Parathyroid Disorders

These are only general guidelines and not meant to replace instructions from a physician. Please talk with your physician about your specific condition.

About The Condition

Parathyroid glandsThe parathyroid glands are four small glands, typically located behind the thyroid gland in your neck. These glands secrete parathyroid hormone, which helps to regulate your body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus. Hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone. This may cause kidney stones (excess calcium is excreted in the urine), osteoporosis (bone density loss as calcium is removed from the bones by the excess hormone) and occasionally depression or other psychiatric conditions. Surgery is indicated to reverse and prevent the complications of hyperparathyroidism. Surgery is also indicated for cancer of the parathyroid glands.

Before Surgery

If you are having surgery, you may be asked to:

Please ask your physician about any additional steps you should take before your surgery.  Your surgeon may request additional imaging studies to attempt to localize the responsible gland prior to surgery.


Surgery for hyperparathyroidism is done under general anesthesia through an incision at the base of your neck. It may be possible to perform this operation through a minimally invasive incision. During the operation, your parathyroid hormone levels will be monitored to determine that the responsible gland is removed. If all four of your parathyroid glands are overactive, your surgeon will typically remove 3 ½ glands. The remaining portion of the gland is then either left in place or moved to a location in your arm or neck to attempt to normalize the level of parathyroid hormone production.  There is some variation in the location of the parathyroid glands that may require a longer incision and a longer operation to search for a gland if it is located in an unusual position.


After Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with parathyroid cancer, you most likely will be referred to an oncologist for follow-up after your surgery. 

If you have additional questions, please contact us at 763.780.6699.

Surgeons Who Treat Endocrine Disorders


  • Advanced laparoscopy
  • Robotic assisted surgery
  • Reflux disease/GERD
  • Paraesophageal hernia
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Weight loss (bariatric) surgery
  • GI surgery
  • Abdominal wall hernias
  • Groin hernias
  • Upper endoscopy
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Jonathan C. Gipson, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Pancreas and foregut (esophagus and stomach) cancer surgery
  • Complex laparoscopic and robotic surgical procedures, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and hiatal hernia
  • Emergency surgical procedures
  • Surgical management of trauma
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Kamrun Jenabzadeh, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Robotic assisted surgery
  • Advanced laparoscopy
  • Reflux disease
  • Achalasia
  • Gallbladder pathology
  • Benign and malignant gastrointestinal pathology
  • Colorectal oncology
  • Complex hernias
  • Groin hernias
  • Complex ventral and hiatal hernias
  • Endocrine, such as adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid diseases
  • Diastasis recti
  • Colonic endometriosis
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Kourtney L. Kemp, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Esophageal disease and diagnostics
  • Heartburn/reflux
  • Robotic and laparoscopic surgeries
  • Hernia surgery
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Colon/bowel/gallbladder disease
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Steven J. Kern, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Robotic surgery
  • Gallbladder Surgery
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Surgery for Esophageal Reflux
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Matthew K. Kissner, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair
  • Complex repair of ventral/incisional hernia
  • Robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery
  • Colon surgery
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Parathyroid surgery
  • Colonoscopy and upper endoscopy
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Corey J. Stennes, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Thyroid disease
  • Parathyroid disease
  • Adrenal disease
  • Repair of complex hernias
  • Hiatal hernia and reflux surgery
  • Gastrointestinal malignancies
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rachel tay, MD


  • Colon resections
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair
  • Complex repair of ventral/incisional hernia
  • Robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery
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