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572927 tn?1217366181

parathyroid surgery

Ok, so I had surgery yesterday to remove my bad parathyroid.  Last night I noticed my wrists and up into my forearms feeling numb and a little tingly.  I first thought it had to do with nerves but then remembered reading something about calcium levels dropping after surgery.  I waited until today to talk to my surgeon who advised me that normally if the calcium drops it would have before I left the hospital and it's usually in the fingertips and around the mouth area.  He advised me to take a calcium tablet each morning and we will check the levels when I see him again on Tuesday.  I'm wondering if anyone else experienced anything like this? Other than that I feel ok..very sore and difficult to move my neck around.  Thanks.
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Avatar universal
Oh yes! I do remember that! the calcium levels will drop to subnormal levels initially, but correct themselves as the parathyroids start responding again...Muscle spasms too on occasion until things settled...the thing I remember best is...feeling so much better...I found that calcium citrate, at 2000 mg/ day is what was the "therapeutic" level for me...My surgery was a year ago in April, and I've had no headaches, gut aches, constipation, very little heartburn, muscle and joint pain, etc...since...I can tell still when my calcium drops too low because I get the "buzzing" around my mouth and in my hands...and the heartburn comes back...I wonder now if the heartburn isn't from the PTH levels rising a bit to bring the calcium up...Oh, and I really have to look to see my scar...I still put sunscreen on it (it seemed very sensitive last summer) but, really, I have to look very closely to find it now...Your neck will be stiff for 5-7 days because of the surgery and what they had to do to keep your head still...(You don't really want to know, do you?LOL)
Take care! This is temporary and you will be feeling great shortly! (((((((((HUGZ))))) ~MM
Helpful - 0
572927 tn?1217366181
Thanks for confirming what I'm feeling is normal.  Do you continue to take calcium daily  or just when you need it? How often do you follow up with your endocrinologist?  Just wondering where everything goes from here.  Oh my gosh....what do they do to hold the head still?!? lol...you tell me, do I want to know?! lol

thanks again!
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Avatar universal
cat86:  Congratulations on getting through the surgery!

Unlike what your dr said, my calcium dropped after I left the hospital.  I think it was only appearing to be at a sustained level in the hospital because I was on a calcium IV drip.  Once I was away from that the levels descended until I had symptoms.  But that's just an aside...really what you now need to know is what he told you to do - take the calcium.

Hopefully, your bloodwork on Tuesday will look better and progressively get better over time.  I wish you well.

~

medicmommy:  I've always taken calcium carbonate, which I find beneficial, but am thinking of now incorporating calcium citrate into the recipe.  Is there a specific brand you recommend?  (Hope I'm not repeating this request.)

Take care.

~

Don't you wish catching this kind of 'buzz' was a enjoyable as catching other kinds?  Just kidding!
Helpful - 0
586382 tn?1219604628
Hi There,

My surgeon kept me in the hospital overnight specifically to watch my calcium levels, which turned out to be fine.  Did you stay overnight after your surgery?  Yes, the tingling in your fingertips and toes and around your mouth are the telltale signs.  

I had my thyroid removed 10 days ago.  I advise doing VERY gentle neck rolls (not backward) and gently turning your head from side to side.  This will help to relax the muscles that were cut in to during surgery and will help your neck and shoulder muscles overall.  I know it feels like the opposite of what you want to do but my surgeon recommended it and it does help. I hardly feel any stiffness today.  

Good luck and let us know how you're doing!

Deb
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Avatar universal
Congratulations on what sounds like successful sugery!
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572927 tn?1217366181
Hi all..thanks for all the great info.  I thought today I'd be feeling alot better but I'm not and I'm now going into 3rd day post-surgery.  My hands/wrists and up into my forearms are still numb and tingly feeling, I'm feeling dizzy and a little lightheaded as well. I just feel "off" and sort of headachy too. I was really hoping to bounce back and expect to feel alot better and it's just not happening.  This morning I took 2 calcium tablets when I noticed the numbness (as recommended) and it made no difference.  The good news is that my neck isn't too sore, not yet anyway.  

I did not stay overnight after surgery and the doctor mentioned if I were going to have the low calcium symptoms they would have shown up before I left the hospital but I felt fine. I don't know if I had a calcium drip or not?!  Are there different kinds of calcium that shoud be taken?

Thanks!
Helpful - 0
393419 tn?1228447393
You may want to call your doctor and see if you could get your calcium tested sooner than Tuesday if you are very uncomfortable.
I was sent home the day after my surgery and 2 days later ended up back in the hospital due to the low calcium  My tingling/numbness ended up progressing into full body cramps complete with claw hands. . . not pretty or comfortable.
I then ended up on a drip for 4 days to bring it back up and am now back home on massive amounts of calcium & calcitrol.
Of course, you may be completely different and your levels may have come back to normal bu now, but the peace of mind may be worth the test.

Be Well!
Helpful - 0
572927 tn?1217366181
Wow Lilypad...did you have parathyroid surgery or another type?  Today is day 3 and I'm still not feeling right.  I don't think it's bad enough to go to the hospital though.  I may call the doctor in the morning if still feeling bad.  I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't sent home with the warning that any of this may happen..it would have been nice to know or to prepare for.  For now I'll take it easy and keep taking the Caltrate..hope that's enough and things don't get worse.  I hope you're feeling better by now. When was your surgery?
Helpful - 0
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