked out. I was able to eat the next day, and felt just a bit fatigued from the anesthesia the next couple days. And did the surgery change my condition? Prior to my surgery, my bones ached (especially my knees) and I had a hard time sleeping at night, frequent urination and was tired. Now only 5 weeks later, my knees do not ache, nor do I frequently use the bathroom (immediate response after surgery). Family and friends have commented on my high-energy level. I guess they forgot how I use to be. Special note – Prior to surgery, I thought I was perimenopausal with the aforementioned symptoms (being female at 49 years of age). My OB/GYN recommended that I check it out with an internist who I had not seen in 3.5 years. Through a simple blood test, we found my calcium and parathyroid hormone off, and through X-rays, I found that I did not have osteoporosis. I am glad I did not wait as I was later to find friends and friends of friends diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism having this dreaded disease. So in other words, don’t wait until it is too late.

  176. Carol says:

    My hyperparathyroid (hPTH) symptoms began around the year 2000 (8 years before diagnosis). I noticed subtle changes suddenly begin to develop, such as hair loss and afternoon fatigue. I progressively continued to develop other symptoms – restless sleep, nighttime bruxing (teeth grinding – which often resulted in morning migraines), deepening fatigue, aching bones, muscle weakness, frequent urination, itchy skin, dry eyes, teeth pain, heart palpitations and brain fog (which I sometimes described to people as a feeling of slipping into a coma). I began to need naps once or twice a day, and felt like I was in a stupor for nearly 2-3 hours after waking from each nap. I felt tired and achy upon waking every morning. Slowly but surely, the joy began to slip away from my life. I began to socialize less, and couldn’t find enjoyment in the things I used to love. Each day became another meaningless day of just trying to cope and survive.Knowing there was something wrong with me, in 2005, I asked my endocrinologist to order thorough and extensive lab work. (I had Graves’ disease 21 years prior and was treated with radio active iodine, which left me with a low-thyroid condition; thus, I see an endocrinologist annually to keep an eye on my thyroid levels). My doctor did not request a PTH test, and at that time, my calcium readings were in the high-normal range. Despite how fatigued and unhealthy I felt, my doctor determined from my lab results I was in good health. Though some of my symptoms were similar to those found with depression, I did not believe this was what I had. Because of my age at the time, however, I did not rule out perimenopause as a contributing factor to my symptoms.In 2007, my routine annual lab work showed a moderately-high 10.3 calcium reading. My bone density scan also showed I had acquired osteopenia. Because I had been taking more calcium than needed, my endocrinologist advised me to reduce my calcium supplements by one-half. He didn’t mention anything about hPTH, and apparently felt no further tests were needed until my next annual routine visit. So, I continued to deal with my progressively worsening symptoms for another entire year.In 2008, my routine annual lab work showed my calcium levels again to be in the moderately-high range (10.4). My bone density scan showed I had developed osteoporosis at an uncommonly fast pace since my previous year’s bone scan. This time, my endocrinologist ordered additional lab work and scheduled me to see him again in one month. My second round of lab work showed my calcium level to be within the high-normal range, my PTH level within the normal range, but the calcium in my 24-hour urine was high. My doctor also performed an ultrasound and found something on the right side of my neck that appeared to be a lesion in my thyroid gland, but found nothing in my neck that appeared to him to be a parathyroid adenoma. He found nothing suspicious whatsoever on the left side of my neck.My doctor concluded I had “borderline” hPTH, and did not feel I was a candidate for surgery. He said I should wait until my calcium reached a level of at least 11.5 in order to consider surgery. He told me that 97% of patients who have a calcium reading of less than 11.5 show no improvement after surgery. When I asked him about getting a sestamibi scan, he said this was something that would be done if I were to have the surgery. He added that menopause and/or depression could also cause the types of symptoms I was having. He gave me some sleeping pill samples for my disruptive sleep (which I had no intention of taking), and mentioned that antidepressants can sometimes help symptoms like mine, whether they are menopause or depression-related. I had no interest in taking any antidepressants, because I knew my symptoms were not related to menopause or depression. I could feel the sickness in my veins.Though I was very discouraged, my desire to be healthy again wouldn’t allow me to take my doctor’s advice to wait for a higher calcium reading (which could have taken years!). With my newfound knowledge of hPTH, I began searching on the internet for more information. After saturating my brain with every facet of hPTH I could get my hands and eyes on, I was convinced I had hPTH and began my search for a doctor who could truly help me.While searching for doctors who specialized in this area who practice within driving distance from my home, it didn’t take long to land upon the UCLA Medical Center website; and more specifically, Dr. Michael Yeh. I could sense almost immediately (through the videos and written information on the website) that Dr. Yeh was a brilliant mind with sharp focus and a great passion for his specialized work. What also impressed me was his sensitivity and precise attention to detail. Almost instantaneously, I knew that if any doctor could help me, Dr. Yeh was clearly the one.I quickly called his office. Yasmin was courteous, responsive and professional, and promptly scheduled appointments for both Dr. Yeh and a sestamibi scan. Meeting with Dr. Yeh not only confirmed my prior assessments of him professionally, it allowed me the pleasure of discovering what a genuine and quality human he is. In essence, you could not find a more impressive and unique collection of traits in a person – both professionally and personally.Through the use of an ultrasound, Dr. Yeh very quickly found a suspicious abnormality in the left side of my neck. (As I mentioned earlier, my endocrinologist hadn’t found anything abnormal on the left side of my neck.) I had a sestamibi scan done at UCLA Medical Center that concluded that abnormality was indeed an adenoma. My lab work done at UCLA Medical Center also concluded that I had a high ionized calcium level along with a high PTH level. Dr. Yeh called me the next morning to tell me all my test results were conclusive of a parathyroid adenoma and hPTH, and that I was a candidate for surgery. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was! There was finally hope!I returned for one more appointment with Dr. Yeh the following week, whereby surgery was scheduled for one month later. On the day of my surgery, the entire surgical team was on top of everything, and worked very well together. They kept me very well informed every step of the way. Dr. Yeh was very supportive and communicative before and after the surgery.For about 2-3 days, I experienced a sore throat from the breathing tube used during surgery, but experienced zero pain from the incision area. I didn’t have the need to take any of the pain medications prescribed to me on the day of my surgery. I felt groggy for a couple of days from the anesthesia. I also felt some numbness on my ear, the side of my face and a portion of my left collar bone area, which I imagine is normal. However, I noticed within 24 hours after surgery that my bones no longer ached at night, and that I no longer woke up aching in the morning! I never experienced any tingling of the lips, hands or feet, etc. that some others have mentioned experiencing.Within the first week or two, I noticed about a 1/3 improvement in all my other symptoms. I considered this a glimpse of more improvements in the days to come. As time passed, I continued to notice an intermittent yet continuous subtle and gradual improvement of all of my symptoms.I began to once again have dreams at night (which I hadn’t had in years). I felt my sense of humor returning. My toilet paper expense and water bills (from flushing!) began to decrease. I began to have days where my mind felt alert and energetic, and it was spectacular! Even though the improvements were subtle and gradual and I was still taking 20-30 minute daily naps, I could tell I was improving by the amount I was starting to get accomplished around my home.Unfortunately, in the second month following surgery, I caught 2 colds in a row which resulted in a difficult sinus infection. Being ill and dealing with the fatigue caused by the sinus infection didn’t allow me to clearly witness how I was steadily getting better from the surgery. However, when my sinus infection finally cleared (9 weeks post surgery), I was able to clearly notice tremendous improvement as a result of the parathyroidectomy.At around 5 months post surgery, though most all of my ugly symptoms had vanished, I still struggled with restless sleep (though not nearly as severe as my pre-surgery days), some afternoon fatigue and occasional heart palpitations. Recently, I had some follow-up lab work done to check my calcium and PTH levels. Both were smack dab in the middle of normal range! Woo hoo! However, in looking through my lab work, I noticed that for the third year in a row, my thyroid levels were in the high range. I recall my endocrinologist mentioning this to me 3 years ago, saying he would not reduce my Synthroid (thyroid meds) strength at that time. Bingo! This probably explains why my nighttime sleep could still be better, and why my fatigue and occasional heart palpitations have not completely disappeared. I am hyperthyroid! No wonder I was such an unhealthy mess for so long, dealing with hPTH and hyperthyroidism at the same time! I immediately got on the phone and requested that my doctor reduce my medication to bring my thyroid levels into the normal range.Currently, though I still have occasional heart paIpitations, since the reduction of my thyroid medication strength, they are clearly happening less and less frequently now. My sleep and fatigue could still be better (though both have drastically improved since my parathyroidectomy), but I’m convinced this is solely due to my hyperthyroid condition, not vestiges of my hPTH symptoms. I am confident I will notice more improvement as I continue to adjust to my new thyroid medication. (I’ve been through this before).As for my hPTH recovery; in spite of the colds, the sinus infection and the hyperthyroid condition interfering with my ability to clearly observe my hPTH recovery, I know for a fact the surgery has tremendously changed my life. I am more sociable and am getting much more accomplished on a daily basis. I have a sense of humor again. My scar has healed beautifully with just a slight pinkness that I’m sure will fade with time. My family has commented that I have a healthier look about me. All the awful symptoms I mentioned in my first paragraph (with the exception of the hyperthyroid symptoms) have either greatly diminished or vanished, and that sick feeling in my veins is completely gone! As a bonus, because of my new sense of well being, improved energy and strength, I have found it much easier to lose the nagging 10 pounds I have been carrying around since I first acquired hPTH.I am a 55-year-old woman, living in Lake Forest, CA. I am an artist and a musician and have always been a very passionate and energetic person. All of my artistic passions as well as my social life (including with my 3 children) had continued to fade out of my life in these last few years due to hPTH. I feel as though I lost the last 8 years of my life, but am finally now enjoying the feeling of the old me returning. I not only enjoy singing again, but my voice has improved! One precious aspect I am thrilled to have again is the ability to feel inspired, emotionally moved and/or motivated – such a huge and vital ingredient of being human!I feel so incredibly fortunate to have found Dr. Michael Yeh. He is truly a shining star in the medical community. I still find myself raving about what a fabulous doctor (and person) he is, and have already recommended him to quite a few people (and will continue to do so). I’m also thankful I trusted my own instincts (rather than followed my endocrinologist’s advice to wait). Mostly, I’m thankful to have my life back.

  177. I am a 49-year-old Medical Transcriptionist who had surgery performed by Dr. Michael Yeh three weeks ago, and I am feeling stronger/better every day, with my ability to do my walking routine and use my pilates ring returning more and more each day (now that the life isn’t being sucked out of me by a benign tumor). There was a little tingling of my lips, hands and feet a few times during the first couple of days after my surgery but I just ate Tums, as Dr. Yeh has instructed, when that happened and it went away rapidly. I also had just a little neck muscle soreness from the hyperextension during surgery, but that rapidly disappeared, and my scar is barely detectable even at this early stage. Funny thing happened after my surgery! A couple of hours after I had woken up in Recovery, I went to the restroom and got dressed, fluffed up my hair and touched up my face, and went back into my cubicle and sat on the chair by the bed, and the nurse coming on next came in and looked around, looking for the patient! I told him I was the patient and he looked from me to the bed and back again several times and said, “Are you sure?” I just laughed and said, “Yes, I’m sure, and I would have been up even sooner if I hadn’t made the mistake of complaining about the neck pain and got a pain shot. I’m not used to pain medication and it just kind of paralyzed me for a minute or two.” Really, I could have saved my son a trip down to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription for the Vicodin because I didn’t even need it. And guess what? I went back to work the very next day!Of course, Dr. Yeh’s credentials speak for themselves, as anyone can see by going to the UCLA Endocrine Surgery web site, but I must say I could not have asked for a more skilled, knowledgeable surgeon. Of course, I had come to the conclusion, after my research, that he is the best in his field. He has prepared himself very well to treat this disease, even being educated in the field of ultrasound. Does everybody know how much time that entails, after all his travel around the globe for all of his other education?? I was so impressed when I first read his education credentials. But, that’s just the way I am, any young person who dedicates their life to medicine in such a way that Dr. Yeh has certainly has my vote. What a remarkable human being! (or angel) Also, since my adenoma was hiding, I feel it was very critical in my case to have such a knowledgeable and experienced surgeon on my side, someone who could look at the entire history and not just dismiss me the way I had been by the prior surgeon I was sent to. (Of course I became aware by going to that other surgeon that he was not an endocrine surgeon and would not be my pick anyway. I was surprised at his lack of knowledge concerning my disease. I expected more because where I live, in Riverside, this other University Medical Center is highly regarded, and I would have expected better from a doctor there.)I must say that Dr. Yeh and Yasmin have their program set up in a very organized manner and every detail has been considered. From the very beginning, as their patient I could see right away that I would have no worries that I was going to be very well taken care of. I say this because in comparison to what I was subjected to in the majority of 2008 by the medical group I was going to at that time was, at best, chaotic. It went something like this: She has it, no she doesn’t, yes she does, no she doesn’t, let’s do this test and that test and then another test and then let’s start over and repeat them all. By the time I had enough of that and refused any further tests by them and could see that they were not going to send me to UCLA, as I had requested that they do, I was practically out of my mind! I was determined to have Dr. Yeh do my surgery and had decided I would wait until November, put myself back in the PPO pool during open enrollment (where I will stay) and go to UCLA the first of 2009. This is exactly what I did and I am writing this as of February 12, so you can see how quickly my treatment went and my recovery is going. Dr. Yeh does not mess around. He is on point and resolves the situation quickly.I must say that every experience with each UCLA physician has been a positive one. I first went to Dr. Theodore Hahn at UCLA Endocrinology in September of 2008 for a second opinion concerning my diagnosis. I wanted to go over with him all the labs I had printed out from my medical group from the last 11 years to confirm with him that even though my PTH intact had been high normal that, along with my consistently high serum calcium levels, that primary hyperparathyroidism was indicated. He confirmed the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism for at least 10 years right away. What a wonderful doctor! He was so kind and sat and discussed the situation with me and took all the time that I needed and answered all my questions. Yes, believe it or not, I had primary hyperparathyroidism for at least 10 years when I was finally referred to Endocrinology at my medical group in January of 2008. My serum calcium levels had not been below 10.8 in all that time and was many times over 11 and as high as almost 13. However, my PTH intact was high normal. When I started investigating the subject in January of 2008 (Dr. James Norman’s web site) I realized that symptoms I had complained to my doctor repeatedly of over the last decade of were on the list of the symptoms of hypercalcemia, easily fatigued, aching all over sometimes, anxious, depressed (no prescription for antidepressant or BuSpar for anxiety helped), frequent urination and irritability to name some. I had started to believe that it was “all in my head.” True, most of the complaints were made once a year. I wasn’t complaining every few weeks the way I had when it started in 1998. Then I had gone in often and told my doctor that something “just wasn’t right, that I felt strange and that I couldn’t even think straight sometimes.” She was more than happy to write me off as “crazy and very imaginative” and prescribed me antidepressants to try to shut me up. I also had a kidney stone in 2002 and had been sent to Urology for this and even they did not give me a heads up on what could possibly be the cause. I had even told a friend about three years ago that I didn’t know if I was going to be able to work until 65 because I just felt so bad all the time, even though I pushed myself. I was just about at the point that even my being a stubborn Irish woman would not be able to sustain. I had gone from being a very social person prior to 1998 to just not wanting to do anything with anybody practically by the time my disease was actually treated last month. I really had to make a huge effort to even go to San Francisco to see my son I was so exhausted. Hopefully someone will learn from my mistakes. My advice is to seek out the best, expect it and demand it even. I have learned that we have to be our own advocates in our health. We have to be the responsible party. Ask for the results of the labs when you go to the doctor, investigate, be aware and be a part of your own health care. Drive that extra mile if you have to, to get the best health care, the way I do now. I am so grateful to Dr. Norman from Florida for having the in depth web site which he has and for the wealth of information on Dr. Yeh’s web site. If not for that, maybe I would not have known better and would have made a poor choice in my selection of a surgeon or, worse yet, maybe would not have been treated at all for my disease and could have had a premature death. My Vitamin D level in November of 2008 was 18. Anyone can research Vitamin D deficiency and see what that causes, the risks to our hearts, other aspects of our health and well being! Who on this planet would feel well with a Vitamin D level of 18? Not so much my imagination any more is it? Now, I know this is a matter of opinion, but I have a right to mine as much as the next person does to theirs, even if that other person is a physician, an HMO, PPO, insurance company, etc. After all my research into this subject my opinion is this: When we know better, we should do better. The standard of care, and no one should receive less than the most excellent care available, for parathyroid surgery should be an endocrine surgeon with the education, skills and knowledge that Dr. Michael Yeh has. If you have this disease, do not accept less. There is no reason why anyone living within driving distance of UCLA, such as myself (an hour and 15 minutes, however I would have walked) should have to accept anything else. Also, if you should have to fly, take a train or bus or any means of transportation you can find, do not accept anything less than the best you can find for that incision into your neck.

  178. herb d says:

    My name is Herb D. from Palmdale California. I am 52 years young, and work as a Manufacturer’s Representative. I deal with clients all day long and need to be at my best to handle any situation. Six years ago I was diagnosed with type ll diabetes. I have always stayed on top of my quarterly visits with my Doctor. During a recent check up my doctor ordered a routine blood test, the next day she called and asked me to return in 30 days. She told me that my calcium level was elevated over 11 points. So she wanted to do another blood screening just in case of an error. This time when the results came back she then informed me that my calcium level was definitely high at 11+. Doctor Yeung then recommended that I go in for a hyperparathyroidism Nuclear Scan. When I went in for the scan I was there for 4 hours taking pictures of the hyperparathyroids. The results were as suspected. I had hyperparathyroidism which simply means that one of the four parathyroids was like a tumor. When I first was told about this I went home and did my own research on the internet. I wanted to find out what the symptoms were and what the long term effects could be if not taken care of. Prior to the diagnosis, I had been feeling tired and run down, at night I was waking up every hour to go to the bathroom. I was very irritable and had low tolerance. It was not fun for the people around me. I truly thought this was because of my diabetes. Well after meeting with Doctor Yeh for consultation he said that the symptoms are very much alike and can mask each other. Dr. Yeh proceeded with a sonogram to pinpoint the problem. We made arrangements and scheduled surgery to have the one Hyperparathyroid removed. After the outpatient surgery Doctor Yeh said that mine was one of the largest he had ever removed. He said it was the size of a walnut 100 times larger than normal. The surgery was only 25 minutes and after 4 hours in recovery I went home. The first night I was not able to rest comfortably but after the second night I felt like a million dollars. Presently, 4 weeks after the surgery my calcium level is normal. I no longer feel exhausted and I am sleeping better and more comfortably, not waking up to go to the bathroom as often. Thanks to Dr. Yeung and Doctor Yeh I feel youthful again. In summary if you are diagnosed and have high calcium level, follow your doctor’s instructions and follow-up with their recommendation. I truly believe that when you have the corrective surgery done you will immediately feel better.

  179. Anonymous says:

    For about a year and one half I was having trouble with fatigue. Complained to doctors at home in Santa Maria in January 2008. Each one took their turn at running tests and the outcome was I was in very good health except I had gallstones and from blood tests a high reading of Calcium. It was suggested I have the gallbladder removed before it caused me pain and more trouble and so in September of 2008 I did. This did not help the fatigue, which was getting worse, and I still tested high with the Calcium, up to ll.3. One doctor suggested I might have a tumor and with that information friends contact Dr. Becker at UCLA and he in turn referred me to Dr. Michael Yeh who agreed to take my case. He ordered blood tests and a MIR and/or CAT Scan and then consulted with me in his office. He said that I had a tumor on the parathyroid gland and to prove it he did an ultrasound and there it was. I believe the diagnosis was made harder because the obvious signs such as kidney stones and a high parathyroid hormone blood test reading were not there. Surgery was scheduled for November 20. The surgery went well, lasted about an hour and it seemed like I began feeling better the minute I woke up. When you have surgery at UCLA they think of everything they can to make it a pleasant experience. My hand was numbed as they had trouble finding a vein, I have a problem with the oxygen mask being placed over my nose and so I was already out when that was done. When I woke up I was asked if I was nauseated and then given something for it until it went away. After about four hours I was released to travel the three hours it would take to get home. I felt good and continued to feel good and was getting my energy back fast. What a wonderful feeling that was. At my post-op we talked about how I was feeling and I realized that several things had happened to me while I was ill. I actually had quite a bit of anxiety and perhaps a little depression. I do several games like Su Doku, crossword puzzles and word games to help keep my brain sharp and it was taking me a long time to do them. I now finish them quickly. I also must have had trouble concentrating as I hadn’t read a book in over six months and I am now back to reading one or two a week. We live on a small ranch and I also am back to my usual activities outside and with the horses. This 71 year old woman is again walking 30 minutes a day at three miles per hour and lifting weights to bring my muscles back to the strength they had been. I have always been a high energy person and happy with my life. I am again. There is hardly any pain with this surgery. They warned me my neck would feel sore, I might have some trouble swallowing, and would feel like my neck was stiff and to turn it. After the surgery I took one pain pill and I don’t think I needed that. The discomfort with the neck went away in about two or three days and you can’t even tell where the scar is as it is hidden in a crease in my neck. I believe I did have the “A” team. Everyone from the nurses, interns, and doctors were kind, considerate and very attentive. I hope they will continue this as they go out on their own in their medical practice. What a wonderful change they will bring to this vocation. I am very grateful for what you have done for me. Thank you and thank all the people that worked with you on my case. I feel so good.

  180. Anonymous says:

    I am a 45 year old male studio musician from Los Angeles, CA. My experience in many ways is a lot like others I have read about. It all started with a request to my physician that I have a look at my prior blood test/lab results during my annual physical exam. While looking at the results for the last three years, I noticed everything was within the normal ranges except for the calcium readings, which were all too high. Pointing this out to the doctor and asking about it, he said it was likely hyperparathyroidism and I should see an endocrinologist for an accurate diagnosis. Knowing very little about parathyroid disease, I researched the topic extensively to learn everything I could. It was enlightening to learn about all the necessary tests, facts and myths, numbers and figures and most importantly, the symptoms and treatment associated with the disease. Following my visit to the doctor, I immediately requested copies of all my medical records, lab tests, etc. Little did I realize then that this was one of the smartest things I did. Having seen the endocrinologist for my initial consultation I then took more blood tests, followed by a sestamibi scan and bone density scans. Everything proved to be conclusive for hyperparathyroidism except for the sestamibi scan, which unfortunately was negative. By this time I had learned that the only treatment/cure was surgery and it was extremely important to find an experienced surgeon. Further research proved that Dr. Yeh at UCLA Medical Center was clearly the best surgeon for my condition. Not only that, but the good news was that UCLA accepted my health insurance. I returned to the endocrinologist who confirmed the diagnosis. He balked at my request to have Dr. Yeh perform the surgery, suggesting there was a qualified surgeon at the local hospital. Going through managed care medicine protocol, I met with the surgeon (who is an ear, nose and throat surgeon with a sub-specialization in parathyroid surgery). It turned out this surgeon had only received part of my medical records and was so convinced that I did not have parathyroid disease, that he recommended diet modification to bring down my calcium levels. Upon leaving his office I faxed him my entire blood/lab history with a cover letter asking him to please examine the records carefully and tell me if he still has the same impression. He called me with the hour. Again, more blood tests and another sestamibi scan, this time at UCLA. Again, blood tests showing excessively high calcium and parathyroid hormone readings and like before, a negative sestamibi scan. I had already subjected this surgeon to a battery of questions and determined he was capable of doing the surgery but not as experienced as Dr. Yeh. The surgeon ultimately decided (much to my relief) to refer me to Dr. Yeh at UCLA, stating that with two negative sestamibi scans he did not wish to do exploratory surgery to find the bad parathyroid gland or glands. Finally I received my approved referral to make an appointment with Dr. Yeh. Keep in mind that it took almost nine months from the first awareness of the disease (the annual physical) to the actual meeting with Dr. Yeh. There were often weeks in between blood tests, scans and doctor’s appointments where I was on the phone constantly to the administrative staff of my health insurance to persuade them to act more quickly. By this time my symptoms were much more pronounced, which included insomnia, bone and muscle pain, polyurea, fatigue, depression and irritability, tachycardia and elevated blood pressure. I was more than a little thrilled to meet Dr. Yeh, knowing I was about to receive the best treatment in Los Angeles for my endocrine disease. Dr. Yeh was very kind, thorough and professional. I felt I was in the presence of a doctor who not only understood medically what my issues were, but was also thoughtful and reassuring. Every question I had he answered and every concern he addressed. Within five minutes into the appointment he administered an ultrasound and was able to locate the adenoma. I have the picture to prove it. I scheduled to have the surgery about three weeks later. I woke up in the recovery room after the surgery and there was Dr. Yeh happy to report to me the surgery was successful. I stayed the night in the hospital and went home the next morning. The bone and muscle pain was gone almost immediately and except for a little soreness in my neck, recovery was fairly quick. My calcium and parathyroid hormone levels had returned to normal and I was back to work in two days. It has been a little over six months since I had the surgery and the incision has healed so well that the scar is barely visible. I feel great and am relieved this disease has been treated and cured. I’ve since had another complete physical and all tests are normal. For anyone considering treatment for hyperparathyroidism or any one of several other endocrine diseases, UCLA Medical Center is the place to go. Dr. Yeh and the extraordinary team of doctors and nurses at UCLA perform with unparalleled excellence and administer quality patient care. I can’t thank you enough for all your help in restoring my health and vitality.

  181. Anonymous says:

    I am a 62 year old female, living in Las Vegas, NV. My story begins in April, 2008. I went to the doctor for a check up and he ordered a blood test. It came back that my calcium level was high, so he ordered another blood test to measure my PTH. Having no obvious symptoms, and having had excellent health all my life I just assumed that it was some kind of error and went off on vacation for the month of May. When I returned for a follow up visit in June the doctor told me that my PTH level was high as well, and I would have to have the malfunctioning gland removed, and maybe my thyroid, too. The thought of having my thyroid removed alarmed me so I went on the internet and looked up “overactive parathyroid.” My symptoms were the more abstract ones: mild depression, acid stomach, lack of energy and my husband had been commenting for some time that I seemed to be very short tempered. I found the UCLA website and Dr. Yeh’s name and contacted his office to find out what I needed to do. I finally was able to convince my insurance carrier to authorize a Sestamibi scan, which showed the offending gland to have an adenoma. I then arranged to have the surgery done under their Distance Surgery Program in September. My husband and I drove to LA Tuesday morning, Sept. 16, and arrived at the UCLA campus before noon to have my blood drawn, had lunch, then on to my appointment with Dr. Yeh. Dr. Yeh looked at my films and did an ultrasound on my neck. He said that the parathyroid that was causing the problem had floated off and was located at the back of my neck near my spinal cord. Dr. Yeh was very patient, answering all my questions and taking his time with me.Wednesday was a free day, so we did a little sight seeing around LA. Surgery was scheduled for noon on Thursday so we arrived at the hospital about 10AM to check in. Surgery went off as scheduled, it took a little longer than ordinarily because of it being so far back in my neck, but we were back in our hotel room by 5:30PM. The only reason I needed any pain medication was because my back and shoulders hurt from being stretched over the bolster in order to extend my neck; any pain at the site of the incision was minor. As a precaution, we stayed at the hotel on Friday, and drove home Saturday morning. Also, I took my last pain pill on Saturday.I asked Dr. Yeh what would have happened if I had had the surgery done here in Las Vegas. His answer was that 12% – 15% of his operations are “do overs” because it wasn’t done properly to begin with, or, in my case, the doctor is afraid to dig back far enough to remove the offender. Two weeks to the day after my surgery I was thinking how peaceful it had been recently, that my husband and I hadn’t had a fight in quite a while. Upon more introspection, I realized that the only difference was – me! After thinking about my behavior before the surgery, I realized that I had been very irritable, especially with my husband, jumping on him over the slightest perceived affront. Life is good again, I have more energy and my disposition is once again on an even keel.If anybody is wondering if they should have MIP, my recommendation is a resounding YES! Run, don’t walk to the nearest doctor who does this type of surgery on a regular basis. DO NOT risk having it done by someone who only does it on rare occasions. Everyone on staff from the clerk who checked me in to the nurses, anesthesiologist, and, of course, Dr. Yeh were extremely professional, kind, thoughtful and they all took time to answer my questions.Thank you Dr. Yeh and staff for giving me my life back.

  182. Anonymous says:

    I am a 63 year old teacher and had high calcium levels for 10 years. My PTH levels were elevated and a year ago a sonogram showed an adenoma. My fear of surgery sent me to many doctors, trying to avoid what really needed to be done and hearing that surgery wasn’t “really” indicated yet. Endocrinologists never quite gave me the clear perspective and, even though I knew my bone health was not good, I was in denial that it was getting worse. One Dr. said I had lost SOME bone, but not much and, on and on. The truth was, I was becoming more and more fragile. I did much research and found out about a very well known parathyroid surgeon at UCSF but decided I wanted to stay in Los Angeles for the procedure. I called the S.F. doctor’s office and was told about Dr. Yeh who had studied and worked with Dr. Orlo Clark. I went to see Dr. Yeh. He was clear and frank but I was too nervous and couldn’t get myself to accept what had to be done. That was a year ago. Two months ago I fell and fractured my pelvis in four places. Hairline fractures but, nonetheless, very painful and life changing. After healing pretty well I saw Dr. Yeh and he confirmed, no doubt about it, I needed parathyroid surgery. I needed a Sestamibi test first. That frightened me, also. The idea of a radioactive liquid frightened me and, I thought, he had to do the same test again during surgery, to pinpoint the gland. Turns out, I made the story much too complicated. I had the Sestamibi test and a few days later Dr. Yeh located the gland on an ultrasound machine. He pinpointed it and said there was no doubt that that was the one. I scheduled surgery as soon as possible (since my anxiety level was going up rapidly- perhaps because of the faulty parathyroid?). Dr. Yeh answered all my many many questions and concerns, patiently and calmly and without judgement. I had the surgery, was treated with care and compassion and woke up to hear that it was time to go home. My PTH went from 133 to 17! That evening I still had numbness on my right ear and part of my cheek. I thought this was due to low calcium so I phoned Dr. Yeh. He answered my call rapidly and told me it was from numbing done during the operation. It subsided later that evening. I had some discomfort swallowing but that didn’t stop me from running around for the next two days. I realized I should have had this operation years before and the thought that my bones would begin getting stronger was wonderful news. I know it will take a long time but at least there’s hope. Dr. Yeh’s clear thinking and frank discussion gave me the confidence to trust him. His calm and friendly demeanor allowed me to finally make a decision which felt right. He helped give me the confidence I needed to make a necessary but scary decision. I am most grateful to Dr. Yeh and all the doctors and assistants who work with him. The experience has been a positive one and all who participated have made it so. Thank you, to all of you!

  183. Ann says:

    I had been very tired, aching, forgetful, but thought it was just my age. My primary care physician had been following my elevated blood calcium levels for some time, and encouraged me to see Dr. Yeh. I live in Bishop, CA, about five hours north of L.A., and I was reluctant to have surgery. I finally checked the Endocrine Surgery web site, and it was so great! It answered all of my questions, and was totally reassuring. I qualified for the distance surgery program, and it was really easy. All of the scans, labs, and cardiac work-up could be done in Bishop. Went to L.A. on a Monday, saw Dr. Yeh on Tuesday, had surgery on Wednesday, and went back to Bishop on Thursday. Had no pain, no problems, and I felt better almost right away. It’s wonderful to have my energy back! Ann Zack Age 78

  184. Anonymous says:

    I live in Casper, Wyoming. I want to tell you what the experience was like being a “distance” patient.As you can guess, surgery here in Wyoming is acceptable, but not remotely equivalent to being treated by Dr, Yeh. I assume our surgeons here may do one or two of these surgeries a year, but not nearly the expeience I wanted in a surgeon. I had a thyroid-lobectomy in Casper in 1996. One of my parathroid glands was taken by “mistake”. I was not willing to give surgery here another try. I had only two blood tests whose results were a blood calcium level at 10.8. After the second test, my doctor ordered a PTH. The level was 71. I immediately went online to research surgery options. I did not want osteoporosis, nor kidney stones, nor traditional surgery with the full length of my previous scar opened again. After a little research I knew I was looking for minimally invasive surgery. I found UCLA through a Google search, and there found Dr. Yeh. My experience with UCLA was extraordinary. From first contact with the office to the flight home after surgery, only about five weeks had elapsed. I flew to California for my first appointment for a Sestamibi scan at 10:00 on a Monday morning. Afterward I reported for blood tests. On Tuesday I met with Dr. Yeh for the first time. He spent nearly 1.5 hours with me during which time we talked about the surgery, performed an ultra sound and a laryngoscope. Bob, a medical student, joined us for all parts of this appointment as well as the surgery itself. I had no appointments on Wed., but reported to the hospital at 8:30 on Thursday. The surgery was scheduled for 11:00 PM. At 12:15 I woke with no nausea and very little discomfort. After the recovery time of approximately one hour, I spent approximately 2.5 hours waiting for time for the last blood test, and was dressed and in the car at 5:00 PM. My throat was a little sore, but that lasted only about two days. I rested on Friday and flew home on Saturday. The first week home I was fatigued, but found strength to return to all activities, including aerobic step classes and golf, after approximately 10 days. I need to mention that I am 62 years old so you will know that my recovery after surgery may be a different time frame than yours.The entire experience at UCLA was an experience in professionalism and caring. I was never kept waiting for any part of this surgery. Tests were done on time and with efficiency. I was amazed at the facility, but even more pleased with my treatment by Dr. Yeh. I cannot find the words I need to describe what a kind, caring person he is and what a totally brilliant surgeon he is. I feel so fortunate to have found UCLA and Dr. Yeh and all those involved with the Endocrine Surgery team. From office staff to Dr Yeh, the team is great. If you have to travel for surgery, UCLA is the best option available. I never felt I was a number, I was treated as if I were the only patient there. Thank you Dr. Yeh for healing me.(My name is Dyann Durst. I can be contacted by email:

  185. Anonymous says:

    I am a 54 year old female. Mostly in good health. My surgery was the first week in June. I felt that something was off but I just thought perhaps my thryoid medication needed adjustment, or it was menopause I have been taking synthroid for 24 years. My doctor is great at doing a comprehensive blood panel every year. This last time my calcium was elevated along with protein levels. we dealt with high protein levels first as that seemed more important. The other specialist I saw also saw that the calcium was elevated and did pth levels along with other bloodwork. She diagnosed hyperparathyroidism. I went online to find out about hyperparathyroidism. I found the site for the florida doctors and ucla site. I called and booked an appointment with Dr. Yeh, and had all paperwork forwarded. My appointment was within 2 weeks. After the scans and ultrasound, 2 abnormal parathyroids were identified. There was a cancellation so I had the surgery a week later.I have never had surgery before. I spent one night in the hospital because we live 5 hours away. I had a splitting headache for several days. I think it was from the anthesia. I never have headaches. I rested for about 3 days, but the worst was the headache that didn’t go away. Advil helped me the most. I also had to take Tums several times a day, at first every 4 hours. A month later I just take Tums at night. You can’t miss the creepy feely feelings in your legs, etc. I do feel better now, more upbeat like i normally am. My scar is not very noticeable.My doctor was impressed with Dr. Yeh’s correspondence and surgery, so she has referred another patient to Dr. Yeh.

  186. Anonymous says:

    I am an active 51 year old female who exercises at the gym and plays tennis regularly. I have always watched my weight, taken recommended dosages of vitamins, and worked very hard to be physically fit. My diagnosis and subsequent referral to UCLA took almost a year. My story began in April 2007, when a routine blood test administered by my General Practice physician showed that the calcium level in my blood was elevated. The test was repeated several times, each time with the same results. Suspecting a parathyroid problem, my physician ordered a PTH blood test. My PTH level remained within normal limits even after several repeated tests.In the fall, my somewhat puzzled GP physician sent me to an endocrinologist for a consultation. Since my PTH levels continued to remain within normal limits, many different blood tests were administered to rule out other conditions…multiple myeoloma, sarcoidosis, leukemia and other malignancies. My blood tests always came back normal.In March of 2008, still suspecting a parathyroid problem, my endocrinologist sent me for a Sestamibi Scan of my parathyroid glands and a Bone Density test. The Sestamibi Scan indicated that I did indeed have an adenoma on my left inferior parathyroid gland. My doctor felt that, because of my general good health, I would be a good candidate for a Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy (MIP). Since no surgeon does this procedure locally, I was referred to Dr. Yeh at UCLA. I made the two-hour drive down to UCLA and saw Dr. Yeh in mid-March. He performed an ultrasound exam of my parathyroid glands which confirmed that one of my parathyroid glands did have a tumor on it. He recommended that I have surgery to remove this gland. Surgery was scheduled for Monday, May 12th.My surgery was scheduled for late morning, which allowed me to make the drive down on the same day. I was originally scheduled to be admitted to the hospital but, since things went so well, I was released at 4:00 and allowed to spend the night with my husband in a hotel across the street. That evening we walked around Westwood to a restaurant for some soup. I did not have to take the pain medication, as I was able to manage the pain with Extra-Strength Tylenol. My jaw area and neck were numbed until morning. I did not have a sore throat, as the surgery was conducted without intubation. The next morning after breakfast, I received a phone call from UCLA Surgery staff checking on my condition. We returned home to Bakersfield a few hours later. I took the rest of the week off from work, though I could have possibly returned on Friday. Initially, I had some symptoms of low blood calcium (tingling in my fingers and toes, numbness in my lips) and had to take up to 12 Tums a day to alleviate these symptoms. After about three days the symptoms subsided and I returned to just taking the recommended doses of Calcium and Vitamin D tablets.It has now been a little over a month since my surgery. After more research on the condition, I have determined that I did indeed have some of the symptoms, such as aches and pains in my joints, lowered energy levels, lack of concentration, erratic sleep, and bone pain which I had dismissed as symptoms of aging and/or possibly menopause. I have found that my energy levels have increased, the aches and pains in my bones and joints have subsided, and my general sense of well being has improved. All of my friends, family, and colleagues are amazed at the small size of my incision. I am sure that in time the scar will not even be noticeable.I would highly recommend Dr. Yeh and UCLA if you or your doctor suspects that you have this problem. I found Dr. Yeh to be very professional, yet personable, and all staff members that I encountered at the hospital were very courteous and helpful. I also found the UCLA Endocrinology Website to be very informative and “user friendly” to obtain information about this condition and surgery.Lynn O.Elementary EducatorBakersfield, CA

  187. Anonymous says:

    Hello,Im a just turned 57 year old male residing in N. Calif.I just want to state, that I was not able to have Dr. Yeh perform this surgery on me, but after reading many of the comments from people who have, I wanted to let people know this by far is the preferred way to go compared to the more traditional means of performing this surgery based on my recent experiences.Up until February 2008, I had no real idea what Kidney Stones, or what a Parathyroid gland was or what purpose it served.In Mid-February I was diagnosed with a possible Kidney Stone because of blood in the Urine, which I thought at the time was the result of stress, due to the loss of one of my parents. After an initial examination by my Doctor at Kaiser, I was scheduled for an MRI to look at my Kidneys and urinary tract. The result showed one kidney stone lodge in the ureter and a couple still in the area of the kidneys. I was scheduled for the removal of the stone within the ureter at the beginning of April, using a scope with a laser. After this somewhat uncomfortable procedure and having a stint removed from me one week afterwards I felt fine. At this point the Doctor who performed the procedure insisted I needed my blood to be tested for possible high Calcium and PTH. After 1 week, I had my blood examined and my calcium was 11.4, but they failed to check my Parathyroid Hormone level. Again, back to Kaiser for another blood test, which resulted in a PTH level of 198. After the results were in, the doctor who performed the kidney stone procedure referred me to a doctor in the Ears, Nose and throat department. During the time I was to meet with this person he set me up to have my parathyroids imaged using a mibi scan. Since I was starting to learn what was going on, I discovered this was the preferred imaging technique for discovering an abnormal Parathyroid gland. Within a week, the throat surgeon set up an appointment to meet with me and to discuss the results of my test. After showing me the images from the test, he informed me there had been a recent cancellation, and could perform the operation in two days. He also insisted he has done 100’s of these surgerys and I had nothing to worry about. He also mentioned the scar would be approximately 2 inches long and would blend in with the lines in my neck. At this point I was aware of what minimal invasive parathryoid surgery was, which usually only left a 1 inch or less incision. I thought about it, and reasoned well that is only one half inch longer on each side of a one inch incision. The surgeon also mentioned he had a long case back load and if I didn’t grab this opening, I would have to wait for 3 months to reschedule…Needless to say I went for it.The surgery was scheduled for 1:30 pm, but do to a few delays, I wasn’t wheeled into the operating room until close to 3 pm. While I was feeling anxious about the whole situation, I reasoned since this doctor has done many of these, I was in good hands.At that point I don’t remember anything until trying to wake from the anathesia around 5 pm or so. The nurse attending to me asked me what my pain level was from 1-10, I said it was about a 4, she then proceeded to have me swallow a vicodin for the pain. This whole post operation time in the recovery room was rather uncomfortable, but eventually by 7 pm I was stable enough to be released, and driven home.I didn’t sleep that night due to a large piece of tape wrapped around my neck and the unknowing of what happened to me.The following morning I received a call from the doctor stating he removed the inflamed gland and it was about 3.5 cm in length, but the operation was a success and my PTH and Calcium levels were normal. He also stated I was to see him in one week to remove the stitches.It has been 3 weeks since this operation, and I have not been able to work and do much of anything without fatigue and feelings of vertigo. I called the doctor and told him how wiped out I felt, and he stated this was a major surgery, and would take time to recover from. I asked him could he have damaged the thryoid gland, and he said he would have blood tests ordered to check my thryoid levels and to see if I was anemic. All test came back normal…so I have no accounting why I feel so wiped out. I had the stitches removed two weeks ago, and there is still obvious swelling on both sides of the incision and numbness about the cut. I wish I had known what I know now, because I would have opted for the mini parathyoid surgery. This surgery lasted approx 90 minutes, which I can’t understand compared to the quickness of the mini parthyroid techniques. I state this because he stated he knew where the gland was so there was no reason to explore my neck. I don’t know if I will ever get my energy back and feel normal again. This has been hard for me, and I do not recommend it to anyone unless you enjoy suffering…Thank you for listening.Scott B.

  188. Anonymous says:

    I am a 59 year old former registered nurse who has been coping with chronic kidney disease since the age of 27, successfully trying to avoid dialysis for the past 32 years. At my last routine yearly check up with my nephrologist, I was told that my calcium was slightly elevated 10.4 (8.4-10.2), and that with my kidney condition, what was expected, if anything, was that it would be decreased due to the decreased kidney function, since one of the many processes the kidneys deal with is calcium/Vitamin D regulation. At that point we agreed that I would come back in 3 months to repeat the test. Upon retesting in 3 months we found that my calcium was still slightly elevated, and that my PTH level was greatly increased, which pointed to a possible parathyroid adenoma. I was told to come back in 1 month for a last repeat of the tests, which I did. At that time my nephrologist explained that it was a classic sign of Primary Hyperparathyroidism and that the solution to that condition would be surgical exploration the neck area, find and remove the diseased parathyroid gland. He explained it to me this way: It is a surgery which is quite easy on the patient, but hard on the surgeon, as he has to explore the 4 areas of the parathyroid glands and find the diseased one and remove it, which may take quite a bit of exploring. He suggested exploratory surgery from a surgeon in the Bakersfield area.It was a lot for me to process, so I went home decided to research. I found out about the Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy surgery from Dr. Yeh’s Endocrine surgery program, and contacted his office for information. When I went back to my nephrologist I told him about my research and the program at UCLA. He thought it was a great idea and said his office would gladly cooperate with whatever Dr. Yeh needed as far as my records and lab values and any pertinent information which would be requested. Within a few days I had an appointment for labwork at UCLA, a Sestamibi scan, a consultation with Dr. Yeh, all on the same day because of driving distance from Bakersfield. When the date of my evaluation came, things went smoothly, and by the time I saw Dr. Yeh in the afternoon, he had the results of my Sestamibi scan showing a bright spot at the lower left parathyroid gland. He did an in-office ultrasound of the thyroid and parathyroids and gave us “pictures” of my adenoma. Dr. Yeh told me that he and my nephrologist had agreed that I had both primary hyperparathyroidism due to the adenoma, and also secondary hyperparathyroidism, which was caused by my chronic kidney disease. Surgery would take care of the primary condition, and then my nephrologist would continue with medical follow up and monitoring of the secondary condition afterward. Dr. Yeh was very thorough and informative, and it was a learning session not only for the residents who attended the consultation, but for my husband and myself. He was very patient and answered all our questions and explained everything about my condition and expected surgery that we needed to know in order to make a reasoned and well-informed decision. His explanations were easy enough for a lay person to understand, and technical enough so that we felt we had all the information to understand the condition and the surgery. Surgery was scheduled, with Dr. Yeh kindly agreeing to add my surgery to the schedule just before he left on his Christmas vacation. I had an appointment in 2 weeks for the anesthesia consultation, which led to a request for confirmation from my nephrologist that my blood pressure was under control—I have quite a case of “white coat hypertension” and despite my several medications to control hypertension, they don’t always have the desired effect when I am in the physician’s office. That handled, my surgery was on the schedule and the night before surgery, my husband and I traveled to UCLA. Surgery went smoothly, I was kept in the hospital overnight for monitoring of my surgical site and also my blood pressure. I felt just fine, with such a minor sore throat and such slight hoarseness that it hardly bears mentioning. All I took was one medication for pain, and then just one more for the trip home the next day. I was discharged the next morning, feeling completely fine, and went home to finish my holiday shopping and I was able to prepare and host a family Christmas Eve dinner 3 days later. It is now over 4 months post surgery and I have had no problems. My scar is healed so well that it is almost impossible to find, and my calcium level is normal at 9.4 (8.4-10.2). My PTH is 153 which is over the target level (70-110) for my chronic kidney condition, but that is not unexpected bearing in mind my reduced kidney function. I highly recommend Dr. Yeh and his Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy program at UCLA. I expected a skilled surgeon and he has my highest regard as a surgeon, but his kindness and humanity are what truly set him apart from the crowd.

  189. Anonymous says:

    Do you sometimes feel like you’re, well, just getting old? Tired much of the time? Losing energy? At 64 and retired from a career as a pilot, that’s how I felt. Recently I’d begun napping every afternoon, and I just didn’t seem to have the energy to do many of the things I had been used to doing. It was a gradual thing: I was just slowing down.Then, during a routine annual physical (you do take an annual physical, don’t you?), my doctor noted some anomalies. First, my EKG was somewhat out of the normal range. Then, my blood test results showed a high calcium level. Also, my blood pressure, which had always been in the normal range, was erratic, sometimes normal and sometimes showing in the high range. The doctor also noted my comments regarding my slowing daily routine.Nothing if not thorough, my doctor sent me for a stress test first to check out the EKG results. I did better than he thought I would, he said, and a cardiologist cleared me after reviewing the results, though he did note that the patterns were different from previous EKGs I’d taken.Suspecting a malfunctioning parathyroid gland as one of the few things that could account for all my symptoms–with the high calcium reading almost a dead giveaway–my doctor then sent me for a sestamibi scan. Here, a nuclear dye is injected (painlessly) into a vein. After two hours, a simple scan (also painless) is taken of the neck. If any of the four parathyroid glands is performing abnormally, it takes up the dye and shows up on the scan. Normal parathyroid glands don’t show up at all. Sure enough, the parathyroid gland on the left lower part of my neck lit up like a traffic light, indicating the likelihood of a problem in that area.As a result of the scan my doctor concluded that the malfunctioning parathyroid would have to come out, and recommended a local general surgeon. While I have complete faith in my regular doctor and in his referrals, in this case I wanted to be sure that I had a surgeon who specialized in this exact type of surgery and who would be expert in the latest techniques. While the surgeon to whom my doctor referred me had a stellar reputation, inquiries revealed that he did not specialize in this type of surgery, so I turned to the Internet.The most prominent web site focusing on parathyroid surgery is sponsored by a Florida-based surgeon. The site is excellent as an educational tool, explaining in detail all of the possible consequences of hyperparathyroidism as well as the surgical procedure used in excising diseased parathyroid glands. However, for one thing I’m in California and this doctor is in Florida. More importantly, though, while I am sure the doctor gets the results he claims, the web site had a bit too much of a self-promotional quality to it, which gave me a vaguely uncomfortable feeling. I prefer quiet competence to active sales pitches in my doctors, but that’s just me.A bit more searching on the Internet revealed that UCLA Medical Center, located just a few miles from my home, has a unit–and a surgeon, Dr. Michael Yeh–that specializes specifically in parathyroid disease. I called the number on the web site and was granted an appointment within days. Lugging along my sestamibi scan results I showed up for my appointment and met Dr. Yeh, who is one of those surgeons who immediately inspires confidence in his knowledge and ability.After a discussion of my symptoms and a look at my scan results, Dr. Yeh demonstrated to his students how to do an ultrasound of the neck to precisely locate the diseased parathyroid gland. (UCLA Medical Center is a teaching hospital, and Dr. Yeh generally has a few students observing his technique–think a friendly Dr. House.) Based on my extremely high blood calcium reading (12.7) and very high PTH (the hormone manufactured by the parathyroid gland that determines blood calcium output) reading of over 189, as well as the size of the diseased parathyroid gland as determined by the ultrasound, Dr. Yeh adjusted his surgical schedule to get me in within a few days.The surgery itself was almost anticlimactic, from my point of view. At nine a.m. I was on the operating table, and at six p.m. I was sitting at my kitchen table at home eating a light supper of scrambled eggs and toast. I had a thin scar about one-and-a-half inches long on my neck covered with a small piece of tape. No pain at all, but a bit of stiffness in my neck and a sore throat from where the breathing tube had been during surgery. I never even filled the prescription for painkillers that Dr. Yeh had given me.Dr. Yeh later told me that the diseased parathyroid had been many times the size of most problematic parathyroids, and said it was surprising that I had not shown more symptoms–and at an earlier date–than I had done. Sometimes, though, the symptoms just gradually creep up on one, which is what happened in my case.Now, three weeks after surgery, there is almost no sign of a scar on my neck at all. I feel much more energetic and alert than I did before the surgery, and afternoon naps are a thing of the past. Maybe I’m not getting old quite yet after all! Oh, and my blood pressure is once again firmly in the normal range. I’m also very pleased about the unpleasant things that this relatively simple (from my point of view) surgery has probably helped me to avoid–ailments like osteoporosis, kidney stones, kidney failure, bone loss, heart issues, and myriad other illnesses that are directly attributable to excessive blood calcium caused by parathyroid disease.My advice? Get a physical at least once a year, and if there’s any indication whatsoever that parathyroid disease might be a factor based on blood calcium levels or other factors, see a specialist like Dr. Yeh.

    • Nancy Webster says:

      Thank you for your well written and informative comment. I am taking your advice. I have been battling the afternoon nap and fatigue issues and thinking I am just getting old (62). Suddenly my symtoms have gotten worse: headache, stiff neck, joint pain. Hypercalcemia, parathyroidisim, and SpecCT shows parathyroid adenoma on right side and something else on the left. I hope I can get referred to DR. Yeh. Thanks!

  190. Anonymous says:

    Linda’s parathyroid drama: My name is Linda McCaslin. I am 58 years old and live in Bakersfield, California. I have worked for 33 years for two men who own many houses in the Bakersfield area. I had a successful parathyroid surgery on November 26, 2007. The road to this end was a long one and consumed much of 2007.First, a little background on my health issues. In February of 2006 I went to my primary care physician to get a renewal for my Prescription for Lipitor, which I had been taking for a year due to high cholesterol. Instead of giving me a new prescription, the doctor ordered blood work. My cholesterol blood work came back perfect. I got a copy of my blood work and I noticed that my calcium was too high, but the doctor never discussed it with me. I decided on my own that I should stop taking Oscal that I was taking on doctor’s orders for menopause. In October of 2006, I became concerned about my cholesterol and arranged to have my blood tested on October 6th (my birthday). On the evening of October 5th I had a heart attack. I had an artery that was 100% blocked. I was very lucky to have survived it with minimal damage to my heart. At this point, I had the doctors at the Heart Center order all my blood work.In early 2007, blood tests showed that my calcium was still too high. Unfortunately, the doctor’s there didn’t discuss the high calcium with me, either. I shared the tests with my friend, who is a retired nurse. She did research on the internet and told me have the heart doctors do a parathyroid blood test. I had never even heard of the parathyroid blood test. Thyroid, yes. parathyroid, no. The parathyroid blood test told the story. My parathyroid blood test level was twice as high as the high normal. This got the attention of the heart doctors and they made me and appointment with and endocrinologist. Dr. Bindra had me do some more blood work, collect urine for 24 hours and have a bone density test. The urine test showed I was losing calcium and the bone density test mentioned osteopenia that had already affected spine and hips. I had begun to have lower back pain. Dr. Rodriguez sent me for a Sestamibi scan. I was given a shot of dye and had pictures taken four times over a four hour period. This test was to show where the parathyroid were located. This test came back inconclusive. Dr. Rodriguez gave me the choice of sending me to UCLA or him doing exploratory surgery here in Bakersfield. He had three patients in the last year and had done successful surgeries for them. Dreading the inconvenience of going to UCLA – a two hour trip that can take three or four hours – I chose to have the surgery in Bakersfield. On July 24, 2007 I had parathyroid surgery. Dr Rodriguez located two of the possible four parathyroid. He removed one which actually appeared normal. For a brief time in the hospital after surgery, my calcium was normal. However, ten days after surgery, blood test showed my calcium and parathyroid levels were still very high. I need to backtrack for a moment. At the end of April, 2007 I came down with a case of shingles on my head, forehead and right eyelid. During a visit to my primary care physician for the shingles, the subject of my high calcium came up. The doctor looked in my chart and said, “Actually, your calcium has been high since 2004.” I asked why he had not done something about it. He replied that I didn’t have the symptoms of constipation and exhaustion. While talking to Dr. Rodriguez, I told him of the conversation. Dr. Rodriguez asked if I had ever had kidney stones or pancreatitis, also symptoms of high calcium. I had none of those symptoms, but my blood work told the true story. Thank God I have a friend that took an interest in my high calcium problem. By September of 2007, my sister, Ellen, had retired and was able to go back and forth to UCLA with me. Dr Rodriguez made an appointment for me with Dr. Michael Yeh. I knew after my first meeting with Dr.Yeh that I was in good hands. In September and October I went to UCLA four times. I had every test imaginable – another Sestamibi scan a thyroid biopsy, MRI, CAT scan, more blood work and venous blood sampling. The venous sampling was the most interesting. I was on a table for almost three and they went through my veins by way of my leg to hit 15 “hot spots” to try to locate the parathyroid, which I found out can be anywhere from the bottom our ears to our heart and it’s possible to have more or less than four. I was starting to feel like a medical mystery. Dr. Yeh scheduled another parathyroid surgery for November 26, 2007. My sister and I saw Dr. Yeh just before the surgery and he was determined to find the problematic parathyroid. He also promised to “clean up” my neck scar from the July surgery which he thought was crooked. Four hours was allowed for my surgery, but about two later, Dr. Yeh told my sister and brother-in-law he had found it. It was hiding behind my thyroid, which I got to keep. As I understand it, the parathyroid is about the size of a grain of rice and the color of mustard. I guess it’s kind of like finding a needle in a hay stack. Post surgery, my calcium got too low which caused nausea for several days. I also came down with “hungry bone syndrome” which I believe caused some terrible back pain. I am taking calcium with Vitamin D and feeling fine finally. If I do too much I still have some lower back pain. About a year after the last surgery I will have a bone density test to see how my bones are doing. I am very grateful to Dr. Yeh for his determination to solve my problem. Without a successful surgery my bones would have continued to dissolve. My family and friends were also a wonderful support group during a difficult time in my life.

  191. Anonymous says:

    I am a 63 year old female patient who has undergone two parathyroidectomies during the last five months. My initial diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism was the result of routine blood work during an annual exam. My general practitioner took an EKG, as well, and was concerned by a newly-occurring cardiac arrhythmia. She explained the risks and outcomes of this disease and recommended surgery as the only viable solution for my condition.I was referred to a local physician (Bakersfield, CA) with a solid reputation in general surgery. I was given a sestamibi scan to confirm the diagnosis and locate the parathyroid adenoma (a non-cancerous tumor). While the scan results were non-conclusive, the surgeon was confident of the diagnosis and performed the operation in November, 2007. He was able to locate and remove one infected parathyroid gland, but was not able to find and examine all the others. Follow-up to this surgery was minimal. I had no complications and experienced little discomfort or scarring. A blood test was done one week later, but the results were not provided.In January, 2008, I returned to my personal doctor for monitoring of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Again, blood work revealed the presence of elevated calcium and an extremely high level of parathyroid hormone. She concluded that the surgery had not been successful and would need to be repeated. She gave me the option of returning to the original surgeon or going to UCLA for a “redo”. I chose UCLA because I knew that I would be treated by doctors with a specialization in endocrine surgery.From the outset, the care and attention I received from Dr. Micheal Yeh and his staff were distinctly diferent from what I had experienced earlier. A second sestamibi was performed, but this time the equipment and procedure were more sophisticated and the results were conclusive. Dr. Yeh used an ultrasound during our initial consultation to exactly pinpoint the location of the rather large and elusive adenoma that remained. During this appointment, I was put completely at ease regarding this second surgery. Dr. Yeh and his associate provided a thorough explanation of the benefits and possible risks of the operation, and demonstrated absolute confidence that it would be successful.I underwent cardiac screening locally and met with the anesthesia department at UCLA before being given approval for the surgery. (I was not required to do these two steps in the first instance.)The surgery was done three weeks ago today. It was painless and free of complications, but unlike the first surgery, it was effective, as well. The calcium and parathyroid hormone levels went down immediately. I asked for, and was given, the exact “numbers” for my own peace of mind. I received excellent care during my overnight stay and was visited by a several doctors and nurses who monitored my progress carefully. Dr. Yeh provided thorough oral and written directions for post-operative care, another important detail that had not been included during my first hospitalization. At that time,I did not see any doctor between the sugery and my dismissal from the hospital, though the surgeon spoke briefly with my family.I cannot say that I feel appreciably different as a result of the surgery. “Symptoms” I experienced before–fatigue, aching bones, insomnia, high blood pressure, and cardiac arrhythmia–may be attributable to other aspects of aging or health conditions. However, I believe I have greatly reduced my risk of kidney-related disease, debilitating osteoporosis, and other potential problems.I am most appreciative of the care I received from Dr. Yeh. He and I have spoken on the phone, and in person, several times over the course of six weeks,and he gives the distinct impression each time that he genuinely knows me and is interested in my well-being as an individual. He is accessible, patient, and personable. More importantly, he is a highly-skilled and dedicated surgeon who is able to accomplish what other doctors, less experienced with endocrine diseases, are unable to do. I cannot recommend his Department of Endocrine Surgery highly enough.Catherine BishopRetired teacherBakersfield, CA

  192. Anonymous says:

    my name is paul dennis living in los angeles.i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2004 after a simple blood test.i knew something was wrong because i gained 40 lbs, always felt tired i had no energy,my body was cold, i had dry skin, my bloodpressure eleveted with my colesterol level ,so i was a complit wreck.i changed my lifestyle started going to a health club changed my eating habit and my medication Levoxyl made me a human again.i was the best sape in my life, 6 feet tall 190lbs not bad for a 60 years old man.beside the levoxyl i am not taking any medication, i felt december 2007 i found out my blood calcium level was eleveted,and after different tests the sestamibi test comformed i had primary surgery date was set february 28 at cedars sinai medical center.the doctor told me 3 hours surgery,2-3 days in the hospital and i will be ok!My endocrineologist was not happy and want to order more and more tests, so i hade to cancelled my surgery.i had my plane tickets for april 1 to travel back to my native country to hungary visit my family with my wife.i had 1 month left to take care of one of my parathyroid gland.the mirical happend werry my phisician dr paul leitner recomandation i find a real,wanderfull man dr michael yeh at ucla endocrine surgical unit.after my first visit on march 7,he supported my preference to go forward with my surgery and he resceduled the march surgery dates and made room for me on 20 of march.the rest are history.The surgery was fast, how fast i do not know because of general anestesia but i will find out of the giness book of world records section.i had no pain after surgery and the same day i went calcium and pth hormon went back to the normal level, and i fill great. the 6. day ater surgery i went back and started my regular work out 2 hours dayly. my adhesiv bandage is still on my neck and i will remove it proudly with honor in hungary , because my plane will leave los angeles tomorrow.Ilearned a couple of things in my life, one of them to find the right doctor, the right hospital if you have sone medical problem I was lucky i find a real professional who was human who had the knowlige who cared and i want to tell everybody my story and a name dr michael yeh who earned his place in my hearth.

  193. Rose says:

    ON BEHALF OF PATIENT, I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE STORY FOR PARATHYROID SURGERY.(1991-1999) The patient, who is my mother, is 50 years old when she decides to see a Therapist because of depression. She also started losing a lot of weight, had lack of energy, and starting to feel a lump in throat. After some time, the Therapist suggested she make an appointment with an Endocrinologist due to symptoms, and because she was not improving. She made an appointment with the first Endocrinologist for diagnosis. The doctor ordered a blood test and determined she had Hypothyroidism or Underactive Thyroid. The doctor prescribed 150ml. of Synthyroid at this time. After beginning taking medicine, she slowly started feeling better, and no tumor found at this stage. Unfortunately, the clinic was closing and the doctor relocated. Patient then found a new primary doctor. The new doctor reviewed reports and continued Synthyroid medication for the next 9 years. The patient, however, develops high-blood pressure from 1995 to present and given medication. (2000-2002) In the year 2000, the patient’s primary doctor reported her calcium levels started elevate. The doctor suggested she see second Endocrinologist and given a referral. The Endocrinologist decided to do a Sastamibi Scan. The results showed a small pencil-dot tumor that had developed around the thyroid. The Endocrinologist refers patient to a General Surgeon & Internal Medicine for consultation. By this time, patient is worried about the tumor and not sure what to expect. The patient’s daughter also goes with her to the appointment. After surgeon reviews reports and speaks to the patient, surgeon doesn’t appear to be confident. Surgeon stated, he could attempt to remove the tumor, but it was too small. If he failed, he could damage the surrounding vocal cords, would close up incision, and leaving the tumor alone. The patient and daughter were upset with surgeon for his lack of experience and confidence. The patient said, No Way! She told him she needed a surgeon who was confident to do the surgery right the first time, and not twice if he failed. Surgeon then suggested a referral to UCLA, but did not have a doctor in mind. The patient and daughter left the surgeon’s office frustrated. The patient then decides to get a second opinion. During this time, patient has symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, headaches, knee pain, and other aches and pains between testing and doctors visits. Patient is very agitated most of the time. (2002) Since patient was not referred to UCLA, she decided to find another primary doctor for another opinion. The new doctor reviews records and refers patient to Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills, CA. Patient makes an appointment with a third Endocrinologist for consultation and invites daughter to go along. The Endocrinologist ordered blood tests, MRI, and a Cardiogram. The doctor also confirmed patient had a small pencil-dot tumor in thyroid area, and stated the calcium levels are borderline high. The doctor also stated the tumor was too small for surgery and okay to wait until it grows bigger to remove. Doctor stated if a surgeon tried removing the tumor it could damage the vocal cords. Patient is worried and frustrated, but leaves doctors office with no surgery to be schedule at this time based on the results.  (2002-2007) Patient returns to primary doctor regarding the results of third Endocrinologist. The primary doctor is not happy with the results. Patient’s primary doctor is also relocating and refers patient to another doctor for treatment. Patient’s new primary doctor specializes in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine. Patient makes appointment with new primary doctor who reviewed the third Endocrinologist’s reports and agrees not to proceed with surgery at this time. Patient then decides not pursue surgery yet per the doctor’s recommendations. The patient is still having symptoms, but continues taking synthyroid. Patient continues blood tests every 3 months to monitor calcium and hormone levels. Patient notices she is tired most of the time.(8/2007) The patient again makes another appointment to see primary doctor for follow-up. During appointment, the doctor tells patient the calcium levels are elevated and ranged from (9 to 12.1H) according to records. The reports reveal calcium levels have been elevated since February 07. The patient is shocked, and upset with the doctor who should have seen the levels were high since February. The doctor missed the boat on this one! The doctor recommends surgery as soon as possible, and refers patient to a general surgeon. (9/2007) Patient was referred to a general surgeon who specializes Digestive Disorders. During the appointment, doctor tells patient she could have cardiac arrest is she doesn’t have surgery as soon as possible. The patient is worried and upset the doctors have misdiagnosed her condition.This surgeon also stated he could not guarantee the removal of the tumor. If he failed, he would close up the incision and send patient to another doctor. The patient is disgusted and depressed and can’t believe her condition has become serious! (A possible heart attack!) The doctor tells patient to do research on the internet and get educated about her condition. The doctor gives patient another appointment in case she decides to go through with surgery. The patient did not keep appointment, due to surgeon’s lack of confidence and experience for her condition. Also, patient is now 66 years old and 16 years have passed since the problem first started.Which brings us to the most recent:(9/2007) The patient shares latest experience with me, daughter, and asks for help researching the internet for a qualified surgeon as soon as possible. I then begin researching for qualified surgeons who specialize in thyroid & parathyroid conditions and not general surgeons for other conditions.During research, I found a doctor who specializes in thyroid & parathyroid surgeries in Tampa, Florida. The doctor claims to be the greatest doctor on the face of the planet, and no others like him. After reviewing the doctor’s website, I found useful information, but did not like some of the comments by the doctor or staff. Also did not like the idea of traveling to Tampa for this type of surgery. If there were to be any complications, it would not be convenient, and could be costly.I decided to continue research to find a specialist in CA where patient lives, and recalled UCLA could be the place for surgery. During research, I discovered the UCLA Endocrinology & Surgical team with all the information on thyroid and parathyroid conditions. I told my mom about UCLA’s information, and she was pleased with the results. I then contacted the Endocrinology Department at UCLA and spoke to Dr. Yeh directly. During our discussion, Dr. Yeh discussed his background, experience, and gave me the information we were looking for all this time. After speaking to Doctor Yeh, he is a pleasant individual and has the experience to do the surgery. I then make the appointments with his assistant for testing and consultation. My mom is very happy to have found a doctor for her condition after years of difficulties. On 9/20/07, my mom arrives for appointment. She is given a Sestamibi Scan, ultra-sounds, blood tests, and happy with the staff and service she receives at UCLA. After all tests are done, and results are in, it was confirmed the calcium levels were extremely elevated and patient was a candidate for surgery as soon as possible. The parathyroid tumor was the cause of her illness from the time it developed. Dr. Yeh also noted bone loss, but assured it would reverse itself, and calcium levels to drop after surgery. My mom is relieved and looks forward to surgery.After a short waiting period, my mom was scheduled for surgery on Thanksgiving Day 2007! The admissions and surgical process took about half-day, with actual surgery only about less than 30 min. I went to the lobby and was kept up-to-date of surgical procedure. After surgery was complete, Dr. Yeh spoke to me directly and said surgery was successful with no complications and the calcium levels dropped immediately. The doctor and surgical staff did a wonderful job. Although, we missed Thanksgiving dinner, we were thankful for the surgery. A week later, 12/7, my mom returned for follow-up appointment with no complications, and is on her way to recovery. The scar is minimal and healing nicely. She immediately felt the difference in energy, and can swallow better also. Over time, her overall health is expected to improve.It is very important to seek treatment with the right specialists. As you can see, the patient went to many doctors and was never properly diagnosed and could have eventually died prematurely. Finding the right specialist is very important so the patient can be properly diagnosed. Thank you Dr. Yeh and staff! We hope other patients can benefit from our story, and express our gratitude and would recommend UCLA for this type of surgery.Best Regards,Rosie Quintero,PatientRose Quintero,Daughter

  194. Anonymous says:

    I am a 60-year-old female whose blood calcium level had been elevated for years. I was told this was not significant and could be the result of my taking extra extra calcium for my diagnosed osteoporsis/osteopenia (I also take Fosamax). A couple of years ago I had a kidney stone. Finally, this spring my calcium levels were high enough that my primary physician referred me to endocrinologist. After parathyroid level tests and a Sestemibi scan, the endocrinologist diagnosed primary hyperparathyroidism and referred me to a surgeon, informing me that the surgery would involve a four-to-five-inch cut on my throat. He also told me that I could delay surgery until later in the year, since, at the time, I was not experiencing any symptoms (aside from the osteoprosis and previous kidney stone, which I then found out were probably related to the hyperparathroidism!) A four-to-five-inch cut across my throat did not sound logical (or appealing) to me in order to remove a small gland, the location of which was highlighted by the Sestemibi, so I began a little computer research. At first, I was only able to find a surgeon in Florida who does minimally invasive parathyroid surgery. Since I live in the San Fernando Valley, a trip to Florida for surgery didn’t sound appealing either.I let things slide for the summer and by August I began feeling achy and extremely fatigued. I returned to LA from Colorado and cancelled a scheduled trip to Italy to begin researching in earnest. Oddly enough, the day I returned to LA, I happened to see a friend and family member who works in the Division of General Surgery at UCLA. Upon hearing of my quest for someone who could do minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, he said, “I know the doctor you need.” He put me in touch with Dr. Yeh’s office.My entire experience thereafter was as easy and pleasurable as possible. Dr. Yeh and his staff were thorough, reassuring and informative. They were completely sensitive to any concerns I expressed. Dr. Yeh did an ultra sound on my neck and confirmed the location of the abnormal parathyroid. All other tests were quickly and efficiently done and related to Dr. Yeh. My surgery was scheduled in three weeks and was able to be pushed forward a week when there was a cancellation. The pre-operation instructions, given both orally and on paper, were clear and easy to follow.The surgery itself was uneventful and recovery was practically immediate. I have a one-inch scar three weeks after surgery, which I am assured will fade to almost nothing in six months. There was no pain, only slight soreness at the incision. I had no need of any pain medication at all. In fact, after a few hours in recovery and a check of calcium levels (normal) after surgery, I went home to a liquid dinner. The next day, I was totally fine, with only a slight sore throat for the next few days (probably from the tube during surgery). I resumed all my normal activities with no need for any “time off.” The easiest surgery I have ever had!My very sincere thanks to Val Ybiernas (my “guardian angel”), who recommended Dr. Yeh to me; Dr. Yeh’s entire staff; and, of course, Dr. Yeh himself, who quite literally saved my neck!My own first recommendation is that anyone who has an elevated blood calcium level should be immediately checked for hyperparathyroidism. I suspect that this condition may be quite under-diagnosed and missed by many primary physicians, since its symptoms can be attributed to other causes or are nearly non-existent. (I’ve made everyone I know aware of this condition.) Secondly, but most important, if one is diagnosed with hyper thyroidism, Dr. Yeh and his team are people to see!

  195. skibum says:

    I am a 57-year-old skibum and flew from my home in Sweden to Los Angeles to have an overactive parathyroid removed. Dr. Yeh had been recommended to me by a friend who is a colleague of his at UCLA. Naturally, I had apprehensions about going under the knife.From the moment I met Dr. Yeh, he put all my fears to rest. His confident demeanor accompanied by his assertive nature, clear and easily understood explanations of the procedure, and patience to respond to all questions and comments I might have put me completely at ease.I went in for tests two days before surgery, and again Dr. Yeh, in his consultation gave me the information that the tests were conclusive to identify the location of the guilty parathyroid. He assured me therefore, that the surgery would be uncomplicated and not very intrusive. He was true to his word. In fact, Dr. Yeh set a record by performing the surgery in 7 minutes. The prior shortest time for this operation (at least at UCLA) was 12 minutes, so he did not just shave a few seconds off the previous mark. The shorter surgery is, the less intrusive and the quicker the recovery time. I felt no pain whatsoever during the operation and cannot even notice a scar afterwards. I would recommend Dr. Yeh unequivically to anybody.

  196. Recovery from minimally invasive surgery is rapid, even if you are 98.Less than a week after surgery, we went to see a Cuban zarzuela (a Spanish light opera) and mom left the theater dancing to the rhythm of Cuban music. We stayed for a reception after wards until midnight. She ate, she had a glass of wine, she sang, she socialized, all of this most of the time standing up. I was exhausted, not her! Google video of Magdalena’s dancing >>

  197. These comments will be a little different. It was my mom who had surgery for hyper parathyroidism… my 98 years old mom!!!! When Dr David Reuben, director of geriatrics, and then Dr Susan Davis, endocrinologist, told us of the problem, my mom let them know in no uncertain terms: NO SURGERY!!!! Nobody is going to cut me open! At Dr Davis insistence Mom agreed to meet with Dr Michel Yeh. His assurances, the fact that he could do it with local anesthesia, and the fact that he is young, handsome,and charming kind of convinced her to do it. Still she had to have Dr Reuben approve of the surgery and still she promised that if she died in surgery we were going to be considered her assassins (talk about a drama queen!… but at 98 she is allowed)The results? short surgery, one day at the hospital because of her age, and barely any pain, eliminated with regular Tylenol. Dr. Yeh and his medical team were just what the doctor ordered: knowledgeable, compassionate, and with a sense of humor.Now I found out that Dr Yeh was right in another aspect: increased mental acuity, less lethargy, and increased activity levels. Mom did have a few days of shaking until her calcium leveled out, nothing terrible.Once more we found out that the UCLA medical teams are the best, both as scientists and as caring human beings.We all live in Montebello, California, a good 40 min drive without traffic to Westwood or Santa Monica, and mom doesn’t mind the drive to go see her favorite doctors. But, then, she doesn’t mind either the 16 hrs trips to visit family and friends in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  198. Anonymous says:

    I’m a thirty year old healthy Asian female who was found to be hypercalcemic on routine laboratory testing during my annual physical in June 2007. My primary care physician and dear friend, Dr. Emy of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City immediately expressed his concern and suspicion of hypercalcemia related to primary hyperparathyroidism. Based on my basic metabolic panel test, the calcium level was 12.2 mg/dL (norm ref range is around 8.5 – 10.6 mg/dL). A PTH ( parathyroid hormone) test revealed an elevated PTH of 267. All this simply meant that my parathyroid gland was over-functioning and my bones were not absorbing the calcium nutrients it needs. Instead all the calcium was being excreted down the toilet drain. The impression of having primary hyperparathyroidism seemed a bit surreal as I was asymptomatic and have no familial history of endocrine disease. I have never had any kidney stones, any musculoskeletal complaints, and negative signs of polyuria and polydispsia; all of which are common symptoms attributable to hypercalcemia. I felt perfectly healthy and was constantly traveling in the month of June without any signs for neither dehydration nor fatigue. Concerned with the development of osteoporosis, kidney stones, and possible cardiac complications if left untreated, I was referred to Dr. Kinkhabwala( an endocrinologist in my NYC neighborhood of Gramercy Park) for further evaluation. A series of tests were completed which included:1. a 24 hour urine collection 2. Complete metabolic panel and PTH test3. Sonogram of the neck (ultrasound)4. Nuclear scan of the parathyroidThe results confirmed primary hyperparathyroidism with localized studies suggesting an adenoma (benign enlargement/ tumor) compatible to the right inferior parathyroid gland. Dr. Kinkhabwala strongly advised me to proceed with a parathyroidectomy given my young age and the severe degree of hypercalcemia. He was very assuring that it would be a successful, uncomplicated surgery, and the best cure for primary hyperparathyroidism. Content with the advice given by both of my doctors, the hard part now became the selection of an endocrine surgeon. It was already towards the end of June and I was scheduled to move from NYC to Los Angeles in July. The biggest debate I had at the time was to decide whether to have the surgery in NYC or find someone new in L.A. where I can continue to follow-up with in the future if my case turns out to be more complicated than the initial assessment. Through some phone calls with friends in the medical community, Dr Yeh and the UCLA Endocrine Surgical Unit became highly recommended. My first impression of the UCLA Endocrine Unit was that it was a well organized and approachable program. It was easy to schedule a consultation appt with Yasmin directly over the phone and I simply faxed over my medical records to receive an appointment the following week to accommodate my move to California. The initial surgery consultation with Dr. Yeh was informative and reassuring. Dr. Yeh reviewed my lab records and performed his own ultrasound of the neck to reconfirm my diagnosis. We discussed the indications, benefits, and risks of parathyroid surgery; all of which reconfirmed medical advice given from my physicians in NYC. Dr. Yeh was very thorough and detailed in his explanations of the minimally invasive parathyroid surgery. Feeling confident in having found a personable and experienced surgeon, I was satisfied with the advice given. My surgery was simple and straightforward, I was discharged from the hospital the same day. General anesthesia was used with a laryngeal mask airway instead of intubation; therefore my post-op recovery was without discomfort or pain. By late afternoon, I felt energetic and able to eat a solid meal at home. Dr. Yeh prescribed 2 grams of vitamin D and Hydrocodone (vicodin) for pain if needed. I did not experience any post-op pain, was compliant with taking my vitamins and I returned to work (as a dentist) three days later. I wore a steri-strip bandage over the incision site which is only about 2cm in length for two weeks till follow-up. Removal of the bandage presented with a slight rash, but some hydrocortisone and aloe vera lotion alleviated the rash the next day. My scar is barely noticeable. I’ve had a one month follow-up with my regular endocrinologist since surgery to monitor my calcium and PTH levels. I will follow-up with a bone density test along with my annual physicals to prevent osteoporosis in the future. Overall, my experience with the UCLA Endocrine Surgical Unit is one of great appreciation and respect. I would like to thank Dr. Yeh for his great patient care and acknowledge your excellent professional and personal demeanor. Patients always express a degree of fear and uncertainty when forced with a surgery. However, the way your team attended to me made me feel very comfortable and safe. Thank you.

  199. Marki says:

    I am a UCLA Endocrine Distance Surgery Program graduate, having traveled to UCLA eight weeks ago from Ada, Oklahoma, after blood work revealed a diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism. As a 50-year-old grad student and grandmother to two tiny people, I had become concerned that my odd assortment of ills might be related to something more than age or menopause. For six months, I had been extremely fatigued and forgetful. My grades hadn’t slipped, but my thought processes were dull and slow, I was forgetful and absent-minded, and I had honestly begun to wonder if I was developing Altzheimer’s, the disease that claimed my grandmother. I was also having horrible stomach aches, problems with anxiety, joint aches and pains, I was always thirsty, and the frequency of my trips to the bathroom was bordering on ridiculous. By the end of the Spring term, I was taking 3 to 4 hour naps every day and I decided that it was time to ask my family doctor to run some blood work. My calcium level was elevated, which prompted my doctor to order a parathyroid hormone level, which was also elevated. The two elevated levels combined to form a slam dunk diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism, but here in Oklahoma, there is only one endocrine group that deals with parathyroid disease, and the general surgeons they refer to are not trained in the minimally invasive procedure. With a summer to work with before classes would begin again, I knew I didn’t want to wait the two months my doctor said it would take for an endocrine appointment in Oklahoma City. I got online, read countless medical journal articles on my diagnosis, learned of a doctor in Florida who performs the minimally invasive procedure … and then I called my husband’s brother and sister-in-law in LA (who are both doctors) and asked if they knew of anyone. And Sue did. She had a friend in La Canada who had seen Dr. Yeh for a thyroid problem, and she suggested that I google Dr. Yeh and UCLA. I was completely impressed by the website, the UCLA Endocrine Distance Surgery Program, and by Yasmin and Dr. Yeh, who both took the time to discuss my concerns about finding appropriate care in rural Oklahoma. Within days I was scheduled for surgery and my travel arrangements were made. I flew from Oklahoma City on Sunday, July 8th, and spent the night at Hotel Angelino in Bel Air at UCLA’s reduced rate. I was exhausted from travel and felt completely pampered there. On Monday, the 9th, I drove the 10-minute drive from the hotel to UCLA for a nuclear scan and blood work and then drove to La Canada to stay with family. I had pre-op and consultation with Dr. Yeh on Tuesday, the 10th, I picked up my husband from LAX the 11th, had surgery the 12th, was discharged the 13th, had dinner in Pasadena with husband and in-laws the 14th, and flew from LAX to OKC the 15th! The hardest part really was finding my way on Los Angeles freeways. For those who take advantage of the distance program, I would suggest that you make a good effort to schedule non-stop flights home. If your condition qualifies you for the minimally invasive procedure as mine did, there is really very little pain post-op. However, you may be a little tired or hypocalcemic at this stage and you will appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of an abbreviated travel day. I did have some symptoms consistent with hypocalcemia and Vitamin D deficiency that did not show up until the day I traveled home, and I felt anxious about the lack of knowledge I encountered among the doctors I saw in Ada when I returned, but I took my discharge instructions with me and stayed in contact with Dr. Yeh and his team, and within a week I was feeling much better, just as Dr. Yeh predicted. Hyperparathyroidism is that zebra that doctors occasionally encounter when they’re expecting to see the plain old horse, so if you live in a small community, don’t be surprised if the doctors you see lack the knowledge base to deal effectively with your problem. I had an ER doc who ordered a lab test for the wrong Vitamin D, and who was very surprised that I didn’t have all four parathyroids removed. My family doctor didn’t think to have my calcium level checked during the first week that I was having hypocalcemic symptoms. And when I saw my husband’s internist one week post-op, he very appropriately checked my calcium at regular intervals until my symptoms subsided, but I got the distinct impression that he was offended initially that I had gone out of state for my medical care. The upside to all of this is that there are now some doctors in Ada and Oklahoma City who are very impressed with the program that Dr. Yeh runs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets more patients from Oklahoma.At any rate, here I am, a Denver girl, back in Ada, Oklahoma, back in classes, and back to my old self! I can think again and I have enough energy to keep up with students who are 30 years younger than me. I have a wee one-inch scar that nestles into a skin fold on my neck, my stomach rarely hurts anymore, my joints are all better now, my bathroom habits are NORMAL (thank you very much), my innards are no longer under hypercalcemic assault, and my biochemistry is behaving for the most part. The only residual effect is that my Vitamin D level is still a little low at 21, so I will be continuing with Dr. Yeh’s prescribed 2000 IU of Vitamin D until my Oklahoma City endocrinologist says I can stop.When when I chose Dr. Yeh as my surgeon, I found an exceedingly skilled doctor who listens to his patients and who interacts positively with medical providers in remote locations. I could not chosen better.

  200. Roger Wagner says:

    I have been in the casino business all my adult life and I live and die on odds and probability formulas. Straying from conventional wisdom on my part, I failed to go to the best in the business, even for what might seem to be a rather routine procedure. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone to Dr. Yeh at the UCLA Medical Center immediately after learning of the diagnosis, but I did not. Instead I underwent exploratory surgery performed in a Las Vegas hospital in an effort to locate the hyper gland that was causing my elevated levels of blood calciumMy experience with hyperparathyroidism clearly demonstrates that the probability of a successful surgery rests in direct relationship to the number of surgeries performed by the specialist. Whether or not your hyperparathyroidism can appear to be a very routine procedure, my experience is a testimonial to the fact that going to the best and most experienced surgeon in the business can improve your odds of having a successful operation the first time around. I did not and here is my story. I was 58 years of age at the time and in generally good health. Even in Biology class, I had never even heard of a parathyroid or what it was responsible for regulating in the body. Due to a long history of hypertension, I have always had my blood analyzed every four to six months. In January of 2006, my primary care physician in Las Vegas noticed a distinct rise in my calcium levels over the course of three successive tests, and she referred me to an endocrinologist for further testing. My particular case of hyperparathyroidism turned out to be very unusual, in that the “diseased” parathyroid was hidden under my breastplate and could not be detected by the conventional ultra-sound and MRI diagnostic processes. Because my Endocrinologist was unable to isolate the defective parathyroid organ, she referred me to a prominent Ear, Nose and Throat specialist in Las Vegas, who explained that in cases like mine, the procedure called for an exploratory surgery whereby each parathyroid would be surgically located and removed, one at a time, until the diseased gland was finally discovered. Since all my tests did not reveal the probable location of the hyper gland, the surgeon explained that all of my parathyroids may be hyper, and if that were the case, he would remove three faulty glands and leave one in my neck to do its job of regulating blood calcium after surgery. My research indicated that this was the normal procedure, so I scheduled my operation and underwent surgery.In the recovery room following a difficult six hour surgery, my surgeon notified me that he had removed two perfectly healthy parathyroid glands from my neck, but was unable to locate the diseased gland. Since the two glands he removed were healthy, he advised me that there was a good likelihood that I had one healthy and one diseased parathyroid remaining in my neck, but he could not locate them. Two days following the operation, I had more blood test performed that revealed the fact that I still had dangerously high levels of calcium in my blood, and that the surgery failed to cure the problem.To his credit, the surgeon in Las Vegas suggested that I consult with Dr. Yeh at UCLA Medical Center to determine what procedures should be undertaken now. Two weeks later, I met with Dr. Yeh and he began tests of his own with more sophisticated equipment available at UCLA Medical Center. He also was unable to locate the proximity of the diseased gland, even with the UCLA equipment. After a 90 day healing period from the first operation, Dr. Yeh scheduled two angiograms performed by the renown Dr. Gomes at UCLA. The arterial angiogram took place on Monday, with the venial angiogram performed two days later. Armed with the information from the two angiograms, Dr, Yeh scheduled surgery for the following Thursday, September 28, 2006. Dr. Yeh informed me of the added risks I would incur during the second operation, the most serious being the good chance that the vocal cord nerves might be damaged because of all the scar tissue from the previous failed operation. Dr. Yeh also informed me that the chances for success the second time around were less than the first operation — obviously because all the easy operations are a success the first time out, so the tough ones are left over for a “re-do”.However, Dr. Yeh also had the credentials of being the best “Fix it” man in the business having performed more of these operations than anyone his age in the country……. And I was this far along in the process so I felt I had to get my calcium levels corrected, once and for all.Dr. Yeh and his team spent over five hours in surgery, finally locating the diseased parathyroid gland far from it probable location, even in light of the information from the angiogram. The Doctor told my wife after surgery that my neck was the second most difficult one he had every worked on, and due to the length of time I was under the knife, he almost closed me up, but he followed up on one last hunch and finally located the diseased gland under my breast plate and successfully removed it. Unfortunately, my remaining parathyroid was damaged during the first operation, and it would take a matter of six months to determine if it would repair itself so it could take on the active role of regulating my calcium levels in the future. In the meantime, Dr. Yeh advised me to supplement my diet with 2000mg of calcium twice daily and take “Tums” if I experienced any tingling feelings..Post Mortem —My recovery was a mixed bag. ……….. Immediately within two hours of surgery, my parathyroid hormone levels fell drastically. My vocal chord nerves had been damaged and I was unable to speak louder than a whisper. Over the next two days, my blood calcium levels fell and I began to experience a tingling feeling in my fingers, toes and lips. My feet became cold and I began to have “Charley horses” in my muscles. I called Dr. Yeh and informed him that the “Tums” and the calcium were not neutralizing the negative calcium imbalance I was now experiencing. He immediately ordered a prescription “vitamin D” catalyst called “calcitriol” that enabled the digestive tract to assimilate the calcium pills into my blood system. Within six hours of taking the calcitriol, my calcium levels were back to normal.During recovery from surgery, I utilized a pain killing drug, but it gave me such a level of anxiety, that I discontinued the drug after the second day and used Tylenol in its place. Outside of a sore throat, the pain from the surgery was minimal and the incision was barely noticeable after the bandage was removed in seven days.Forty-five days following surgery, almost miraculously my voice returned to about 90 percent of its full amplification capability. Today, almost one year later, my voice is back to normal. If I do not point out the scar on my neck, no one ever notices it tucked into the natural wrinkles of a sixty-year old neck. I feel great and I never fail to take my supplemental calcium ad prescription calcitriol twice daily.My calcium levels are perfectly normal today, but unfortunately I will have to medicate myself for the remainder of my life because the remaining parathyroid that was damaged during the first operation never healed to became the natural calcium regulator-gland as we had hoped.Nonetheless, I am glad I had the procedure done to correct the dangerous calcium levels I was experiencing. And as I said earlier, if I had it to do over again, I would have gone to Dr. Yeh from the onset, as his experience would probably have mitigated the chances of failure the first time around.

  201. Anonymous says:

    I’m a 47 year old male who has no prior history of any thyroid disorders.On a routine annual physical last fall, my calcium was noticed to be elevated above normal.My doctor elected to wait and recheck in 6 months.At recheck high calcium was again noted along with abnormally elevated PTH levels and I was referred to a general endocrinologist. An early appointment was not available so I elected to research my symptoms on the web while I waited for my office visit. I researched Hyper Parathyroidism based on my calcium and PTH levels, finding only about 8 facilities nationwide that I would trust based on experience of doctors and stated recommended treatments. UCLA was one of the centers I decided to research further. I found Dr. Yeh’s contact information on-line and sent him a short note explaining my symptoms. He responded right away, that day, and recommended an office visit. I told my family practice doctor to refer all my labwork to Dr. Yeh that I was going to see a specialist versus wait for an appointment with a general endocrinologist.I could not be happier with my selection of Doctors!Dr Yeh confirmed Hyper Parathyroidism after a day of tests at UCLA and I was scheduled for surgery.I arrived very early in the morning and was one of the first operations of the day. During surgery my PTH level was continuous monitored and dropped dramatically and almost instantaneously as the offending gland was removed. My other three glands were normal and not removed. Amazing! I awoke after surgery with some minor discomfort swallowing and a little chest pain, both possibilities were mentioned to me prior to surgery and were expected.Dr Yeh visited my hospital room thoughout the day to check on me and based on my condition in the afternoon allowed me to go home that day! I believe I was his first (Hyper- parathyroidism) patient to be released from UCLA on the same day of surgery! Great job Doc!I returned the next week for a followup visit and recheck of my calcium and PTH – all normal.I have since had a 3-month post-surgery calcium and PTH check – again both normal. I have a very small hairline scar from the tiny incision that was made during surgery. The swelling and discoloration is all but gone, almost unnoticeable.I would recommend Dr Yeh and his outstanding staff to anyone with a Hyper Parathyroidism diagnosis. His experience, professionalism and concern for your well-being is both comforting and admirable. This guy knows his stuff!

  202. Anonymous says:

    I live in Encino, California, and in August of 2006 I was told by my primary care physician that I had hyperparathyroidism. This was discovered as the result of a routine physical exam which showed elevated serum calcium levels (11.0). A positive parathyroid hormone test confirmed the diagnosis. I was referred to an endocrinologist who ordered a Sestemibi scan, which showed the probable location of the abnormal gland. He, in turn, referred me to a well respected surgeon in the San Fernando Valley. That surgeon wanted to do a full surgical exploration of my neck, which would have resulted in a large incision, insertion of a drain, and a three day hospital stay. In the meantime, I did a lot of research on the Internet. I learned about minimally invasive surgical techniques (especially as performed by one particular surgeon in Florida, who, quite obviously has a gift for self-promotion…) but it was unimaginable that I couldn’t find a surgeon right here in Los Angeles that wasn’t doing the same procedure with similar techniques. I finally came upon Dr. Michael Yeh’s name as I explored the UCLA Medical Center website, and was delighted to learn that Dr. Yeh does indeed do a similar minimally invasive operation (but without the unnecessary “geiger counter probe” that that Florida surgeon uses.) One big problem, however: UCLA at that moment was not accepting my medical insurance, Blue Shield of California! (Dr. Yeh was almost as upset as I was to learn about this.) He told me he thought that eventually UCLA would come around to settling their issues with Blue Shield, but couldn’t say when that would be. I left his office quite upset. I learned that Dr. Yeh had trained with doctors in San Fransisco, at UCSF Medical Center, who are considered by many as the leading surgeons in this field: Dr. Orlo Clark and Dr. Duh. I flew up to San Fransisco, and met with Dr. Clark. Dr. Clark told me it was unfortunate that I couldn’t have my surgery performed by Michael Yeh, because “we trained him well, and he would have done a great job!” UCSF Mount Zion Hospital was accepting Blue Shield, and I scheduled my surgery, however I would still have to wait several months because Dr. Clark was incredibly busy. Then… not a week later, Dr. Yeh calls me at home and tells me, “UCLA is now taking Blue Shield!” So, I cancelled my surgery with Dr. Clark, and within a couple of weeks I checked into UCLA Medical Center to have my parathyroidectomy performed by Dr. Yeh.In short, Michael Yeh did an incredible job. Not only was the incision only about an inch long, it is now 10 months later and the scar has completely disappeared! Of course, the best news is that my calcium level is back to normal and I am completely cured.I should also add, that this surgery was important for me: an otherwise healthy 50 year old male, I had many of the disorders associated with hyperparathyroidism, including a kidney stone seen by ultrasound a year earlier, and rapidly decreasing bone mass as seem on a bone density scan.As a footnote: One of my primary concerns was the potential that in the course of this surgery, there is a very slight risk of harming, and even permanently destroying, the vocal chord nerves, which would render one with nothing more than a raspy whisper of a voice. Being an actor, I was obviously worried about this. However, I felt completely confident in Dr. Yeh’s ability. I would wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Yeh to any patient, and consider myself very lucky to have had him as my surgeon.

  203. Jim Simon says:

    7 weeks post parathyroid surgery, i feel great. but i felt great pre-surgery as well. so what was that, my surgery, all about? when first told i needed surgery, my reaction was: no way! surgery was for old and sick people. not a healthy 56-year-old male software engineer who received a clean bill of health at every physical exam. oh, there was that time, 21 years ago, when my santa barbara doctor reported my calcium level was elevated. before we could follow up, i moved to irvine and discussed this with my new doctor, who said, “don’t worry, your calcium is borderline. let’s keep our eyes on it. if it exceeds 11.0, we’ll follow up.” who was i to argue with one of the best doctors in orange county? i felt great. so i forgot all about that silly calcium thing for 20 years. meanwhile, my doctor retired, and i found another fine doctor, who never mentioned anything about calcium. if my doctor wasn’t concerned, why would i be? no news was good news. not necessarily: primary care doctors are generally unaware of hyperparathyroidism. it’s too rare and the symptoms, if any, are often too subtle. early this year, i had a minor stomach complaint. couldn’t get in to see my regular doctor, so i visited my wife’s brilliant ucla-educated doctor, who ran a routine blood test. damn calcium elevated again, so she referred me to an endocrinologist, who checked my parathyroid hormone level. also elevated. sent me for a nuclear parathyroid scan. scan result was normal! regardless, my endocrinologist insisted i needed surgery and referred me to a local general surgeon. my reaction: total denial. a few weeks later, i spoke to the general surgeon, who wanted to cut my neck wide open and explore around to locate which of my four parathyroids was abnormal. no way! by this time, i had googled “hyperparathyroidism” and educated myself. no longer in denial, i realized i needed surgery. hyperparathyroidism does not cure itself. even borderline calcium elevation is dangerous. i didn’t want kidney stones. i didn’t want osteoporosis. but i didn’t want my neck cut wide open by a general surgeon. so i googled “ucla”, where i received my undergraduate degree, and “parathyroid”. out popped dr. yeh, the ucla endocrine surgery unit, and minimally invasive parathyroid surgery. i would advise all potential parathyroid patients to thoroughly explore this website, as it contains a wealth of valuable information.pre surgery, ucla’s sophisticated nuclear imaging lab, in combination with dr. yeh’s ultrasound expertise, allowed dr. yeh to pinpoint my one bad parathyroid before ever wielding a knife. as a result, the surgery itself, noon monday, was a walk in the park. post surgery, not even the slightest pain, swelling, or discomfort from the small incision. my only discomforts were wooziness and bladder pressure, normal results post anaesthesia, and a mild sore throat, where a breathing tube was placed, then removed, during anaesthesia. there was no nausea post anaesthesia. at 6pm, 6 hours post surgery, dr. yeh pronounced my surgery a success and released me from the hospital. my parathyroid hormone and calcium levels were normal for the first time in 21 years. i walked out of the hospital and went to dinner with my wife, sporting a 1-inch bandaid on my neck. i stayed home the next two days, and returned to work thursday, feeling fine.10 days later, i returned to the hospital, where dr. yeh removed the bandaid. no stitches to remove. dissapointment: instead of a nice big manly scar, i had a wimpy 1-inch line on my neck. my advice to future patients: if your calcium level is elevated, even slightly, and your parathyroid hormone level is elevated, you need this surgery. in the waiting room during my post surgery visit, i had a chance to talk to my fellow patients. we all agreed. dr. yeh was surgical techniques advance, this surgery might eventually be available under local anaesthesia. future patients may wish to discuss this with dr. yeh.

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