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Norman Parathyroid Surgery Center, Tampa FL

Started 1271529411.037 in Among Friends | Last reply 1271818383.727 by Madame Butterfly

Does anyone know of anybody who has gone to this center for parathyroid surgery?

I have a high calcium level but my PTH is in middle range but according to reports if a person has high calcium levels that the PTH should be next to zero.  Endo says Im fine and she hasnt a clue why my calcium is up. 

It will cost me $1500 just for the consult, but insurance will pay for the surgery.  Also, it will cost me for a flight down and hotel.

Anyone>

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BeanCounte­r171271539066.845184 PostsRegistered 8/21/2006Virginia

Just had this exact problem less than a year ago and had surgery.  My NP noticed that my blood levels showed very low Vitamin D and very very high calcium so she sent me to an ENT who ran a PTH blood test which was elevated. 

I had always taken Vitamin D and calcium supplements to avoid later osteoporosis (doctors recommended and knew and approved of the dosages which wasn't the problem).  The ENT had me stop all supplements for a month and he reran the bloodwork.  No change so I had to go have a nuclear scan on my neck.  Scan showed tumors on two of my parathyroid glands. 

Easiest surgery I ever had.  I live an hour from Washington DC and some of the best hospitals around but I had this done in my tiny  local rural podunk hospital after researching it.  All outpatient, in by 8, out my 1:30 and only experienced a slight scratchy throat.  Prior to this I had scheduled a vacation and ENT allowed me to still go 9 days later with no problem.  All bloodwork is now normal. 

Should it be your problem, don't alllow the word "tumor" or "growth" to stress you out.  ENT said (I also googled this) that something like 98% of these are benign. He said he couldn't even remember the last patient where a tumor was cancerous as a result of this problem. 

I am surprised you were not sent for a scan but in any case I certainly wouldn't put out money for travel and to go to some special place.  When I researched this online, it said a scan is usually requested and that if tumors are found, either ENTs or Endocrinologists usually are the ones that perform this surgery.

Edited to also add - the scar on the neck after the surgery seemed huge to me but the ENT told me it'd disappear with time but takes a few months.  He was right  - can't see the scar anymore so that problem goes away too. 

HTH, and good luck.

Last edited on 4/17/2010

Last edited on 4/17/2010

FATCATinCT1271549784.2572627 PostsRegistered 11/18/2006

Beancounter thank you for your reply!

I am very glad to hear your surgery went well.  I am on the fence and so happy to hear there are other "good" places around for the surgery. My levels are not that bad but I have all the symptoms and for 2 1/2 months I was "down for the count".  Of course by the time I was able to see the dr I was feeling much better, and in all probability my levels were much higher.

May I ask, did your symptoms come and go such as this?  I'm always tired, can sleep anywhere anytime and always in some kind of pain and never feel "quite right".  When I'm feeling bad, I'm real bad and it can take weeks on end to feel half way human again.

thank you so much!

sparkygirl1271562343.4534626 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

Never had that problem, but yes, your PTH should be very low if your calcium is high.   I'm not sure why you would have to travel real far for this surgery, as it's not uncommon, and many places do it.  I would ask my doctor why all this expense and plane travel is necessary, unless you really live in the boondocks...Good luck and best of health.

ETA: I just looked at your name...You're from Connecticut..not too far from some of the greatest medical centers in the world.  ??  I'm a nurse...I don't get it.

Last edited on 4/18/2010

Last edited on 4/18/2010

FATCATinCT1271620162.8672627 PostsRegistered 11/18/2006

It is uncommon, so the dr's don't do this type of surgery very often which is why I am reluctant to have it done here.  Dr. Norman does this surgery every day and has pioneered this "mini" procedure.  One inch cut, in and out and no recovery time. Idk, call me silly but I want to be in the best hands.

thanks for your reply!

Last edited on 4/18/2010

Last edited on 4/18/2010

GeeSpot1271622335.63346 PostsRegistered 1/31/2010at the heather on the hill in Brigadoon

I was diagnosed with hypercalcemia in 2006 at the age of 43, and currently, it's been four years with no known cause (idiopathic).  I've had all the tests, had to immediately stop calcium supplements, magnesium supplements, and could no longer take a diuretic as one of my blood pressure meds..  About two to three years ago, I was also diagnosed with osteopenia - thinning of the bones, a precursor to osteoporosis - due to the hypercalcemia (which, if really high, can cause a mini-stroke...or worse)

Aaargh!  I actually wish that it was a problem with my PTH gland, so that I would at least know that it was possible to have it taken care of.

The reason I mention this is because when I first did my Internet research back in '06, the Norman Center was mentioned again and again as THE place to discuss and have parathyroid surgery, even if your previous doctor has negated the parathyroid gland as the cause of hypercalemia (it is in about 98% of cases).  I would not go anywhere else to have this 20-30 min. surgery, and hope and pray that you, FatCatinCT, will have the same great experience as those who have already been successfully treated. :-)

Thinking only positive thoughts for you,

Gee

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia

sparkygirl1271622479.5974626 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

I'm sorry. FATCAT...I just am not understanding your original post. If your PTH is not low, your endocrinologist should be able to see quite easily that you have a bad parathyroid gland somewhere...so why is she confused?  And like BeanCounter said, why are you traveling to Florida for surgery???  First, get some other opinions from the many wonderful docs in the NY/metropolitan area!

You are within driving range of many major medical centers with fanstastic surgeons in both CT and NY...Parathyroidectomy is NOT that uncommon!  And The Norman Center is not the only place that does the minimally invasive, 17 minute surgery which gets you home the same day.  You will find that out when you look around. 

Holy cow, you couldn't pay ME to fly to Florida just for a parathyroidectomy...This is a little operation, not brain surgery!  Please do your research!  :-)

 

Last edited on 4/18/2010

Last edited on 4/18/2010

sparkygirl1271622684.6934626 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

GeeSpot, did they check your PTH level??

GeeSpot1271623913.84746 PostsRegistered 1/31/2010at the heather on the hill in Brigadoon

Thanks for asking, sparkygirl - they did and it was/is fine.

Last edited on 4/18/2010

Last edited on 4/18/2010

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia

BeanCounte­r171271683117.165184 PostsRegistered 8/21/2006Virginia
On 4/18/2010 FATCATinCT said:

It is uncommon, so the dr's don't do this type of surgery very often which is why I am reluctant to have it done here.  Dr. Norman does this surgery every day and has pioneered this "mini" procedure.  One inch cut, in and out and no recovery time. Idk, call me silly but I want to be in the best hands.

thanks for your reply!

Last edited on 4/18/2010

I'd not say you are silly, but I am telling you that this isn't an uncommon procedure for ENTs.  It's the "T" part of their specialty as in throat.   Ask a trusted family doctor for a recommendation and my bet is there is an ENT in your area that will at least run a nuke scan.   That  is the test needed for  the actual verification that the parathyroids are the problem in your case before they'll do surgery.  At least at that point, you'd know that is your actual problem before spending the money and heading down to FL if you choose to do so after that.  

Last edited on 4/19/2010

Last edited on 4/19/2010

BeanCounte­r1712716859545184 PostsRegistered 8/21/2006Virginia
On 4/18/2010 GeeSpot said:

I was diagnosed with hypercalcemia in 2006 at the age of 43, and currently, it's been four years with no known cause (idiopathic).  I've had all the tests, had to immediately stop calcium supplements, magnesium supplements, and could no longer take a diuretic as one of my blood pressure meds..  About two to three years ago, I was also diagnosed with osteopenia - thinning of the bones, a precursor to osteoporosis - due to the hypercalcemia

This is how mine all started originally and why I was referred to an ENT to check for a parathyroid problem.    Calcium levels were way off and discovered doing bloodwork for BP meds.  I  had to stop all Vitamin D and calcium for one month.  The ENT reran bloodwork and then had me go for a nuclear scan.   The scan is what showed the tumors which in my case, meant that  malfunctioning parathyroid glands prohibited calcium from being absorbed into the bones and a greater risk of thinning of the bones.   After surgery I was sent to an Endocrinologist to detemine if I should go onto an osteoporosis drug or back to supplements.  About two months ago she recommended a 6 week course of 50,000 iu Vitamin D and next week begin back on 1000 iu Vit D3 and 1200 mg calcium daily.  At this point, all blood ranges have returned to  normal so we are going to try just supplements before placing me on an osteoporosis drug to see how that goes.

sparkygirl1271696721.2634626 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

I have to be honest, and it's not a reflection on how good a surgeon he is, but I think Dr. Norman's WEBSITE is cheesy. Turns me off.

I don't like doctors who insist they are the ONLY ones who can properly do your surgery.  Like I said, this is not brain surgery...this is a very common, short, same day operation...a parathyroidectomy.

Last edited on 4/19/2010

Last edited on 4/19/2010

FATCATinCT1271768426.5772627 PostsRegistered 11/18/2006

Thanks for all your replies everyone.

I did a lot of research the past couple days in response to your replies and frankly the only place i knew i didnt want to go was UCONN.  I have been to dr's there and they are a farce.  I am sure there are many good ones, I just hadn't gone to them.

Duhhhh, I forgot all about Yale Medical, it didn't come up as I googled and then thought to put in "CT"  I found a few, and will be contacting them.  If that doesn't pan out, Ill call Boston area docs.

again, thank you all.

sparkygirl1271817508.914626 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

FATCAT, I wish you luck and the very best of health.  Let us know how things go. God bless...you'll be fine.  :-)

Madame But­terfly1271818383.723280 PostsRegistered 3/20/2010Butterfly Paradise

Hi,

My Mom's parathyroid was operated on by Dr. Norman, in Tampa, and the surgery was not only successful but it was non-invasive, she had little to no scarring or pain and it was out-patient. She stayed in a hotel nearby for two days following surgery but was up and out sightseeing and having dinner.

I don't recall her spending that much on a consultation, in fact, the consult was done over the phone after she had been referred to him by her endocrinologist.

Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery.

 

The world is full of beautiful things, butterfly wings.......

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