Parathyroid Diseases

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

463 thoughts on “Parathyroid Diseases

  1. jim/sharon hoover

    My daughter was treated in Seattle for pituitary tumors she has since moved to Colorado and we need a good neuroendocrinologist recommendation her primary care isn’t very good

  2. jim/sharon hoover

    what will happen if my daughter does not have hypoparathyroidism surgery because of a pituitary tumor that is causing her diminished health

  3. Janet Feig

    I have had 3 unsuccessful parathyroid surgeries. First surgeon located two enlarged gland, but not the adenoma. He removed the large ones. Second surgery was at Mayo Clinic where the surgeon located adenoma and proceeded to remove it. But instead of throwing it away, she auto transplanted the adenoma and diseased gland into sternum. This did not follow protocol. I still had high levels of blood calcium for about 2 years, had all my symptoms of hyperparathyroidism. She wouldn’t discuss this after surgery. Then I contacted endocrine surgeon in Madison Wisconsis who confirmed I had disease still due to high calcium levels in blood. He thought to either remove the implanted gland on chest, knowing I still had one gland left in neck. But due to implanted disease, that gland could not function. So he coerced me into having a vats surgery looking for a parathyroid gland in my chest or a lymph node as they had spotted something on one of my tests. I really didn’t want that awful surgery. But I thought enough of Doctor to go ahead with it. Big mistake on my part. No parathyroid gland was found. So tests were negative for finding a pt gland in chest. As a result of that explorative surgery, my calcium levels lowered. But I was still just as sick as before. So as a result, that Doctor dropped my case. This calcium level has now become the red herring in this case. I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism in 2009. Now in 2016, I find myself in worst health ever. Severe osteoporosis, just passed kidney stone in past week, have had 2 stones before. I’m in pain everywhere in my body. My bone density keeps getting worse. And I can’t take calcium because it makes my bones hurt. In presence of disease I have read that one should not take calcium. I also am plagued with cognitive decline, depression and anxiety. Fatigue and weakness are trademarks of this disease which I have, only much worse. I hurt so bad everywhere now that it’s getting harder for me to even walk. Im mostly at home, afraid of falling in Minnesota weather. Admittedly, some of this pain can be caused by other problems. But majority of my symptoms are getting worse. I have to take prescribed amphetamines to wake up and many drugs to sleep. I need 12 hours of sleep to feel rested. But not much gets done when I need all that sleep. But since all my symptoms are getting so much worse in terms of fatigue and weakness and now constant pain in feet, legs, neck and back, I have no desire to tackle going outside. I have fallen many times over the years before the diagnosis. No broken bones yet but I sure hate to think what could happen to me if this disease continues. I have been granted a PCA by state here and was declared disabled . It’s amazing the lack of expertise I have seen regarding this disease. Since I have researched this disease ad nausem, I probably do know more about it than some doctors I have talked to. They have dismissed me, have been rude and must think I’m lying about all my symptoms. I cannot stand the life I’m living and do not want to end up fracturing my bones. I’m looking for a doctor with a brain AND a heart! I have records galore to send but certainly won’t send all. Just the surgical reports. I just can’t go through more ignorance and rude treatment that I have experienced by going to endocrinologists in Minnesota. They try to tell me it’s something else but never look for anything else. I need a miracle and I do believe in them. But I’m running out of time and I realize this disease if left untreated affects every body system eventually like heart attack and stroke, kidney failure. It’s hard wanting to live being disabled everyday. I hope someone out there can see red flags in this case and figure out a way to help me. I don’t have knowledge re implanted glands and how difficult they are to remove. If I knew how, I would operate on myself. But I don’t have those skills. But I do understand this disease and how it’s bringing me way down . It’s it’s logical progression I fear. I have nowhere to go in Minnesota. That I know, because there are no endocrine specialists in this state, just general surgeons. I hope you can help me. Thanks from my heart.

    1. anonymous

      I would disagree only in that the American association of endocrine surgeons web page is a good place to obtain names of general surgeons whose area of specialty is also parathyroid reoperations. They may not be large in numbers in MN, but they are there, and with accompanying email contact info.

      UCLA has a distance surgery program. Michigan has a parathyroid priority program.

      Good luck in your pursuit.

  4. Traci Gay

    Dr Yeh & his staff are amazing. He operated on me, found tumors on all 4-non cancerous, and I’m forever grateful.

  5. Cynthia RN

    Here is my story. I was a patient from May 10 –May 11 and had surgery to remove one of my Parathyroids.

    I would like to thank Dr. Yeh and his team for such classy professional care during my stay at Ronald Reagan Medical Center. I am pleased to say that I’ve been a nurse for 50 years and an ICU nurse for 33 of those years. Dr. Yeh was so patient and was not in a hurry on my first visit with him. He explained the procedure, complications and side effects in such a non-threatening manner. It was so refreshing. On the day of surgery I was reassured and felt so secure. Post-surgery, his visits, instructions and follow- up two weeks later were so enriching.
    I must also commend his residents and nurse practitioner Jennifer who, like Dr. Yeh had such good bedside manner. My questions before surgery were answered via several phone calls to me.
    I can’t forget to also commend Dr. Shah in the South Bay area who was so kind, prompt and patient in conveying the results of all of my test to make the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism. She was prompt in ordering the tests and coming up with the diagnosis after three years of rising calcium levels.

    All in all, a great big THANK YOU to the entire endocrine department both at the UCLA campus and the South Bay area.. It was a non-threatening memorable experience.

  6. Victoria W

    I am a 53 year old woman who got diagnosed with Hypothyroidism through my amazing OBGYN who did a blood test in March 2016. She noticed my calcium and pth (Parathyroid Hormone) were very high. She told me Dr. Yeh at UCLA was the best and to make an appointment right away, so I did! I also looked it up on line and learned so much and even watched the surgery. I was feeling so bad, mood swings, agitated, sad, confused, could not focus, couldn’t sleep, it was bad and I was taking bio identical hormones so i did not understand what was happening and why I felt such bad symptoms. When I called the office they set me up with a scan which took 2 hours but painless. I went in for my appointment and met with Dr. Masha Livhits , she was so sweet and reassuring! She said that they scan read negative but we all could clearly see one that was enlarged and that had dropped a bit into my chest. She did an ultrasound and confirmed I needed surgery to remove 1 enlarged gland. I went in for surgery on Thurs May 5th and had to stay the night so they could monitor me. Come to find out they had to remove 3 1/2 glands! Dr. Livhits even took pictures for me to see them and assured that 1/2 of a gland was plenty! Loving Tums and taking vitamin D as well as calcium enriched foods. I sure wish I knew what causes this but am so glad to have had it taken care of. The surgery center at UCLA was great and all the doctor’s and nurse’s took very good care of me. My neck, throat and chest were pretty sore until Sat night. Sunday I felt normal and went to work, thank God it was cold so I could wear a turtleneck. My incision was under an inch and is healing nicely. I went to work on Monday as well and felt even better. I am so thankful to have caught this early. I feel like a dark cloud has been lifted off my shoulders. My mind is sharp, clear, I feel happy again and sleep very well! Thank you Dr. Livhits and Dr. Leila Zaforanchi for catching, diagnosing and treating me. Highly recommend them! I am going in for a bone density test next week, lets hope I dont have too much if any bone loss!

  7. Sharlene Liechty

    Dr Yeh and his staff are wonderful. They saved my son’s life.
    My son, was diagnosed with parathyroidism in Jan 2016 and had surgery this March. It took over 4 years for doctors to diagnose his condition. He had high calcium levels as early as age 14 (2012) in an emergency room visit, but the problem was overlooked because of his young age and the doctor’s lack of experience in this area. Even in Jan 2016 two doctors reviewing his labs didn’t identify the high calcium as a problem. His thyroid was a little low so his primary care physician gratefully sent us to an endocrinologist who picked up the parathyroid problem. He promptly did 6 biopsies before we found out biopsies are NOT what you should do. It causes all kinds of scar tissue and made surgery more difficult. That being said, the biopsy revealed that my son had a monster parathyroid putting out 50,700 PTH.
    Parathyroidism destroyed my son’s life slowly over these 4 years. The first year, most symptoms were light, but they progressively got worse with the last year our family desperate to find answers. We initially thought his problems were all due to depression, but as time went on it seemed there was a physical component. Our nearly straight A student, accomplished musician, athlete, and outdoor enthusiast was reduced to a shell of a person hardly able to get out of bed. His senior year he was falling asleep in most classes, and regularly missing class. The last 2 weeks prior to surgery we resorted to giving him monster drinks to help him get to school so he could graduate. The bone pain was bad enough he said it actually hurt to even move in the morning. He had 4 hand breaks in 3 years, and teeth problems. The worst was the emotional symptoms and what all this did to his self esteem. He was diagnosed with MDD (major depressive disorder) He had nearly all the typical parathyroid symptoms with depression, fatigue, and eventually thirst being the most complained about. Two sleep studies were done revealing his brain was waking up 15 times an hour. Extreme nightmares were weekly.
    A few weeks before surgery we found through testing that he had blood in his urine. Upon talking with him we found out that he had been having micro kidney stones every 2-3 weeks for the previous two years, but had not told us since having trouble urinating was so personal. I had rubbed his lower back when he complained of pain several times but had not understood its significance. Anyway, this disease really smacked him in nearly every area of his life.

    Our endocrinologist wanted us to use an in-house surgeon who had done only 17 parathyroid surgeries last year. This was unacceptable ….you have to have someone who does 50 or more parathyroid operations a year to get the best results. We went to Dr. Yeh for surgery because in our state we felt like no one was experienced in the latest technique and we knew we had scar tissue to deal with. Dr. Yeh was experienced, wonderful, and kind. He took only one parathyroid out. It was large, about the size of your thumb, and was pushing into my son’s esophagus and resting on his vocal cord nerve. Dr. Yeh skillfully took it out navigating the scar tissue and saving his voice. My son felt better on the first day and continued to improve, although he felt the calcium withdrawals at even 7 weeks out and just a few times even after that. My son initially felt like he was bipolar with big emotional ups and downs. This lasted for about two months with it slowly just dissipating over that time…less severe and less frequent. He is now coming up on 3 months since the operation. His fatigue level is greatly improved. I think what is left is just building back stamina. Emotions are much more level with deep depression seemingly gone. No more kidney stones, no more nightmares, he can get out of bed etc. He is much better. We are now working at helping him put his life back together and taking care of some collateral damage that occurred.
    I highly recommend Dr. Yeh and his team. His staff has been very helpful in follow up with questions and helping us get records and a referral to a new endocrinologist. I just can’t say enough good about their team. He really did save my son’s life. I think in another year my son would have died or taken his own life because he was so sick. Hats off to the best Parathyroid team! THANK YOU!

  8. Michael Goldman

    My Surgery went better than Expected. No pain or discomfort. Dr. Yeh and his team are exceptional. Trust him and his staff! That is all! : )

  9. Anonymous

    I had a parathyroidectomy one month ago by Dr. Michael Yeh. When I called the office for the first time to make appointment, Julie was extremely helpful. She spent extra time to make arrangement for me to have the 4DCT and the office visit on the same morning knowing that I live 50 miles away. On the day of the office visit, Dr Yeh was able to see my adenoma with the office ultrasound. He explained everything very clearly to me. At the end of the visit I developed complete trust in him. I was certain that I chose the right surgeon.
    The surgery went as smoothly as I could tell. I woke up in the recovery room without any pain. I took some Tylenol about 20 hours after surgery. After that it was like a mild case of sore throat.
    I did experience symptoms of hypocalcemia on the 3rd and 4th day after surgery. I followed the instructions taking Tums with good relief. I was very happy that I could do the post-op visit through Telehealth so I did not have to fight the traffic to get there. I have to say the entire experience was wonderful. Dr. Yeh is an excellent surgeon and he has a fantastic team working for him!

  10. Kathy L.

    I live in SoCal and I have been told by my PCP I most likely need to have one of my parathyroid glands removed. She mentioned that she has noticed that her patients that have had a parathyroid gland removed, have significant bone loss after removal. She said her patients need to take calcitonin for the rest of lives to prevent severe osteoporosis. Has anyone reading this also experienced either faster bone loss after surgery or have been prescribed calcitonin for an extended period of time. Thank you for any responses.

    1. April Robinson

      After my 2nd surgery in 2014 I had hypocalcemia, I am still struggling with stabilizing my calcium levels 2 years later. I was taking calcium every day but am now by the instruction of my endo getting my calcium from high calcium foods to try to
      wake up my parathyroids that are left. They
      may have been injured in the surgery but she believes there may be a chance to force them to wake up by alleviating my body of the supplement and giving my body the real thing. We’ll see. Bone density seems to be okay and I was told that your body will rebuild the lost bone.

      1. Kathy L.

        Thank you April for responding; I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. My dr. was very assertive in telling me that she has noticed a trend in her patients loosing a lot of bone after surgery if they were not taking calcitonin supplements, so I am quite concerned about it. I appreciate your feedback and wish you all the best!

    2. Anonymous

      I don’t really understand what your MD has experienced because the exact opposite should happen after a parathyroidectomy. The bone loss occurs because of the adenoma which needs to be removed and the surgery is done to prevent further bone loss. I will say however, that when I had my parathyroidectomy in Sept. of 2013 by the wonderful Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA ( one gland removed, other 3 in place and normal) that my DEXA scan did not show improvement the next year and I still have osteopenia. I would get a 2nd opinion, because what your MD said doesn’t really make sense physiologically…especially if you just have 1 of the 4 parathyroids removed and the others are normal.

      1. Kathy L.

        Thank you for your response. It’s just like you said, the exact opposite should happen. She said it appears that after removing one parathyroid gland, the other three seem to stop working. She expressed her observations with me for approximately 10 minutes. She said she’s not an expert, she wants me to be mindful of the outcomes she has seen. So it’s quite confusing since it seems to be the opposite of what should happen. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know about your experience.

        1. John and Janice Gute

          Can you get in to see Dr. Yeh and his team? You need some expert, definitive care. They are wonderfully competent and can help sort things out for you.

    3. Anonymous

      I was not as lucky as most people here as my doctors never diagnosed hyperparathyroidism until I suggested it after breaking 3 bones. Broken bones are life changing events when you are working. I broke an ankle, metatarsil (foot), and had a humeral head fracture (shoulder). I couldn’t drive for months at a time. I tried stopping all my medications in case they were contributors. My TSH went up to 450 before I gave up and went back on synthroid. Then I discovered on the internet and the UCLA website that my chronic high calcium level was a clue as to why my bones were breaking. I’m amazed by the simple solution!

      I loved Dr. Yeh and his staff and the website. I watched the entire operation online so I understood what was being done. It’s been 4 weeks and I’m still experiencing unexpected changes in skin, digestion, energy level (all good). I have less anxiety. The number one result of the operation will be stronger bones, so I’m feeling more confident. Thank you Dr. Yeh and UCLA Endocrine Surgery Dept.

  11. Julianna

    I’m a 31-year-old female living in Santa Barbara. I work in Clinical Affairs at a large medical device company. I discovered that I had elevated calcium (10.8 mg/dL) after routine blood screening offered by my company’s health program. I was also studying endotracheal-tube based nerve monitoring devices, so I was very familiar with the risks of parathyroid surgery and feared losing my voice. More tests showed I had elevated parathyroid hormone (120.6 pg/mL), was losing lots of calcium through my urine (496 mg excreted in 24 hr), and significant loss of bone density (DEXA T-scores of -1.2, -2.3, and -0.1 in my hip, spine, and forearm respectively). I began to educate myself about parathyroid surgery and became convinced that surgeon experience was the most critical consideration. My primary care doctor referred me to an ENT specialist in Santa Barbara who said he had performed about a dozen parathyroidectomies, ever! So I found the UCLA endocrine center website, and was immediately impressed by the surgeons’ philosophy. It was much easier to get timely appointments at UCLA – I would have had to wait months to even get a consultation with an endocrinologist in Santa Barbara. Since I was coming from a few hours away, we did my Sestamibi and surgical consult with Dr. Livhits on the same day. The team was incredibly professional and really helped put my mind at ease. Dr. Livhits has an excellent bedside manner. My surgery was scheduled for the following week. I arrived at 6am and was released around 3pm to go to a local hotel for an overnight stay, under my parents’ care. I walked back to the hotel from the hospital and went out to dinner that evening. Discomfort was minimal; I only needed painkillers for 2 days. The most uncomfortable aspect was the nerve block, which took about 24 hours to wear off. I had no hoarseness or sore throat. Surgery was on Thursday and I returned to work on Monday. I was able to do my follow-up visit via Skype. The scar is small and Dr. Livhits placed it in an existing neck line. I didn’t notice many physical symptoms prior to my surgery, so I can’t say that I’m doing much better, but I’m so relieved that it’s over and I can start restoring my bone density with calcium supplements, vitamin D, etc. I’m so glad I had surgery at UCLA. Another thing I appreciated is that they were actually able to give me an accurate estimate of the cost of surgery ahead of time! Much appreciation to Dr. Livhits and the whole UCLA endocrine surgery staff!

  12. Svetla Petrova

    I have a unique story that started on March 21st and was successfully resolved within the same week on March 25th by an exceptional endocrine surgeon, Dr. Masha Livhits.

    I work in fast paced high tech environment, managing security projects. I am pushing really hard at work, exercising even harder to keep balance in life. I am 42, I eat and live healthy. In the last year I start noticing significant loss of energy, hypertension, minor hair loss. I thought it was stress or probably aging, but it was not. During a routine check and blood test on March 21st, my primary care physician Dr. Goldsmith discovered mild elevation in calcium. Based on additional study and ultrasound, he found an alarming PTH levels and possible benign growth on one of the parathyroid glands. Dr. Goldsmith immediately referred me to the Endocrine Surgery at UCLA, Dr. Masha Livhits as an expert in this field.

    Dr. Livhits has seen me on March 23rd, the same day I was referred to her. Her staff was very helpful and accommodating. Dr. Livhits has performed all the necessary examination, and upon confirming the diagnosis, she explained in depth what Primary Hyperparathyroidism is, why it is so important for the parathyroid tumor to be removed, downsides if it’s not removed, and what happens during and after a surgery. During my short visit, she was so knowledgeable, professional, personable, that I knew from the very beginning I’m in best possible hands. Dr. Livhits accommodated me on her surgery schedule for that same week. Her staff, especially Maya, greatly helped in scheduling all the pre-op procedures, necessary scans for a surgery on Friday the 25th. The surgery went really smooth, it took an hour in surgery, and 4 hours in recovery room to fully wake up from anesthesia. My PTH level went down to normal during the surgery within minutes after the removal of the parathyroid adenoma. Everything was so well planned, designed, and executed by Dr. Livhits that I was able to go home the day of the surgery and have dinner with my family. It took about a week to resume regular work and exercise, and another week to completely get back to normal.

    I wish everyone such a great experience. I couldn’t explain the flow of positive energy and strength I have after surgery. It wouldn’t be possible without a talented and knowledgeable professional like Dr. Livhits.

  13. Anonymous

    I had Parathyroid Surgery, approx. 6 weeks ago. I have nothing but the highest regard for Dr. Yeh, as I would say he made this surgery relatively an easy experience. I give a lot of credit
    for finding this problem to my Primary UCLA Health physician Dr. Tiffany Sheh, who recommended Dr. Yeh. I now have a normal blood calcium level, and hope all other symptoms to improve shortly as well.

  14. Anonymous

    It was a rough journey. Getting to the point to where I am now was so difficult; I am so glad to be on the other side of things and I am doing much better after the surgery. I would have liked it if Dr. Yeh had contacted or visited me during my post-op instead of another doctor. Overall, I was very pleased with the office. You guys are wonderful, thank you.

  15. Maria Madrano

    I was having general thyroid issues for a while. I did not feel like myself – I was always upset, angry, nervous, and my bones had gotten weaker. I kept going in for tests and seeing doctors until my cardiologist referred me to Dr. Yeh. He told me that Dr. Yeh was amazing and incredible, and that he will give updates, and will take care of you, and you will be satisfied. From start to finish, I was very amazed with him. He is very empathetic, kind, simple. I felt comfortable talking and joking with him. He wasn’t too serious, so it didn’t scare me. It was easy to talk to him and joke with him.

    A couple weeks after the surgery, my husband noticed that I got out of bed and started walking without my walker. I had not walked without the walker for 6 years. The surgery made my legs stronger (especially the left one) and I am able to walk. They removed my parathyroid gland, which had been causing bone weakness. I take calcium supplements to help. I am thankful to God, and thankful to Dr. Yeh. It has been a miracle and a blessing after my surgery. I wanted everyone to know he’s amazing, and the best doctor I’ve ever met.

  16. Sarah M. Wallace, Ph.D.

    Six months ago, my life took a startling turn: I had a bad bone-density scan Five years prior, I had had a super b-d scan. A blood test revealed the issue: way too much calcium in my blood. Where did that excess come from?–from “the bank,” my bones. My excellent primary doctor referred me to a UCLA endocrinologist, who ordered a series of tests, culminating in an “atomic” (nuclear) scan of my neck to confirm and locate with pin-point precision, the PT “bad boy.” Then it was on to surgery with Dr. Michael Yeh, universally recommended as THE go-to surgeon for this disease. A prelim visit to meet him at his office in Westwood was a fine experience; his team were each thorough and courteous, and Dr Yeh himself was accessible, answering my questions with calm authority and explaining the coming procedure with clarity and a welcome lightness of tone. Two weeks later, in UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, his surgery team was exceptionally attentive and pleasant in their routine prep. The surgery went off without a hitch, and my blood-calcium level was in normal range at the end of the operation. The followup visit with Dr. Yeh was fine and easy, as the first had been. He assured me that the hoarseness I was experiencing would soon clear up )it has), and the lump at the site of the surgical incision would diminish in weeks ahead (it has). Overall, the best possible experience and outcome! Thanks, Dr. Yeh, and all your UCLA teams!
    Sarah M. Wallace, Ph.D.
    Teacher Emeritus, Brentwood School
    English, History, Art History

  17. Anonymous

    Dr. Yeh and his team are miracle workers. For a long time I felt terrible, but after my Parathyroid surgery I felt great. Thank you Dr. Yeh and the team.

  18. Anonymous

    Many thanks to Dr. Yeh and his team! I had parathyroid surgery in October and my blood tests have come back within normal levels! Dr. Yeh is an excellent surgeon! I highly recommend him! Thank you, Dr. Yeh. ~Jennifer T

  19. Anonymous

    I had a symptom where my calcium was high. My endocrinologist checked the PTH levels, which were high. The second time I went to him, he said that I had to do the surgery. He referred me and I came to see Dr. Yeh. After doing the isotope scanning, he thought that one of the parathyroid glands was enlarged. Then we did the surgery, and I am very satisfied with the surgery. 15 days after the surgery, I’m here and I talked Dr. Yeh. Everything is fine and I’m not feeling any symptoms. It takes only about 2 days before I can resume my daily activities. Overall, my experience was very, very good.

  20. Bonnie Cruz

    SUCCESS! I FEEL LIKE A NEW PERSON! I am a 61-year-old previous medical secretary living in Morrison, Tennessee. I had a diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism with an adenoma on one parathyroid gland. This was diagnosed by a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic who has been treating me for PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) for several years. The diagnosis was made based on symptomology and high calcium and PTH levels. This physician instructed me to find a surgeon who performed minimal invasive parathyroid surgery more than three times per year . . . preferably one who did this procedure at least three times per day. So the internet search began! My husband (a CRNA) and I both searched nationwide and then compared lists and agreed that the best choice was Dr. Michael Yeh (who actually performs more than twice that many per day.) We were very impressed with the extensive information provided on his website. One key feature that caught my attention was that while other sites seemed to have surgery speed as their “claim to fame,” this was NOT the main goal to promote on Dr. Yeh’s site, with a clear caution that safety and thoroughness is the main goal. And the next hurdle would be location . . . Tennessee to LA. No problem! They have a distance-treatment program that is fantastic! There is a really unique system set up so that I was able to visit with Dr. Yeh “face-to-face” via computer so he could determine if I was a likely candidate for surgery or not. In just a few days we were able to get all the medical information that was needed sent to them and the surgery scheduled in a couple weeks’ time to coordinate with our vacation schedule. All of the people in the office were so helpful in answering my questions and helping me to find lodging and transportation ideas to make it easy to commute. Everything went like clockwork when we arrived. At the surgery center we were able to meet with an anesthesiologist who kindly listened to my concerns with a TMJ problem and previous anesthesia problems and totally calmed my fears! Each person who helped with surgery was compassionate and made me feel completely safe. And the best part . . . IT WORKED!!!! I knew something was different from the minute I awoke from the anesthesia. The horrible fatigue was just GONE! I was ready to get dressed and go down the street to the Farmer’s Market that I had seen the day before. (But I had to wait four hours post-surgery for a calcium level test.) But when my time was up, we walked the several blocks back to our hotel without even calling for the free shuttle or taxi. The next day I walked the beach and the following day I went on a 2+ mile hike in the mountains. I have waited, wondering if this was going to last. But I am now four weeks post-op and am still feeling fantastic. I had no idea how bad I really felt as it had come on so gradually that I had attributed the tiredness, thirst, heart palpitations, and depression, etc. to other factors without realizing they were actually related to a parathyroid problem. I am aware that not everyone has such dramatic results, but for me it is truly a miraculous and dramatic improvement. Now I am totally an advocate for anyone with a similar problem for such an under-diagnosed malady. And I can help them to find a way to go to California where I know they will be treated with such kindness, proficiency and respect by the whole staff!

    1. Martha Lennon

      Hi Bonnie, I enjoyed reading your review on Dr. Yeh and his team. I saw him a week ago. I had surgery in 2008 with a different surgeon. Three glands were taken out. My calcium levels went back up a few years ago.

      Dr. Yeh is going to look up my past history of having hyperparathyroidism. He did order a CT and did an ultralight sound during my visit, as well as blood. Oh and he order a bone density test.

      If you don’t mind, can I ask how are you doing?

      I am 67.

      1. Bonnie Cruz

        Hi, Martha! I am doing very well! I am now 3 months post-op and am still feeling like a new person. 🙂 My calcium level has dropped even a bit more since the surgery. A friend of mine has been diagnosed with the same problem but is unable to travel to California to see Dr. Yeh, so she has done the work-up and is waiting to see a surgeon in Nashville that Dr. Yeh has recommended that is closer to our area. I will be interested to hear Dr. Yeh’s diagnosis of your problem. Do you truly have just one parathyroid gland left and does it have a tumor on it? Please let me know how you progress and how you do following surgery. I will be happy to hear from you again to see how you are doing and see if your calcium comes back down to stay. Good luck to you! Bonnie 🙂

        1. Karen

          Hi Bonnie, I have an adenoma that needs to be removed. I am lucky enough to live in CA. However, I am part of a contained medical group, and I believe it would be out of pocket to see Dr Yeh. Think he could refer me, like he did your friend?

  21. Bita Golban

    Dr. Livhits was very informative and told me that I have to do the parathyroid surgery and I believed her. I did the surgery with assistance of surgery coordinator. I even stayed the night at the hospital since I live alone. The good thing is the over grown parathyroid gland was benign and my PTH or parathyroid hormone is back below 50 which is normal. I couldn’t be happier and I am grateful to Dr. Livhits.

  22. Lani

    I just recently had parathyroid surgery with Dr. Harari in January 2016. The staff and Dr. Harari made me feel very comfortable and they all were very competent and caring. I used their distance service since I was coming from Reno, NV. I saw Dr. Harari and had my CT scan on Friday, had surgery the next Tuesday, saw Dr. Harari again the next Friday and then was able to fly home. Despite having problems with finding my parathyroids and having a low calcium level for a couple of weeks, everything is going fine now. My scar, about 2 inches, is healing well, still a little pink, but looking better every day. I am so glad that I chose UCLA for my surgery, as I feel that the local surgeon may have had a challenge with my case. I really wanted a place that does hundreds of these surgeries every year. Dr. Harari was very good at explaining the testing, the surgery, and the healing. Will have my lab tests repeated in March and then again in 3 months. I am hoping that my osteoporosis will be greatly improved in a year since that was the main reason for having the surgery. My primary doctor told me that I had the bones of a 70 year old and I am only 54. Thanks again UCLA Endocrine Surgery for a job well done.

  23. Kelli Jones

    Overall, my experience at UCLA Medical Plaza with hyperparathyroid disease was pleasant from diagnosis through post-surgery. I was diagnosed after a regular check up with my MD indicating my calcium levels were high. After visits with a UCLA endocrinologist, a sestamibi scan and a consulation with Dr. Yeh, I was on my way! Dr. Yeh explained in detail what surgery would entail. He was clear, calm, and reassuring that I was in the right place, with the right team for this type of surgery. There was a resident doctor in attendance during our consultation who also made me feel at ease. An appointment was made for surgery.
    I had never had surgery or been seriously sick in my life. The only time I’ve checked into a hospital was to give birth, twice. I was NOT easy with the thought of having a knife through the front of my throat. I worried about scarring, about a change in my voice, about anesthesia. I worried they’d find something seriously wrong. I’m not typically a worrier, but this upcoming surgery had me concerned and a little scared.
    When I arrived to UCLA, everything went like clockwork. They were expecting me. Even though there were many others in the triage area waiting for surgeries or recovering from them, I really felt like special attention was being made for me. The doctor, the resident, the nurses, the anesthesiologist all came to me once or twice to talk to me as I waited for my turn to be taken to the operating room. The nurse was checking on me regularly, making me feel comfortable. Every precaution was made to insure I was ready for surgery. I awoke from surgery in the same room I had been taken from in the first place when they wheeled me to the operating room. After a couple hours, my husband was there to take me home. I remember nothing.
    Recovery has been easy. The first couple days the “pain” was nothing more than a sore throat, but not like a strep throat kind of sore throat, more like “I got cut in the throat” kind of soreness. I had to be careful raising my chin, coughing was a little uncomfortable as it felt like I could bust the stitches. I ate normally and I didn’t need pain relievers. Over the course of 7-10 days, the discomfort was gone, but the cut is just a little sensitive. I still pat it dry after a shower, avoiding rubbing it. The bandages fell off on their own, before the follow up visit. Today, 3 weeks post-op, I’d say I am 95% back to normal. Still a little sensitive to touch, but no pain.
    As for the symptoms I was experiencing due to hyperparathyroidism, I have not felt relief from any of them yet. Dr. Yeh, during my follow up visit, said some patients feel no difference, some feel relief from symptoms immediately and for some, it could take several months. My symptoms, besides elevated calcium levels, which were normal immediately after surgery also include: achey bones and muscles, anxiety, mood swings, general malais and fatigue. I am also menopausal, and acknowledge that perhaps those symptoms may have had nothing to do with hyperparathyroidism! Regardless, I am happy to have had the surgery, to get my calcium levels back and to have the parathyroid glands back to normal. I’m hoping for some relief from the other symptoms if not soon, maybe when I’m through menopause. Yes! In the meantime, I’ll just continue to be my moody achy self, with well functioning parathyroid glands, just 3.

    1. Martha Lennon

      Hi Kelli,
      I read your review of Dr. Yeh and your experience. I was just wondering if you are feeling any better yet. I’m in the process of seeing him for the same problem.

  24. Tony

    After I had surgery for bladder cancer, there followed a year of surgeries to remove bladder
    stones. When I asked, what is causing this? I was referred to an Endocrinologist who started
    looking at the parathyroid glands. I should add that I also felt unsteady on my feet and I felt I
    had lost strength.
    The hospitals here did not offer a minimally invasive surgery. I started researching endocrine
    surgery and found UCLA! The people in UCLA Endocrine Surgery were really responsive to my
    contacts. My doctors here happily supplied all of my information to Dr. Livhits.
    My challenges were to get a diagnosis and to find the appropriate treatment. With UCLA, the
    consultation and evaluation were professional and efficient. All of the medical staff we
    encountered were very professional, efficient, friendly and kind!
    Following surgery I immediately felt like my strength and balance improved and I was told that
    my hormone levels dropped to normal.
    If ever I have met a person who was dedicated and enthusiastic about their profession, it was
    Dr. Masha Livhits. Thank you so much.
    I’m a seventy five year old retired educator who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  25. Gil Wengert

    Gilbert Wengert
    I am a retired public school employee and just underwent the parathyroid procedure. My regular doctor noticed that my calcium level was elevated and sent me to get some blood work done to try to determine the cause. The next step was to have a parathyroid scintigraphy done and that suggested a right inferior parathyroid adenoma. To confirm that, I had an ultrasound scan that found a “subtle hypoechoic mass” in the right thyroid bed. The doctor gave me Dr. Yeh’s name and when I went online and read up on him and the UCLA endocrine surgery unit. I was impressed by what I read and by my doctor telling me that he was whom she would send a family member to. The only reservation that I had was the distance that I would have from Orange County to UCLA and finding a ride who would be willing to drive me there then pick me up the next day. I went ahead and scheduled the surgery and when doing so was told that in lieu of spending the night at the hospital, there was the UCLA Tiverton House. I booked a room there and it was a comfortable stay and recommend it to anyone who needs to spend the night near the medical center. My post surgery was non-eventful and I had no unexpected discomfort. Dr. Yeh thoroughly briefed me on what to expect during and after the surgery and I was prepared for the post anesthesia side effects which were mild and short-lived. In all, my experience with Dr. Yeh and the UCLA endocrine surgery unit was very positive and I highly recommend them to any one who is in need of this medical procedure.

  26. Dawn Ng

    I am 48 year old healthy female and was diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroid six month ago. I experienced most combination of symptoms of bone pain, especially back pain, poor sleep, as well as forgetfulness. I also had kidney stone attack it was the worst pain I had four years ago At that time I didn’t know I had hyperparathyroidism that caused a terrible kidney stone pain. I tried to avoid the foods that can worsen the kidney stone pain. Last year my lab tests showed consistent elevation in calcium level above 11.5, and level of PTH was checked up. Its level is as high as 192 pg/ml. The size of the my overactive adenoma parathyroid gland is very big, and sestamibi scan finds one of the upper left 2.5 cm abnormal parathyroid gland.
    Dr. Michael Yeh recommended me to have parathyroidectomy, and this surgeon performed mininally invasive parathyroidectomy on me via a small incision three weeks after first visit. What a successful surgery!!! There was an significant drop in the PTH level to 60 pg/ml several hours after the surgery. I feel much much better especially an improvement in many of the symptoms such as back pain. As a healthcare professional myself, I know a talented surgeon when I’ve experienced one. I am very grateful to his skilled hands in the minimal invasive surgery procedure. He gives me back my quality of life that I only wish before the surgery. In addition to that, the scar is very unnoticeable, and the pain is very minimal. In summary, I would like to send hundreds of thanks to Dr. Michael Yeh and the entire staff that take very good care of us. I strongly recommended Dr. Yeh to everybody that needs parathyroidectomy.

  27. Anonymous

    I am a 69-year-old retired engineer. I hadn’t noticed any symptoms prior to surgery, except that whenever I went to see my doctor, I had raised calcium levels. After looking into it further, we saw that I had a few sarcoid nodules that were causing the elevated calcium levels. After a while, the sarcoid nodules went away, but the raised calcium levels did not. I went to see an endocrinologist, who diagnosed me with primary hyperparathyroidism. He referred me to Dr. Yeh in Westwood. Once I went home, I did some research and realized that a hoarse throat and slower verbalization were common symptoms that I was also experiencing. I also looked into the website and found that very helpful. There was a video with Dr. Yeh and Dr. Harari that had a question and answer segment about hyperparathyroidism, which was very informative.

    When I came into the office, the staff was very welcoming and seemed like they knew what they were doing. While I wasn’t initially too nervous, I was sure that I was in good hands. Based on my interaction with Dr. Yeh, he looked like he was very experienced and had done this type of procedure many times. They removed 2 parathyroid glands out of 4. I asked Dr. Yeh if that would make any difference in the amount of hormone I could produce, but he reassured me that I would still be able to function normally – some people had 1 gland, or 1/2, and still carried on just fine.

    I couldn’t sleep the first night after surgery, because my mind was very awake. I wanted to do a lot of things and be active, but I knew I needed to take it easy. I was able to sleep that second night. Two and a half weeks later, I feel great. Dr. Yeh said that everything looked fine and that he didn’t expect any complications to arise. I’m becoming more active and I’ve noticed that my voice is less gravelly; the clearer voice was something I noticed almost immediately after surgery. I’m grateful for Dr. Yeh and his team. Both me and my wife are very satisfied with our experience here.

  28. Anonymous

    I am a 63 yr.old woman post-op 5wks. I had 2 and 1/2 parathyroid glands removed. I am so thankful and appreciative to have had Dr. Yeh diagnose correctly and perform my surgery. He has great expertise and truly listens to his patients. His assistant Jennifer is also excellent and is available to explain or answer any concerns following surgery. My entire experience at UCLA was very positive from the original diagnoses, pre-op, the surgery and post-op.

    I did not need any pain killer following the surgery and quite honestly the incision is not an issue. Tender to swallow for the first ten days. However, now that my calcium level is normal I did experience vibrating in my hands and feet which is remedied with frequent doses of calcium carbonate (tums). It is slowly beginning to diminish. I also experienced a tenderness on both sides of my neck where the nerve blocks were given prior to surgery.

    My symptoms were exhaustion and my cognitive ability was affected for 5 yrs prior. I was misdiagnosed with hypothyroidism. I always new that was not the root of the problem.
    I actually took notice of my elevated calcium levels and researched the cause and found Dr Yeh on the UCLA website which led me to the possibility of hyper parathyroidism. I then requested a PTH blood test which also was elevated.

    At that point I decided to make an appt.with an endocrinologist at UCLA. Additional testing confirmed the need for surgery. However, the Nuclear testing prior to surgery did not indicate the adenoma that was present on my lower left parathyroid gland.

    For 5 yrs. I had to pursue, purse and purse. I’m so thankful my long journey ended up with one of the most skilled surgeons in this field. And the positive and happy environment with the entire team made my experience at UCLA feel safe.

    I hope in some way my experience may help another receive a timely, correct diagnosis and more importantly the solution.

  29. Virginia Kruger

    I am a 84 year old woman 6 weeks post-op. Dr. Yeh removed one of my parathyroid glands and examined/biopsed the other 3. The culprit gland was the right superior gland which had been identified through nuclear medicine examination. The PTH level prior to surgery was 154 and 35 after the parathyroidectomy. The scar is basically invisible and the hard lump continues to diminish. The medical condition leading to the identification of elevated PTH was my bone density. Although DXA scores had diagnosed osteopenia many years ago(I have been on various medications and am currently on a ‘drug holiday’) and osteoporosis in my wrist just this past year the course of action by my orthopedist was increased Vitamin d3, 4000units. Both my orthopedist and internist eventually recommended me to Dr.Yeh as the PTH levels indicated that excess blood calcium was affecting my bone density. Here is the weird indicator. About 3 years ago I stepped down a step(no fall, no tripping, no stumble). I felt and heard a snap. The result and diagnosis was a a torn miniscus and 4 weeks later an MRI confirmed a fractured tibia and ruptured Baker’s cyst. Dr.Yeh called this the smoking gun. So, for me the issue was the future of weak bones and falling. I am pleased proper diagnosis and surgery and general good health is looking good for my 85th year.
    Two comments: 1. It took 3 calls to the surgery coordinator to clarify conflicting instructions re: prep orders from Yeh’s office and preop instructions from Dr. Blair at my preop appointment on Nov. 11,2015.
    2. My postoperative appointment was confirmed with Dr. Yeh and when I arrived for the appointment, neither the receptionist, the nurse or resident(sorry, I don’t recall her name)told me that Dr. Yeh would not be seeing me. This was disappointing.

  30. Gerlinde Gautrey

    For a few years I have had various Gastro complaints – none of them were substantiated by ultrasound or other test. I started thinking that perhaps I was a hypochondriac! But I just felt that something was not right. My energy level also was lower than I wanted it to be. As a 61 year old woman I am still very active and not ready to slow down. Then my wonderful gastroenterologist, Dr. Lena Martyak – noticed the increase of calcium on a blood test. This set in motion a series of doctor visits and examinations ending with my meeting of Dr. Harari. On December 8 the one parathyroid that was the culprit of my increased calcium and PTH levels was removed. I was released the same day. That evening I felt a bit tired but was able to take the dog on a short stroll and had a very restful night. It took two more days to really recover from the anesthesia – including a scary spike in blood pressure the next day. The pain from the incision was minimal (only took some over the counter pain medication the first night after the surgery) and only a bit of swelling on my neck. I was very glad that I did not have to go back to work until after the weekend. But by Monday – 6 days after the surgery I was totally fine. The incision was very small and healed well. Dr. Harari placed it in a fold on my neck and it is hardly visible. At first I could not tell a great difference in my wellbeing but after about 4 weeks I realized how healthy I felt and that all my gastro issues were gone. One more thing I want to mention: Dr. Harari is one of the nicest and most competent doctors you will ever meet! She has a lovely way of putting you at ease, explain everything without attitude, and I felt in very good hands with her!

  31. Barbara Himelstein

    Thanks to a referral from my wonderful Endocrinologist, Dr. Jelena Maletkovic, I met with Dr. Avital Harari prior to having surgery on my Parathyroid. Dr. Harari exceeded all of my expectations. She thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the surgery, including possible but rarely experienced complications. I left the office visit with Dr. Harari knowing that her insight into Parathyroid disorders was exceptional and that she would do everything within her power to ensure that the surgery was a success. I was able to have the surgery as an outpatient. Dr. Harari was able to remove the gland that was creating the high Calcium level. Due to her excellent skills as a surgeon, Dr. Harari left me with only a small scar on my neck that was barely visible. Today, evidence of the scarring is completely gone. I would not hesitate to refer Dr. Harari for anyone needing Endocrine surgery.

  32. Christy King

    I was very impressed and comforted by the competency and friendliness of everyone involved with this surgery. The doctors, the nurses, the hospital stay, everyone was great. Having surgery and facing the unknown in any situation is nerve racking and upsetting, but the overall experience was easy. Everyone involved made such a difference on this surgery, and the scar in removing my tumor from my parathyroid is barely noticeable. Thank you so much to Dr. Harari and your staff for making me all better.

  33. Anonymous

    I have been a patient at UCLA for the past 30 years. I live in the San Fernando Valley. My husband and I are retired and live in a small town in Mexico for at least four months out of the year; this is the town in which I was born. It has been a good life, we enjoying our friendship with my school companions and family. This year we arrived in Mexico the last week of May 2015. In June I became ill with constipation. I went to a Doctor who prescribed a medication to soften the stool; in a few days I was fine. After a week or so the constipation returned and I continued to take the medication and omeprazole, adding a diet of high-fiber. It did not work very well. In mid August we went to a restaurant to celebrate a birthday and I became very ill with what I ate. I had cramps and diarrhea for the next three days, after this time anything I ate created a pain at the top of my esophagus. The diarrhea stopped and the constipation came back; there were some foods that made the pain much worse than others. I went back to the Dr. who said I had probably ingested some bacteria so I was given a five-day antibiotic. My pain persisted and I started to lose weight. The Doctor started to test me for all kinds of things like typhoid which came out inconclusive but she was sure it was the cause of my illness so I was given another, stronger antibiotic. The last week of September I went to see a gastroenterologist with all of the blood tests and medication history. He concluded that the trouble was an ulcer at the base of the gastro-valve, gave me a diet to follow and omeprazole. The pain was there all of the time but it was much worse when I ate. In late October I concluded that I had to come back to Los Angeles because what I had was getting to be something very serious; by this time I had lost 25 pounds.
    We arrived in Los Angeles on November 4 at 11:00 pm. On November 5 at 9:00am we were at the UCLA lab. I have been seen by Dr. Smooke, who is an endocrinologist, every six months because of small tumors in my thyroid. For years the tumors did not change. Sometimes the blood tests would show that my thyroid was altered; at those times I did not feel very good, I was angry, I had no energy and I felt the palpitations of my heart. I had seen Dr Smooke before we left for Mexico; she had seen the results of the blood test and a scan done early in April and everything seemed to be O.K. She had sent an order for a blood test to be done before my next visit in November. So on November 5 I was at UCLA feeling very sick. It did not occur to me to go to emergency. I thought that whatever was wrong it would show in a blood test ordered by Dr. Smooke. My plan was that after the blood test I would go to the gastroenterologist who I had seen early in the year. Well, the lab could not find the order for the blood test and the gastroenterologist could not see me until March. I felt desperation mounting but a very nice and caring member of the staff by the name of Francisco Franco took pity on me and found another gastroenterologist to see me on Nov. 14 and was able to find an opening for Nov. 6 in internal medicine.
    On Nov. 6 I told the internal medicine doctor about the pain which had brought me to the hospital. She asked why I didn’t take omeprazol before eating; I said that it didn’t always work. The doctor’s response, with a very aggressive tone, was “well it works or it doesn’t.” At this time I lost my composure and began to cry. She changed her attitude and said that she was going to step out and start over. When she came back she examined me and order some test and c scans. On the way out I stop by the lab and asked if they had found the blood order from Dr. Smooke. They had found it so the blood was drawn.
    At 6:00 pm the internal medicine doctor called to say that the blood test had shown a very high level of calcium in my system, that that was the reason for me feeling so sick. She said that I had to be admitted in the hospital to be treated for the dangerous amount of calcium. By 11:30 I was in the bed assigned to me, hooked up to an I.V. The next morning a team of doctors from internal medicine and endocrinology came to my bed to tell me that after checking my tests and past history they had come to the conclusion that I had a tumor growing in my left parathyroid which was spewing a lot of hormones which were scraping my bones for the calcium. A scan was done and it verified their suspicion. The recommendation was to extract the tumor. There was a strong possibility that it was a cancerous tumor. I agreed to have the surgery whether there was cancer or not because I had been very worried about the tumors from the beginning. I was told that I should start eating to regain strength before the surgery. The nurse’s station ordered my first meal, I was given an omeprazole before the food arrived after I ate there was no pain. The next meal was chosen by me. It was tuna sandwich with veggies and my stomach did not hurt, up to now the pain has not come back. So that horrible pain was cause by six hundred points of calcium. Who knew?
    On Nov.8 I was told that there was a possibility that I could have the surgery the following day so I was not to eat or drink anything after 12pm. So at 10 I had some soup and crackers and nothing after 12am. The surgery did not happened; I was told that the next day looked better if there weren’t any emergency cases. The possible time for the surgery on Nov.10 was set after 2pm. My family was there through the night waiting with me until 5am. At 7am on Nov. 11 we were told that it could still happen later in the day. The teams of doctors from internal medicine, as well as the doctors from the surgical team were constant in their visits to my bed to tell me what was happening. I remember Dr. Chow coming at 11pm to ask me how I was holding on and not to despair. Finally at about 4 pm on November 11 I was taken in my bed in the company of my husband and one daughter to the O.R.
    At the O.R. center we were greeted by an anesthesiologist. He talked to us in a manner that I can only describe as pomp and circumstance, telling us what he was going to do. As he was speaking other people arrived at the gathering, one of them said who he was and what his part and work consisted. He told me that he was the person who will numb my throat to intubate it for surgery, that his work will be easier if I trust him and allowed him to place the tub as quickly as possible since I will be awake for this procedure. Finally I was taken into an O.R. in my bed and introduced to other people on the team. The impression I had of the enormous room was a very neat mechanic shop with compressors and such. The anesthesiologist was walking around telling people there where he was going to be and how he wanted to be approach by others. I was transferred from my bed to a narrow higher bed. I was given what I would call it a nebulizer to breath in a vapor, which was very difficult because the air in the room carried the vapor away from my nose. I was told that I should feel my throat numb soon, I did not. I tried to inhale as hard as I could but couldn’t get enough vapor in. The anesthesiologist was very busy around me, when all of sudden a big door open the light was illuminating the door in a very dramatic manner at this time the doctor who was going to numb my throat for the intubation appeared, it impressed me as a magic show in a theater. I expected everyone to applaud. He did what he said he was going to do. I tried to relax as much as I could but when it got to spraying deep in my throat I could not stop the gagging impulse. He was teaching someone else to intubate, but this person couldn’t do it properly. I was asked to relax but I could not do that. After several attempts I said that that was enough of a teaching session I couldn’t stand any more of that torture. At this time I notice that Dr. Livhits, the surgeon, was sitting on the floor looking at her notes. Someone suggested I should be put under and I agreed. I woke after the surgery feeling very uncomfortable because my bladder was very full.
    At present time December 28 I am in a struggle to get the right amount of calcium in my system. I don’t know about the state of my bones, I was told that my recovery was going to be long. Some of the symptoms are back, very little sleep, headache and not feeling balanced, but the horrible pain in the esophagus has not come back. I feel blessed and thankful for everyone at UCLA who was and is involve in my recovery.

    1. John and Janice Gute

      We are sorry for the expenditure of precious time before you were able to get back to the LA area to receive the care you needed at UCLA. My husband’s experience was with our internist, Dr. Galier, then Dr. Smooke, and Dr. Yeh. Each was prompt, accurate, compassionate, and professional. We wish you all the best in your recovery.
      John & Janice Gute

  34. Kaveh Khast

    Dr. Yeh, is one of the best surgeon you can find anywhere. He is kind, professional, and very knowledgeable in his own field of specialty. So, thank you for a job well done on my recent surgery at UCLA. May God Bless you Dr. Yeh.
    PS: I met Dr. Harari after my surgery. She too was kind, professional, as well as caring.

    Thank you for Dr. Yeh and Dr. Harari. UCLA ASC and hospital staff are one of the best in the country.

  35. Anonymous

    Dr. Yeh, is one of the best surgeon you can find anywhere. He is kind, professional, and very knowledgeable in his own field of specialty. So, thank you for a job well done on my recent surgery at UCLA. May God Bless you.

  36. Anonymous

    Last summer I began a rigorous diet to lose weight and reduce my blood pressure. Bi-weekly blood tests showed a high level of calcium (10.6) in my blood. After following the tests over 3 test periods, my calcium level was actually rising. A follow up with my primary doctor led to a further test which showed positive for a possible hyperparathyroid abnormality.
    We discussed options, and decided it was worth the effort to have Dr. Yeh at UCLA run further tests and suggest what to do. Since I live on the Central Coast, it was a commitment to make the drive to UCLA and the resulting follow up appointments. The efficient staff set an appointment where a nuclear test scan was done in the morning and the appointment with Dr. Yeh was early in the afternoon of the same day. He discussed what was discovered- one definite abnormality. We set a date and the removal of what turned out to be only one “bad” parathyroid. The operation was performed with minimal residual discomfort in a short amount of recovery.

    Prior to the surgery I had also experienced an increasing aching along the left side of my hip and leg, making sleep at night difficult and at times walking and sitting for periods during the day very painful. I also began to feel like all of my discs in in my back were compressing, along with aching joints. Prior to my hyperthyroid discovery, I made appointments last summer to have my hip checked to see if I were headed toward a replacement (I have had 2 knee replacements). I was told that the hips were in great shape, with a possible bursitis. This was a frustrating answer because I could not find out why I was aching so much. I am an active person in my mid 60’s: I hike, ski, golf and work with my trainer at least 3 times per week.

    Post surgery I feel as if a weight has been lifted! The pain on my side is virtually gone. My joints do not ache (except when I over exercise and self-induce). My calcium levels are back in the mid 9.5 range. I cannot say enough about how much this has helped my physical (and subsequent mental) well-being. I was active within days of the surgery and haven’t stopped moving since! The scar is, as Dr. Yeh put it, “on an existing” line (or wrinkle!..oh well). It will become less noticeable in time (the “wrinkle may not!).

    I cannot give a higher recommendation for this UCLA department or Dr. Yeh, the head of the program.

  37. Donna Holland

    I have had issues since 2007 and my doctors kept saying, wait and see. Finally my heart doctor recommended have a bone density test. Results were shocking. I researched and chose Dr. Shen as my new doctor . She did some testing and recommended that I see Dr. Yeh. It was the best thing I ever did. The first appointment Dr. Yeh told me I should have surgery. He mentioned all the pluses and also the negatives. One of which might cause damage to my vocal cord. As I only have one, the other was paralyzed in another operation, I was very worried. I did not want to deal with all these negative things. My osteoporosis was so bad only going to get worse so decided I had better have the operation. Must mention I am also 80 yrs. old so that was another factor. I can not tell you how pleased, relieved and happy I am that I went to Dr. Yeh. I feel he performed a miracle for me. He is a most talented surgeon. He is very easy to talk with and discuss all aspects of the operation. I also was concerned about the anesthetic because of my age. Those doctors were also wonderful. I am so glad I went to UCLA again, (had an operation there 10 yrs. ago). Feel very fortunate to live so close by. When I awoke and could speak, I was overjoyed. Thank you, thank you Dr. Yeh.

  38. Anonymous

    My story begins with a sharp GYN, who noticed a pattern of high blood calcium levels. Because she knew it to be typically tied with hyperparathyroidism, she ran a PTH test which turned out to be 57. Normal, but in the upper range of normal, so everyone was mystified. I asked my hemotologist, who treats me for another unrelated disease, and he couldn’t help. Long story short, my GI told me “you could have a tumor and need to see an endodhrinologist”. That was a big shock, so I engaged one.

    My diagnosis was a bit unclear, and as the patient, I was hopeful that I could avoid surgery.
    I had an ultrasound which showed something on the right side.
    I had a nucleor imaging test which was negative-showed nothing.
    I had all the blood tests, always at the high end or elevated and 24 hour urine tests that showed normal. I delayed getting a bone density scan because my health insurance wouldn’t pay for it.
    Finally, after the bone density scan which showed osteroporsis in my forearms and osteopenia in my hips and spine, I was ready for surgery.
    My Newport Beach endochrinologist recommended a few doctors, Dr. Yeh among them.
    I had some freinds who travelled to Tampa, Florida, for the “expert” surgeon there, but I was unwilling to do that.

    Dr. Yeh’s website is professional and clear. The visit to UCLA with him and Dr. Z were professional, informative and CONCLUSIVE, a missing element for me in the past. Their ultrasound showed a mass on the right and left side. We scheduled surgery, and the rest is history.

    Everything about my UCLA experience was professional, from the staff at the front desk, to the admin staff, nursing, staff, and of course Dr. Yeh and the anethesiologists. I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience.

    6 weeks post-op, this is my advice. If you have high blood calcium, even if you have a “false normal” PTH level like I did, you most likely have a tumor, and should have surgery.
    I had 3 tumors! So, I have one working parathyroid remaining.
    My recovery was not too bad. i had a fair amount of discomfort swallowing for the first week and a very sore throat (most likely from the breathing tube)
    The scar is healing beautifully, and I feel great. I experienced some tingling and numbness the first weeks after surgery, and I felt like there was something stuck in my throat when swallowing, all of which can be normal.

    I’m very greatful for the professional and caring experience I had at UCLA. Smart professionals who communicate well with patients is critical, and Dr. Yeh’s entire department is the best I’ve ever encountered.

    Without hesitation, I recommend Dr. Yeh. And again, don’t wait three years, like I did!


      1. Janice Gute

        We’re glad you chose to be in Dr. Yeh’s care! He is a wonderfully competent diagnostician and surgeon as well as being compassionate and personable. John needed parathyroid surgery, and we are grateful for Dr. Yeh and his entire staff.
        John and Janice Gute

  39. Laylah B

    This past summer, an astute physician ran my Calcium level (10.8) and PTH (a whopping 135.1) and told me that I would likely need surgery. Subsequently, I had a bone density test and was shocked to find out that I had Osteoporosis. I checked out the Cedars doc that my physician referred me to, but decided to do my own research and ultimately chose Dr Yeh based on his experience, confidence (without arrogance) and down-to-earth manner.

    Dr Yeh performed my parathyroid surgery yesterday, and I was feeling surprisingly good when I woke up in post-op. Apparently not all my parathyroid glands were in the usual location, but he found them all, removed three and shaved off part of the fourth. I stayed over at UCLA- Santa Monica Hospital for the night, and the staff was incredible- attentive, quick and very nice. I am on the UCLA system, so I received alerts with my test results on my iPhone within hours of the blood draws that were done during the night. I was especially thrilled to see that my calcium level was down to 9.4, right at the mid-range of the scale. My PTH is already less than half of what it was.

    Dr Yeh told me that there was a good chance of reversing some of the bone loss once the calcium started going back into the bones, and some of the other symptoms caused by the parathyroid issue might dissipate. Time to get back to some moderate weight training.

    1. Laylah B

      I had my steristrips removed about two weeks after surgery, and was pleased to see that the scar looked pretty good even after so short a time. Dr Yeh told me that the swelling would go down and within six months the scar would fade a lot more. While I was waiting for my appointment, I talked to someone who had thyroid surgery one year ago, and her scar was not really noticeable. Dr. Yeh does great work.

  40. Anonymous

    I am a sixty-one year old professional female and live about sixty miles south of UCLA Medical Center, in South Orange County. My endocrinologist recommended parathyroid surgery and gave me the names of two surgeons In the area where I live. After researching those surgeons and inquiring about them with two of my other doctors, I decided to try to find a surgeon in whom I would feel more confident, and who was in my PPO. I learned about Dr. Yeh on the internet. i was impressed by the comments on this patient experience blog, Dr. Yeh’s background, and videos I found of Dr. Yeh speaking about focused parathyroidectomy, both individually and as a panelist at a 2013 Annual Meeting of surgeons.

    Having the surgery at UCLA went very smoothly. It only required 2 trips to L.A. One for a scan and a consultation with Dr. Yeh. And the other for the surgery. The post-op appointment was able to be handled on the computer, using an app that Dr. Yeh has. During the post-op appointment, I removed the steristrips where my stitches were and Dr. Yeh examined the the surgical site. Throughout, I felt confident in Dr. Yeh as my surgeon.

  41. Eileen Meisner

    My experience with Dr. Yeh and his staff in all respects is what all medical experiences should be, in my opinion. I had been diagnosed with probable hyperparathyroidism two or three years ago, but no one was able to determine exactly how many of my parathyroid glands were involved or how to do the surgery. I had had annual cat scans, but they did not pinpoint the location of my adenomas and I was advised not to have surgery until that could be definitively established. Finally, my doctor advised me that she had recently become aware of a 4D cat scan offered at UCLA and thought I should look into that, which I did. That 4D scan did show which of my parathyroid glands were involved; so I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Yeh for a consultation regarding surgery.

    From my first meeting with Dr. Yeh, I was totally impressed with his knowledge, expertise, and confidence about my problem. He recommended surgery that would not only remove the affected parathyroids, but would also look at the other parathyroids to be certain nothing else was hiding or developing. I had no doubt that this was the right thing to do. In addition, surgery would be performed in such a way that my body’s adjustment to the surgery would be evaluated during surgery so that nothing would be missed and success would be immediately known. Very impressive! Dr. Yeh’s opinion was in line with and expanded on the information I had acquired in my research, and his confidence was comforting and assuring. He explained everything so much better and thoroughly than various doctors that I had previously seen (not at UCLA) had been able to do. At least a week before the surgery, various people from UCLA and Dr. Yeh’s department called me to check on all of my preparation for surgery and record submission. That was impressive.

    Surgery went perfectly. The doctors in Dr. Yeh’s department were completely professional and knowledgeable. The organization and expertise were apparent at every step. Surgery was a success. Follow up was thorough. Recovery was smooth. I could not have asked for a more positive medical experience, and I commend Dr. Yeh and his staff for being the consummate professionals that they are.

    1. christine3075

      Dr Yeh is one of a relatively small number of highly experienced endocrine surgeons in the country and on the list of recommended surgeons compiled by tve 2800 members of a very worthwhile support group which is a private group in Facebook. You would find tremendous support and information there fir post-op care as well, if desired, be able to offer information and encouragement to others. Dr Yeh helped me by referring me to a specific Kaiser surgeon after confirming diagnosis. If not a FB member, many people create a FB profile just to join the support group but do not engage in the ither features, FYI. The FB support group is here:

  42. Carol Beule

    Carol Beule
    September 26th, 2015

    1st let me say, that Dr. Avital Harari has saved my life, in so many different ways. I went in to be evaluated for the parathyroid issues I knew I had (blood calcium levels 11.8 with PTH levels of 84) and the CT scan of my throat barely caught something disturbing in my upper right lung. It was hardly on the scan. And it turned out to be a false alarm in the long run, but Dr. Harari ordered a CT scan of my lung to be sure, and there it was, on the opposite side and farther down….. I had lung cancer! No symptoms or indication of anything wrong with me at all. Lung functioning at 88% (and for a 68 year old who didn’t exercise much this wasn’t bad) and no cough or other indicative issues. So I was referred to Dr. Robert Cameron at UCLA and I now have 2 beloved Dr’s there. I had lung surgery to remove the upper lobe of my left lung on May 21st of 2015, followed by Parathyroid surgery on August 11th, 2015. We caught cancer in time (Phase 1) and I expect a full recovery. Now for the parathyroid issue….

    To back track, there I was, dealing with the end of life illnesses and death of 2 beloved parents from 2007 to 2012. I was tired and achy and depressed and my blood pressure had started to go sky high, and I thought all of it was related to what I was personally going through. It was only in late 2013 that I started to try and deal with my own health issues. It wasn’t until 2014 that I really got a handle on anything. My Dr.s were moving very slowly.

    I had had one of my 4 parathyroid glands removed in 2006 and knew what had happened to me then, but this time around everything was much worse, possibly because it was the 2nd time around for me, happening in very different ways. I had not had the depression or the extreme lethargy before. Nothing was good for me now, any more, and I couldn’t find the energy to even go to the Dr. and complain about anything. The 1st time around, I had had tiredness and aches in my joints, but nothing like this 2nd go-round. (During surgery, Dr. Harari discovered that the 2nd offending gland had actually been “clipped” by the 1st surgeon – who was not an expert at this surgery.) In other words, the gland removed the 2nd time around had a clip attached to it by the 1st Dr.!

    It was made worse because of my ignoring the high blood calcium levels – originally slightly above 10 – and the failure of my wonderful GP to actually realize that this was the sure sign I had had parathyroidism return. We both thought it was my personal life’s experiences playing out on my body. So to go through the maneuvers of the health system here, I 1st needed to get an in-house referral to an endocriminologist. This done, the Dr. wanted to deal with me as an entire entity and not as a parathyroid case. She was concerned (rightly so) with my high cholesterol and other factors having to do with her speciality, but when I mentioned I would rather not have surgery again if it could possibly be avoided, I didn’t know it would delay my eventual surgery by more than 1 year. She never did tell me that I would eventually need surgery, so I had better face up to it once again. If that had ever been said, I would have moved far more quickly to a surgery.

    I started by having the 24 hour urine calcium collection test followed by scans of my internal organs for kidney stones etc. Lots of calcium being eliminated but no kidney stones. Good start but bad bones it turned out. Then it was to try me on SENSIPAR, a hateful drug used normally only for secondary parathyroidism. It took months to get approval to take it and then my reaction was so adverse that I eventually took only 6 pills after all was said and done. I have since found out that this drug affects more than 1/2 of the people who take it adversely, and that it should never be used on primary hyperparathyroidism.

    Eventually, when I declared I could not take this medicine because it was more like a poison than anything good for me, I was referred to 2 different groups of surgeons. The 1st was the normal one she had been using for many years near my home and the 2nd was the group at UCLA, because I BROUGHT THE GROUP TO HER ATTENTION. Interestingly, I had researched this UCLA group the year earlier as I thought surgery was going to happen once again. At that time, I thought Dr. Harari and a minimally invasive form of surgery might be a good match with me. I turned out to be correct. Certainly it was better than my original long and nasty looking scar and the 2 day stay in the hospital with attendant IV’s and tubes.

    Surgery was easy, considering, and I needed no pain medication at all. I drove to the hospital, had the surgery and drove myself back home the next day! A nurse said she had never before heard of this happening. The facility in Santa Monica was great and I can’t speak highly enough of the care I received. Surgery is scary, but don’t delay it. Compared to lung cancer surgery, this is a breeze.

    I didn’t heal easily from cancer surgery until I had the 2nd parathyroid surgery. The difference is unparalleled. It is only 6 weeks from this last surgery and I am doing very well, finally. I am back to exercise and trying to learn to breath again. Sometimes a struggle, I am grateful that at UCLA and in this endocrine practice, there are people who are complete PEOPLE and Doctors. Dr. Avital Harari is a delightful person and a more than brilliant Doctor. I think the scar she left me with this time around (over my last one and much smaller) is worthy of her being called a cosmetic plastic surgeon. Her work is delicate and precise.

    Any questions anyone might have, please feel free to ask. I have been through this twice. I am told there is only a 3% chance that it will ever happen again, compared to a 30% chance of it happening a 2nd time. Just so you all know……

  43. S Kahyai

    A month ago I had parathyroid surgery by Dr Yeh in Santa Monica hospital. I didn’t stay in hospital over night, went home couple of hours offer surgery. Did’t have any pain, so I did’t use any of my pain medication. Next day I felt great. Hospital staff were professional, friendly and helpful. Most important, can’t say enough about Dr Yeh and his team, they are the greatest.

  44. Don

    Hello, I am a 59yo male in the process of being evaluated for PTD. I have had all the symptoms for many years. Over 5 years I have had 3 ultrsounds showing a nodule 8x7x7mm on my left side of my neck but the scans don’t say if its on my thyroid or parathyroid. It has not gotten any bigger so the Dr wasn’t really concerned. My Ca levels were in the 9’s for many years but now are 10-10.1 the last 3 tests, and my Vitamin D is low at 24. PTH test is not back yet. That will be the determining factor. My question is… for the last year I have been having a constant dull pain in the left rear side of my neck about where one of the parathyroids and nodule would be. Has anyone else ever had neck pain from a diseased parathyroid? Thank you for your help!

  45. Anonymous

    I am a 55 year old, profession woman who had one upper left parathyroid tumor removed at UCLA on June 2, 2015. Although Dr. Yeh said it was only the size of a coffee bean, it sure had caused enough trouble by the time it was discovered. A bone density scan in 2009 revealed osteopenia at the age of 49. And my vitamin D levels were low. I am slender and pale and stay out of the sun so I assumed that was just my lot in life. I was told to take high doses of calcium and vitamin D. My vitamin D levels remained stubbornly low. My doctor thought perhaps I had an absorption issue. I now understand that low D was my body’s protective measure given the higher levels of parathyroid hormone that were circulating. I noticed a slightly out of range calcium reading of 10.2 on a routine blood test in 2012. Since my parathyroid hormone level was “normal” at the time, nothing more was done. I now realize that if my calcium was high my parathyroid level should have been low and that the normal reading was inappropriate. I stopped taking so much calcium and D to see if that would change anything. I had “normal” readings of calcium and parathyroid hormone for a couple of years. But the ranges that the labs gave were so wide that I was considered normal with a level Calcium of 10.3. Over the last few years, my osteopenia steadily got worse. Finally, last fall I was beginning to feel quite tired and anxious. I put it down to stressful life events and menopause. But by this spring, I realized that I was not myself and that something was very off.

    I had my GP test my levels again and the calcium came back at 11 and PTH at 72. I self- referred to an endocrinologist, who diagnosed me with a parathyroid tumor strictly by the blood chemistry alone. He recommended Dr. Yeh. I am a researcher by nature and devoured his excellent UCLA endocrine surgery website, including reading all of the citations listed. I also saw Dr. Larian who agreed that I had a parathyroid tumor. And, of course, I read the parathyroid website put together by Dr. Norman. By the time I met with Dr. Yeh, I was fairly certain that he was going to be my surgeon. He proved to be a lovely gentleman and I never doubted that I was in the right hands. Surgery of any kind can be stressful and scary. I felt everyone did their best to make patients feel comfortable and supported. I went into UCLA on the day of surgery in the early morning and was released in the late afternoon after they were sure my levels were stable. My recovery was uneventful. I didn’t need pain meds after the first two days. My scar is fading fast. My voice is fine. I had full range of motion of my neck immediately. I didn’t have the “Ah-ah!” feeling that some have expressed of a curtain lifted, or aches and pains suddenly disappearing. But I am so relieved that this is over and I feel like I’m getting back to my old self. I am so grateful for Dr. Yeh, his staff and colleagues at UCLA.

    A few last thoughts if you are contemplating surgery. Get a bone density scan if it’s been awhile. If possible, do it at the same lab where you’ve had prior ones. Unfortunately mine has now come back as osteoporosis. But I’m glad I have a correct starting point as I’m told I can rebuild my bone density now. And don’t freak out if the sestimbi scan is negative. Mine was. In fact, my only regret was that I had that extra bit of radiation exposure. Perhaps in the future, ultrasound can be the first line of imagining at UCLA. I’m sure every case is different, but Dr. Yeh just pointed the wand at my neck and bingo, there was a tumor visualized on the screen. And finally, labs really do need to tighten up their ranges for calcium based on age. Not everyone double-checks their blood work once the doctor says everything looks fine. Most people don’t even know they have four parathyroid glands, let alone what problems they can cause if they “go rogue.” Wishing all of you good health and peace of mind in the future.

    1. Anonymous

      Anonymous thank you for sharing your journey, as well as positive experience with Dr. Yeh.

      Thank you too for pointing out the value of DEXA’s / the same machine/facility,as a number of PHPT patients have come to understand the clinical utility of a 3-point scan when in context of possibly aiding in earlier recognition, diagnosis and subsequent appropriate action.

      Hopefully, in hindsight, the smaller risks of a limited radionuclide exposure outweighed the benefit of enabling your surgeon to better map a strategic plan of surgery.

      I, too, would be appreciative if there might be updating of website information/inclusion as to what determines whether or not a surgeon guided U.S. is a first-line course of action. (Perhaps it’s there though, and I simply missed it)

      I do recall the AAES’s patient education website shares some info.

      Sounds like you’re doing well, and wishing you cont’d good health also.

  46. Yolande Treuscorff

    I am an 88 year old woman originally from Belgium who has been living in the U.S. for 65 years, and have been healthy all of my life. 8 or 9 years ago I began to have blood tests that were coming back high in my calcium content, around 10.5 to 12. No doctor ever saw it as a concern. This went on for a few years unfortunately, which led to osteoperosis due to the calcium robbing effect of hyperparathyroidism. I also noticed a big change in cognitive functioning.Which I now have learned, is very common with hypercalcimia. My memory was failing me, I would forget words while speaking, misplace everything, forget names etc. A deep depression with high anxiety later developed. My family was getting concerned and doctors were just assuming it was my advancing age, but it was not my normal state of mind I would cry very easily, and become agitated etc. The moods were as bad as the bone tissue loss that I had suffered. When I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism, my family helped search for a specialist who practiced the minimally invasive procedure (M.I.P). We were lucky to find Dr. Yeh, who was highly recommended and had extensive practice with this type of surgery. During our initial meeting, Dr. Yeh took the time to answer all my questions and described the M.I.P in detail so as to make sure I had all the information I needed. This helped dispel my fears and I felt more confident in the positive outcome of the operation, I trusted him completely. His staff was equally helpful and kind. As was expected, the entire experience proved to be successful; After a brief hour long procedure, it was done. I was brought back to my family with a big smile on my face, a very small scar on my throat and no pain anywhere! My mood improved immediately and over the following weeks my memory and all cognitive functions continued to improve. I am a great grandmother who is now able again to enjoy good health, good fun and peace of mind for the rest of my years, thanks to Dr. Yeh’s exceptional skills and the dedication he shows to all his patients. I will not forget him! I feel like my old self again. Thank you Dr. Yeh, and his staff. And thanks to everyone at UCLA medical center for making this experience very positive and painless.

  47. John heckman

    This is my second parathyroid surgery the first in 1973. This time the parathyroid grew into the thyroid so the Dr removed half of the thyroid and two parathyroid. I was in the hospital overnight to make sure my blood levels returned to normal. Two weeks post surgery I feel great. I can not say enough good things about the staff at UCLA the CAT scan techs, needle biopsy doctor and techs, the nurses and doctors were wonderful. I am especially grateful to Dr Yeh and his staff. No Pain just a sore throat for a day or two after surgery. Very quick recovery.

  48. Anonymous

    Parathyroidectomy: It has been six weeks since my parathyroid surgery. I am 76 years old and thought I was just getting old. I have not felt so energetic and happy in years. It was a very simple surgery and virtually no recovery problems. I wish I had known about it and done this years ago. I was recommended to Dr. Yeh by my endocrinologist and it was a good recommendation. My vision is better which I did not expect and all in all I’m so glad I had this done. I was told I needed it because I have Osteoporosis however the side benefits are great and hopefully my bones will become stronger.

  49. Betty

    Dr. Yeh was amazing. Explained my condition and the recommended surgical procedure in layman’s terms. He has a great personality too. The whole experience was wonderful from the OR to the Recovery Room. Staff was so friendly and attentive. I would recommend UCLA!

  50. MyBrattyTasteBuds

    Call Dr. Yeh’s office and talk to his staff. They can advise. When I did that they asked to see my records and made a recommendation. In my case they said I was a candidate for surgery. They did the scans and surgery and it all went smoothly. Like you I had seen a specialist who wasn’t concerned. I had many years of elevated calcium. It’s normal after surgery and I back to feeling normal.

  51. J. A.

    Hello: I’m hoping that someone on the medical staff can respond to this inquiry. I’ve been seeking treatment for what I and two successive primary care physicians have suspected is hyperparthyroidism. I’ve been experiencing most of the symptoms related to the disorder (fatigue, irritability, high blood pressure, depression, joint pain, kidney stones, etc) for many years. I tracked all of my blood calcium measurements since 1997. Out of twenty blood tests, 12 showed blood calcium levels of 10 or greater, with some as high as 10.8. Of the remaining 8, the levels were between 9.6 and 9.9, with most on the upper end of the 9s. I’ve had PTH measured three times. Each of these times, the levels were normal with corresponding blood calcium levels of 9.9, 10.3 and 10.8 (most recently). My 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D level was also elevated (not the typical 25 hydroxivitamin D). The 1,25 level was 98 pg/ml (elevated).

    I’ve been on HCTZ for blood pressure control since 2009, but as you can see, my elevated Ca levels go back to at least 1997. I realize that HCTZ can sometimes cause an elevation in blood calcium, but it would not explain the 1997-2008 results, out of which 7 of 9 readings were between 10.1 and 10.8. I’ve also passed at least 3 kidney stones since 2010 (2 of which were small and I didn’t feel them – one was a 5mm).

    The reason I’m writing this note is because I have already seen one endocrinologist who dismissed these findings as “insignificant”. As you can imagine, I am a bit cautious about seeing another specialist after that experience. I am also a bit cautious about having a scan done since I’ve been told that the scans are more often wrong than not.

    I really want to resolve this issue and start feeling better. The fatigue and chronic pain, etc are overwhelming sometimes and I don’t want to pass another large kidney stone. Any suggestions? I would love to come in for a consultation, but I want to make sure that I’m going to the right place.

    Thanks in advance for your help!


    1. Anonymous

      I had parathryoid surgery in March 2015. My high blood calcium levels were as high as 11.9. I was told that it could take as long as a year fro me to see a difference in myself. My concern is that I continue to gain I don’t feel as anything has changed. I was told I have Hyperparathyrodism. I am wondering if I was cured..

  52. Anonymous

    I was very concerned about a combination of symptoms which included being tired all of the time, nausea and severe constipation. I had a blood test and was told that my calcium level was too high and that I needed to have my thyroid scanned. The scan confirmed tumors in my thyroid and parathyroid. My two doctors both stated that they wanted me to see Dr. Yeh at UCLA. Dr. Yeh operated on me and did a parathyroidectomy and a biopsy on my right superior parathyroid gland. The improvement in my symptoms was almost immediate. No more nausea, improvement in sleep etc. Dr. Yeh and his staff are professional and kind and if you need this surgery UCLA is the place to have it. A thousand thanks.

  53. Ted

    Two different family doctors over a two year period monitored a slight elevation in my calcium count. The normal range is in the 9s for adults over 35 years old. I was 68 years old when my calcium levels went over 10. The first family doctor did some additional tests such as 24 hour urine but neither of the two family doctors alerted me that there could be a problem or that I may have Parathyroid Disease. Over the course of three blood tests my calcium levels increased slightly from 10.4 to 10.9. According to my internet research any doctor that is “watching” or “monitoring” your slightly high calcium to see if it goes any higher doesn’t understand much about hyperparathyroidism. First, how high it is doesn’t matter! Slightly high calcium for a number of years will cause tremendous troubles. Second, your doctor is hurting you, because “keeping an eye on the calcium level” means he/she is adding to the duration of the high calcium, and it is the duration (how long it has been high) that causes all the troubles. The rate of high blood pressure, breast cancer, prostate cancer, renal failure, osteoporosis, A-fib, blood clots, hair loss, kidney stones, bone pain, muscle spasms, memory loss, and heart attack are all related to the duration of calcium (in years) over 10.1 mg/dl. How high the calcium has become is a very poor indicator of the severity of primary hyperparathyroidism. With the benefit of my knowledge gathered from the Internet, I decided to see an Endocrinologist, Dr. Francis H. Rhie, St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group, Orange California. He did not hesitate in recommending a parathyroidectomy. He said the benefits far outweighed the risks. I did my own research on the Internet to select a doctor and hospital for the surgery. I selected UCLA Endocrine Surgery, Dr. Michael W. Yeh and Dr. Masha Livhits. A nuclear medicine test at UCLA confirmed that one of my four parathyroid glands was diseased. I had the surgery on March 9, 2015 at UCLA and I was very impressed by the attention of everyone involved in helping to make my surgery comforting and tolerable. Doctors and nurses were with me every step of the way. I was never guessing or left in doubt of what to expect. The surgery was completed as scheduled and successful with no complications. The recovery had minimal discomfort. If I wasn’t retired, I could have gone back to work in less than a week. I am very thankful to the doctors, nurses and staff at UCLA Endocrine Surgery for curing my disease.

    1. Christine Bell

      Ted, your post is helpful. I am going through the diagnosis process currently with my Kaiser doctor. I am curious to know what your PTH level was and also if you had any other abnormal diagnostics such as 24 hr urune, iodized calcium, bone density, etc.? My PTH is 78 and calcium is 10.3 – 10.8 but bone density is normal and I am awaiting results of other labs. I had to ask a different doctor to order these. My primary care doctor says my blood calcium is “normal” and is referring me to endocrinology. Sigh.

      1. Nancy Dahl

        Hello Christine,
        I had my parathyroidectomy in Sept. 2013, done by Dr. Yeh. One other diagnostic tool you might ask for is a DEXA scan of your non-dominant forearm. The elevated PTH can affect that bone area first.
        Hoping that MD’s move forward more quickly with your diagnosis. It is SO frustrating to see MD’s do the “wait and see” non-action.
        Dr. Yeh is amazingly good. Try to see him now!
        Nancy Dahl

        1. Christine

          Nancy, thanks for your reply. I had a bone scan last week and the results were essentially normal except for my neck. Kaiser does not do the forearm – only hip, spine, and neck. Sigh.

      2. Maureen

        Be careful with Kaiser ……they sent me to an ENT surgeon the first time for my parathyroid surgery. They wouldnt do further testing to see if the other parathyroids were malfunctioning. Consequently my second surgery was done with Dr Yeh and I feel great. But I had to endure a stress fracture in my foot for a full year finding out I have severe osteoporosis as a consequence of not doing it right the first time.

        1. Christine

          Thank you Maureen. Wish me luck! My primary doctor (who said my serum calcium is normal at 10.8) has now referred me to an Endo at Kaiser, and who knows what hoop he will want me to jump through. I would love to know of patients who have successfully been referred to either UCLA or UCSF for parathyroidectomy. I am Kaiser Northern California, so to be referred to UCSF is my goal, although I’d prefer UCLA. But, I fear that if they even acknowledge the diagnosis, I’ll be sent to Kaiser head and neck for surgery. I’lll be kicking and screaming and referring them to the data I’ve been able to find substantiating the need for state of art surgery by a surgeon who can look at all four glands. I have had a thyroid nodule, I have had non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (in the neck especially), and have scar tissue from the removal of a node in my neck. I just want a really good surgeon.

        2. Nancy Dahl

          It will be worth your money to have an independent consultation with Dr. Yeh. I don’t know how much this would cost but any direct contact and influence from him would be worth it. I would think it would be under $500. You could call his very informative office for the price. Being held hostage by insurance companies at times threatens our health.
          It is hard to be our own advocates…but it is always necessary.
          I wish you the best.
          Nancy Dahl

        3. Christine

          Nancy, you are right. I am in the process of doing that right now, accumulating records and writing a summary. I’ve spoken to his office and they will let me know the cost. Watch this space!

        4. christine3075

          UPDATE: I was able to have a phone consultation with Dr. Yeh who confirmed my diagnosis and recommended a great Kaiser surgeon in San Francisco. I was able to be referred directly to her without seeing an Endocronologist to further gum up the works. I had surgery 6/17! It was four-gland hyperplasia actually. She removed 3-1/2 glands.

        5. John Gute

          In our opinion, Dr. Yeh is incredibly qualified as a diagnostician, physician, surgeon, and as a caring team leader. We’re glad he also knows others who are well qualified outside the UC system so that many others can receive care they need. We wish you well in your recovery.
          John and Janice

      3. Susan

        Hi Christine,
        I had my surgery in 2012 at the Santa Clara Kaiser and my recent blood calcium result is 10.6. Surgeon recommended I test my calcium every 6 months since it is only slightly elevated, and I can take a 4D CT scan. My I know the name of the San Francisco Kaiser surgeon?

  54. Anonymous

    64 y.o. male, Los Angeles, CA.: in great health, except for the last two years, I would get so tired I had to take a nap at least once a day, I could pass out just my closing my eyes for a few seconds. My annual physical / blood test revealed elevated blood calcium. Another blood test showed elevated PTH. Subsequent tests, 24-hour urine, x-ray, bone density scan, etc. led to diagnosis of Hyper-parathyroidism, with an obvious adenoma on the right superior parathyroid gland. The operation was performed by Dr. Livhits and Dr. Yeh at Ronald Regan Hospital at UCLA on Mar 24, 2915. It took almost a week to get over the anesthesia, and some initial stiffness and swelling at the incision site, but there was no need to take painkillers. Three weeks post-op and I feel great; no need to take naps during the day anymore, and overall physical energy level is much improved.

  55. Rosalie Pluimer

    April 16 12:00pm

    I was diagnosed with a high calcium level and osteoporosis. I am a 74 year old woman who suffers with asthma. I was advised to have an ultrasound to determine if I had parathyroid disease. I learned that everyone has four parathyroid glands and that they produce calcium continually. I had a bone density test and it showed poor bones. After three ultrasound exams, it was determined that I had one diseased parathyroid which should be removed. I live in the desert and there weren’t any doctors there who could perform this surgery successfully. I was eventually referred to wonderful Dr. Yeh by a physician I know. I searched the internet and learned about UCLA and Dr. Yeh. I was convinced I would do this as soon as I could. I was lacking in energy and felt tired most of the time. I had never had surgery before; so this was going to be a new experience. After visiting with Dr. Yeh at the initial visit, a date was set for surgery two months later. Now it is four weeks post surgery and I’m feeling fine. As many others have said, the surgery was a success, Dr. Yeh removed not only one, but three parathyroid glands which were infected. Dr. Yeh assured me not to worry about being an asthmatic during surgery. The anesthesiologist was aware of my breathing condition. Everyone who treated me the day of the surgery was kind and patient. I stayed in the hospital one night just so that my vitals could be monitored. I was discharged the following day. I had absolutely no pain. All I felt was throat soreness for a day or two. My voice never changed. I am so appreciative to Dr. Yeh for his expertise and kindness. He returned my phone call when I had a question. He took the time from his busy schedule to do so. I would certainly recommend UCLA and Dr. Yeh. Most grateful!

  56. Frances Siano

    Dr. Yeh saved my life in such a dramatic and unexpected way! I am a female in my late 60’s who needed to have a very sick parathyroid removed. Because I had previously experienced two partial thyroidectomies (1979 and 1999) and due to all the scar tissue it was extremely problematic to surgery my neck for a third time and locate the offending parathyroid. My thyroid surgeon in Syracuse, NY would not attempt this surgery and recommended I go to Boston or New York City to explore the possibility of a “safe” parathyroidectomy. Now I was on a mission to find the best surgeon and facility anywhere! My research led me to Dr. Michael Yeh. His credentials and reputation gave me confidence that he could help me. Choosing UCLA and Dr. Yeh was extremely fortuitous due to the fact that we have a second home in southern California and traveling back and forth would not be a huge issue, however my research told me he was the BEST and I would have traveled great distances if need be. Now for the miracle of Dr. Yeh and UCLA……He ordered a 4D CT scan of my neck in order to try and locate the offending parathyroid. It is a test rarely ordered for hyperparathyroidism. Because of the quality of the images AND the fact that Dr. Yeh’s such amazing ability to read scans, I received a good news, bad news phone call 24 hours after the scan. Good news…the parathyroid was completely visible and operable. Bad news….LUNG CANCER. He immediately put me in the service of Dr. Jane Yanagawa, UCLA Thorasic Surgeon. After a month of marathon testing it was determined to operate on the lung on November 21, 2014. Total success!!! Completely gone! Caught so early that no chemo or radiation is necessary. I am cancer free! This is the miracle of Dr. Yeh who I cannot ever repay for giving me my life. The parathyroid surgery took place in February 2015 and all went so well. I have never felt better. Dr. Yeh, his associate Jennifer and his entire team are the BEST. They have it all…..competence, compassion and caring. Thank you.

    1. Anne

      Thanks for sharing this great success story! Dr. Yeh did my parathyroid surgery in 2011 and I have been very happy with results. The good doctor and his staff hold a place in my heart forever.

  57. Anonymous

    I had a parathyroidectomy performed by the most brilliant Dr. Michael Yeh. What could have required more invasive surgery due to the location of my adonema. Dr. Yeh was so successful that this was not required. i am so grateful to have had Dr. Yeh as my surgeon.

  58. Sabina Kruger Koller

    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.

  59. Lori M.

    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.

  60. AnnaB

    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.

  61. Angela

    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.

    1. Anonymous

      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.

  62. Chris 65 years old

    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. 🙂

  63. Janice L. Price

    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

    1. Cathy

      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.

    2. Christine Bell

      Reading this sounds like it is describing ME!
      It is encouraging to think that so many of my symptoms could really have a curable cause and that I am perhaps not on the road to further physical and mental decline. I am a 70yr old female currently struggling with Kaiser Permanente Northern California who hold the reigns of my Medicare benefits, to get a referral to UCSF (preferably UCLA but that provably wont happen). Two years ago my serum calcium was 10.8 and PTH was 49. Ball dropped. I had to ask to have it checked again recently and it was 10.8 and 78 respectively. I have extreme pain in my legs and arms and diminishing muscle strength. I imagined my bones deterioratiing but a bone scan shows spine T-Score of 0.0, Hip is -0.6 and neck is -1.7. Except for neck I am “statistically normal,” so now I fear Kaiser will say nothing is wrong! Question: did you have abnormal 24 hr urine calcium levels, abnormal phosphorous, and abnormal ionized calcium levels? My phosphorous was within range and I am awaiting results of the others, in fear that if within range, Kaiser will not do anything.

  64. Richelle

    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.

  65. Gabriel Michael

    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.

  66. judith k

    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

  67. Sheryl Scharlach

    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.

  68. Robert

    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.

  69. Keith J

    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.

  70. Sheryl Scharlach

    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

  71. Sheryl Scharlach

    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.

  72. Anonymous

    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.

  73. A Grateful Patient

    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

  74. Anonymous

    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!!!!!

  75. scott cooper

    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.

  76. Mark

    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.

  77. Janet W.

    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.

  78. Karen Snyder

    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!

    1. Cathy

      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

      1. Karen Snyder

        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.

        1. April Robinson

          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.

    2. Cathy

      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

    3. Cathy

      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

      1. Christine Bell

        I am 70 yr old female, currently trying to convince my Kaiser Northern Calif doctor to confirm this diagnosis then refer me to at least UCSF, although I’d prefer UCLA of course. I have no other insurance and Kaiser holds the reigns to my Medicare. I am looking for examples of what others’ diagnostic results were. I am wondering if you had any “normal” diagnostics? My bone density scan was “statistically normal.” Blood calcium has been 10.3 to 10.8 since 2013 and current PTH is 78. It was 49 in 2013. Phosphorous was normal and am awaiting 24 hour urine and iodized blood calcium results. I resonate with the symptoms of those posting here. My memory is bad, my brain is foggy, I have constant intestinal upset, and am so fatgued I barely want to get out if bed. And more. I have been attributing it all to age, fybromyalgia, Hashimotos, depression, etc., but am now feeling encouraged that I may be able to get my life back if only Kaiser would act. So I need ammunition! I also fear Kaiser will want their surgeons to do this (if they ever agree the diagnosis). I have a historyoif thyroid nodules, lymphoma, and scar tussue from removing a cervical nide (near thyroid) which to me means getting the best surgeon. Thanks much.

  79. Charles Pinney

    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.

  80. Maureen

    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.

  81. Gerald R. Gaudette

    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

  82. Amy S.

    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.

  83. Leilani

    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.

  84. Susan Crockett

    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!!!

  85. Anonymous

    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!

  86. Chris T

    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!

    1. Anonymous

      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.

      1. Cathy

        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.

  87. Cathy

    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!

  88. Roberta Halley

    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.

  89. WA Sunflower

    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.

  90. Catherine

    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.

  91. Anonymous

    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.

    1. Anonymous

      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

  92. Anon

    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.

  93. larry atherton

    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

  94. Anonymous

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

    1. Cathy

      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.

  95. Anonymous

    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….

  96. Chris Slaman

    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!

    1. Anonymous

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

      1. Kim R

        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.

        1. John

          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.

  97. chris SLaman

    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??

  98. Anonymous

    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?

    1. A

      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?

    2. Anonymous

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


    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!!

    1. Anonymous

      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!

  100. Anonymous

    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.

  101. April

    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.

  102. Anonymous


    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 ?

  103. Troy


    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 ?

  104. Shery Youssef

    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.

    1. Ms Teresa A Strong


      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.

  105. Mary

    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.

  106. Maria M

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

    1. Shery Youssef

      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.

    2. Mary

      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.

    3. Anonymous

      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

  107. Scott Buttes

    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.

    1. Nancy Dahl

      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

      1. Susan C.

        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.

        1. Nancy Dahl

          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

        2. April Robinson

          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.

        3. April Robinson

          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.

      2. Cathy

        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!

        1. Cathy

          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.

      3. Cathy

        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.

    2. Tim

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

  108. Mercedes D

    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

  109. John Gute

    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.

    1. Elapully, Srinivasan

      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

  110. Nancy Dahl

    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!

    1. Sandra turnbull

      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.

  111. Gary Kunin

    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.


      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.

  112. Jeanne

    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!

  113. Anonymous

    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.

    1. Anonymous

      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!!

  114. Anonymous

    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.

  115. Nancy Miller

    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

    1. Chanel

      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!

      1. Nancy Miller

        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

  116. Anonymous

    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.

  117. Rick Carl

    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

  118. Anonymous

    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!

  119. Murray Rosenbluth

    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.

  120. Anonymous

    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.

    1. Barbara

      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.

    2. Pamela in Australia

      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.

      1. Shery Youssef

        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.

  121. Anonymous

    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.

  122. Rebecca

    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.

  123. Marina Jones

    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.

  124. Carolyn

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

  125. Nisha

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

  126. Nisha

    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.

    1. Ms Teresa A Strong

      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.

      1. Anonymous

        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.

        1. Anonymous

          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.

        2. Anonymous

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

        3. Cathy

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

    2. Kim

      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?

      1. Anonymous

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

      2. anonymous

        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.

        1. anonymous

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

        2. Anonymous

          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.

    3. Anonymous

      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.

    4. Anonymous

      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.

  127. EB

    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.

      1. Anonymous

        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.

  128. Walt

    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.

  129. Anonymous

    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.

  130. Charisse Hamm

    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.

    1. memargallo

      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.

      1. Ms Teresa A Strong

        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.

      2. Barbara Bradley

        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

      3. memargallo

        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.

      4. Midwest PTA

        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.

  131. Annie O'Shea

    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!

    1. Ms Teresa A Strong


      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.

      1. Annie O'Shea

        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.

  132. Patricia Donnelly

    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.

  133. Anonymous

    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)

  134. tocloseforcomfort

    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?

    1. Rebecca

      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.

  135. Carol

    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.

  136. Mollie Vanderzyl

    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

    1. Ernie

      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

      1. angelia

        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.

      2. Anonymous

        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.

  137. Mary Anne Lanssens

    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!

  138. Jackie

    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.

  139. Barbara99

    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.

    1. Anonymous

      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.

    2. Anonymous

      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.

    3. Doss

      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

  140. anonymous

    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.

  141. Alan Salter

    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!

  142. Arlene Helgeson

    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!

  143. AC


    1. SET


      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.

      1. Linda Thompson

        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 .

  144. Anonymous

    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 !

  145. Anonymous

    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.

    1. Sheila

      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.

  146. Linda

    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.

  147. Sharon Caddle

    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.

  148. Anonymous

    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.

    1. MyBrattyTasteBuds

      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!

      1. Anonymous

        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.

  149. software

    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.

  150. Jo Ann Kanshige

    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!

  151. Brian M

    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.

    1. Susan

      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!

      1. ramblingwomen

        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.

  152. marianne

    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?

    1. carol2000

      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.

  153. Beverly J. Goldrup

    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.

  154. Anonymous

    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.

  155. Elisse

    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.

  156. Barbara Bradley


    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

    1. Anonymous

      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?

  157. Ramon

    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

  158. Steve H.

    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.

  159. Jill

    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

  160. Linda

    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.

  161. Reva

    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.

      1. Reva

        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

        1. angelia

          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!

        2. angelia

          I’ll try again:


      2. Teresa Strong

        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.

      3. Reva

        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…

        1. Ms Teresa A Strong

          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.

      1. Reva

        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?

      2. Reva

        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.

      3. Linda Thompson

        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.

      4. Reva

        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?

      5. Reva

        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?

      6. Linda Thompson

        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.

      7. Reva

        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?

      8. Linda Thompson

        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.

    1. Anonymous

      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

    2. Kay

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

      1. Reva

        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.

    3. anita B

      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,

      1. Reva

        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.

        1. anita

          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!


      2. Linda Thompson

        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!

      3. AC

        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.

      4. angelia

        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.

    4. Tamara

      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.

  162. BJ

    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.

    1. Jill

      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.

      1. Teresa Strong

        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.

      2. BJ

        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.

        1. Jill

          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.

  163. Sandy

    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?

    1. Anonymous

      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.

    2. Linda Thompson

      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.

  164. Ryan Piel

    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.

  165. Anonymous

    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.

  166. mitchell kaplan on behalf of LILA BLANE

    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.

  167. jess

    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

    1. anonymous

      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.

    2. ramblingwomen

      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.

  168. Maureena Bivins PhD, LAc

    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!

  169. Bran

    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?

    1. anonymous

      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.

  170. Lauren

    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.

    1. ramblingwomen

      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.

  171. Sue

    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!

    1. Linda Thompson

      I would definitely get a second opinion from Dr. Yeh and another scan to locate your diseased parathyroid, especially since you are near UCLA. Good luck!

    2. Gale

      Sue, I’d strongly recommend you contact Dr. Yeh’s office at UCLA. It is a little distance from Orange County but not that far when you consider that Dr. Yeh is considered one of the top endocrine surgeons in the entire US.

  172. Heidi Vu

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

    1. Patty

      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.

  173. anonymous

    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.

    1. Katrina Marie Gatdula

      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 :/

      1. anonymous

        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.

  174. Sheri Held

    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.

  175. Gale Fielding

    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.

  176. trufflesjourney

    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

    1. ramblingwomen

      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!

    2. Katrina Marie Gatdula

      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.

  177. Maureena Bivins PhD, LAc

    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!

  178. Patty

    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!!

  179. Adina

    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.

  180. Beverly Russell

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

    1. Adina

      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.

    2. Linda Thompson

      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.

  181. Jerry W.

    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.

  182. Linda Thompson

    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.

    1. Anxious

      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)?

  183. len bailes

    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.

    1. ramblingwomen

      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.

      1. Jill

        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.

    2. Adina

      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.

      1. anonymous

        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.

  184. barb

    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!

  185. Gwen

    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…

      1. Gwen

        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…

        1. Anne

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

      2. Gwen

        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!

    1. frances ruiz

      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

  186. Christopher Tang

    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.

  187. Jay

    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.

  188. Anne

    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!

  189. Vicki W.

    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.

    1. Anne

      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.

      1. Vicki W.

        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.

  190. Gary Paster

    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.

  191. Terri

    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.

        1. Diane

          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.

        2. ramblingwomen

          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.

    1. Anonymous

      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

  192. Anonymous

    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.

  193. Irene

    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.


  194. Anne

    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!

  195. Ed Bernstein

    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.

  196. Roy Schoenbeck

    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! ———-


  197. CE

    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!

  198. Patricia

    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.

  199. katayoon

    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.

  200. Davis

    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.

  201. K W

    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.

    1. Steve


      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.


      1. Davis

        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.

  202. Nancy F. (age 55)

    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!

  203. N. Johnsn

    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.

    1. N. Johnsn

      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.

  204. Susan

    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

  205. Sam R Post author

    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

  206. Anonymous

    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.

  207. Robert B.

    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.

  208. Karen Miller, RN

    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.

    1. Abir

      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

  209. NM

    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

  210. Joan Threadgold Stevens

    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

  211. Karen Ferrari

    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.

  212. Joyce

    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.

  213. Anonymous

    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

  214. Norma

    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.

  215. Anonymous

    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.

  216. Benny Sommerfeld

    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,

  217. Norma

    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!!!

  218. Jan Maynor

    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

  219. Anonymous

    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

  220. Anonymous

    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!

  221. Laura W. (again)

    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.

  222. Laura W. (Age 55)

    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.

  223. Anonymous

    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!

  224. Shanell Owen

    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!

  225. Anonymous

    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.

  226. Carol

    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.

  227. Joy from Riverside

    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.

  228. herb d

    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.

  229. Anonymous

    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.

  230. Anonymous

    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.

  231. Anonymous

    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.

  232. Anonymous

    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!

  233. Ann

    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

  234. Anonymous

    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:

  235. Anonymous

    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.

  236. Anonymous

    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

  237. Anonymous

    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.

  238. Anonymous

    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.

  239. Anonymous

    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.

    1. Nancy Webster

      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!

  240. Anonymous

    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.

  241. Anonymous

    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

  242. Anonymous

    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.

  243. Rose

    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 pri