The Norman Parathyroid Center's success centers on a teamwork approach by the seven of the most experienced parathyroid surgeons in the world. We employ the most advanced surgical techniques used anywhere--many of which have been developed here. We have performed more parathyroid operations than any institution world wide, currently about 10 times more than any other hospital or university on an annual basis. We enjoy a referring network of over 1400 endocrinologists from all 50 states.
We operate out of a brand new, beautiful hospital--the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery. This full-service hospital opened in January 2022 and was built specifically to service patients with thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal tumors exclusively. You won't believe how nice this new HCA hospital is. Also, since it is an endocrine surgery hospital, there are no COVID patients. This is the safest (and nicest!) place to have your parathyroid operation. We no longer perform any operations at Tampa General Hospital.
Patients can expect one visit to our center for about 4-5 hours where every aspect of their disease is addressed... from meeting expert surgeons, to getting scans and having the operation. One four hour visit and this problem is gone. Become Our Patient here.
The average US surgeon performs only a few parathyroid operations every year. Even most "expert endocrine surgeons" perform about 25 parathyroid operations per year. Many "experts" only want to remove the ONE tumor they see on the scan and quit the operation--this is cheating; don't let your surgeon cheat you. You should demand an operation that evaluates all four parathyroid glands.
The Norman Parathyroid Center performs more parathyroid operations annually than the top 10 US universities combined (see Medicare statistics). We have consulted on over 60,000 patients with high calcium and have learned a lot from this experience. We maintain the world's largest database of parathyroid patients, allowing us to compare even the most uncommon presentation of parathyroid disease to many just like it that we have seen previously. The reason for this very high degree of specialization is that Dr Norman was the developer of minimally invasive parathyroid surgery in the mid 1990's, and since that time patients with hyperparathyroidism come from all over the US, and 60+ foreign countries from around the world to have our surgeons perform their parathyroid surgery. See our MAP of where all our patients come from. Some are probably your neighbors! If you think the best surgeons are in Boston, or New York, then read our testimonial page and see why the surgeons and operating room nurses at Harvard, Hopkins, Penn, Yale, Columbia, Mayo, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and many other revered hospitals came to Tampa when they needed a parathyroid operation themselves. We operate several per week. They come here because we examine all four parathyroid glands during our operations--we don't cheat you by only removing the one tumor that shows on a scan (if if shows on a scan!).
What makes Ours the Best Parathyroid Operation?Our operations are unique to parathyroid surgery performed almost anywhere else in the world in that we 1) examine all four parathyroid glands in nearly all cases, 2) determine how active each gland is during the operation so that normal glands are not removed and all hyperfunctioning glands are appropriately removed, 3) compare each gland to the others prior to removal to account for variability seen in each patient, 4) have two or three extremely experienced parathyroid surgeons in every operation who are required to agree on the findings, 5) complete the entire procedure in most patients in under 20 minutes, 6) do not require endotracheal anesthesia in over 95%, and 7) allow nearly all to leave the hospital within 2 hours.
Check All Four -- The Gold Standard Operation. It has long been known that the only way to achieve very high initial and long-term cure rates is to assess all four glands, but this is very difficult to do and requires many thousands of cases before a surgeon can accomplish this routinely—and why very few surgeons perform this gold-standard operation. Instead, nearly all surgeons chose to obtain x-rays and scans and then elect to remove only the gland that “shows” on the scan. In contrast, scans used to “find” the bad parathyroid gland play little if any role in our operations because we examine and test all four glands routinely. Negative scan patients have the same operation at our Center and are often the “easiest” technical operations. Thus, we prefer patients have no localizing studies prior to referral. Removing only the tumor shown on the scan results in a failure in at least 30 percent of patients.
Measure the Activity of Each Gland so Normal Glands are Not Removed. Our assessment of the parathyroid gland’s activity (how much PTH is being produced by each gland) helps assure that abnormal (over-active) glands are removed, while helping prevent the removal of normal glands. There is no other method to accomplish these two critical components of successful parathyroid surgery. We assess multiple glands before we remove any of them so as to avoid removing normal glands--a problem that occurs in at least 50% of other parathyroid operations. Dr Norman patented this process in the late 1990's. Unfortunately for patients, the vast majority of surgeons will remove a parathyroid gland as soon as it is found so they can measure the PTH hormone in the blood to see if it decreases. If it does not, then they know the gland was normal (that they just removed!) and they go find another gland to remove and repeat the process. This method guarantees that normal glands are removed in most cases and in some cases all of the normal glands are removed. This problem is becoming of epidemic proportions in the US and worldwide as inexperienced surgeons perform this operation using PTH measurements in the operating room. About 10% of our practice is on patients who had a failed operation somewhere else, and about a third of them have lost their voice.
Two Surgeons in Every Operation. Another unique feature of our operations is that we use the skills and experience of two surgeons (and sometimes three) in every operation. No case is concluded until two surgeons--both of whom have performed many thousands of parathyroid operations--agree on the assessment of the parathyroid glands and the thyroid gland.
Operating at the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery. This brand new Hospital for Endocrine Surgery was built specifically for endocrine surgery (thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal). Every part of this big hospital was designed to give the best outcomes for parathyroid patients. Every scanner was chosen because of its accuracy with parathyroid imaging. Every tool was selected for parathyroid, and every employee of the hospital has dedicated their careers to thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal surgery. This is the only thing this big hosptial does! We have seen it all!Nobody Learning to Operate on You. Parathyroid surgery is a highly specialized field and we are the only surgeons in the world who perform parathyroid surgery only. It is important to understand that we have the exceptional results because of our experience and techniques (above), but also because we don’t allow surgeons in training to participate in our operations as all university hospitals do. Let's face it, you didn't travel a long way to have a surgical resident try to learn surgery on you!
Extremely High Cure Rates. Because of our 2-surgeon-4-gland assessment operation, we have the highest cure rates in the world. Although our cure rates are over 99%, we cannot cure everybody. The anatomy of the parathyroid glands is so variable that even when we use the expertise of all three surgeons present every operative day we occasionally cannot find a gland. If you aren’t cured, we almost always know it before you leave our center and will discuss this with you so you understand the problem and the potential solutions. We will follow along with you and find a solution--we almost always figure it out. It is a very rare patient that we cannot cure.
Complication Rates Near Zero Because of our experience performing nearly 75 parathyroid operations per week, and having well over 50,000 behind us, our patients enjoy a complication rate of far under 1 percent. The national standards that surgeons are held to are a vocal cord nerve injury 5% or less (1 in 20 operations), which is unthinkable in our practice, where it is expected to be less than 1 per 2500 operations. We also use amniotic membrane on all exposed nerves to help prevent nerve injury. This is brand new stuff, and very few surgeons are using this yet.
Quick Operation, Small Incision Although we examine and test the parathyroid glands on both sides of the neck, we use an incision that is as small as any in the world, and much smaller than most. Our parathyroid operations typically last about 20 minutes. These quick operations require less anesthesia, are virtually bloodless, and allow nearly all patients to go home within 2 hours.
Intubation for Anesthesia is Not Routine We do not routinely intubate our patients during anesthesia (don't put a tube down their trachea). About 95% of our parathyroid operations are performed without intubation. Patients benefit greatly from a quick, safe operation and wake up very quickly to go home.
The Best Nuclear Medicine Team We work closely with an amazing nuclear radiology team, performing nearly 40-times more hyperparathyroid Sestamibi scans most other other institutions world-wide (and we developing many of the techniques used for this study). Our scans take only 15 or 20 minutes and are as good or better than the scans performed anywhere else in the world.
We have a video of Dr Norman performing a 4-gland, mini-parathyroid operation in 12 minutes, removing two parathyroid tumors. The patient went home about an hour later. After you watch this, you can see why our surgeons have been awarded virtually every honor possible for doctors and surgeons, with HealthGrades ranking us in the top 1% in customer satisfaction 14 years in a row. We take pride in treating every patient like they are our most important patient.
Become Our PatientEvery year, thousands of patients travel from around the US (and more than 40 foreign countries) to have surgery at our Center in Tampa, Florida. We have done this so many times that we make it easy for you to make one trip to Tampa and get your evaluation and any necessary scans and biopsies and have your surgery in one trip. We communicate with your doctors back home, and will even find you an endocrinologists near you if you don't have one so that you don't need to travel back to Tampa for a postoperative visit. If you stay at one of our partner hotels, you won't need a rental car--they will provide all transportation for you.
You Can Have Your Parathyroid Surgery With Us.
Parathyroid surgery is very delicate surgery and the outcomes (cure rate and complication rate) are directly correlated with your surgeon's experience. Our surgeons do not perform breast biopsies, gallbladder removals, hernia repairs, or perform abdominal surgery. Heck, we won't even see patients with thyroid disease unless they also have a parathyroid tumor. Parathyroid surgery is the only surgery we do. And, about 14% of the surgeries we do are on people who have already had an unsuccessful parathyroid operation by a surgeon with little experience (we do between 2 and 5 re-operations every day). Click Here to read more about how to become our patient, and read our statistics for our past 35,000 parathyroid patients. We are in-network and preferred providers for: Medicare, Cigna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna, United Healthcare (through multiplan) and almost all others.
Watch the video to see our founder Dr Norman examine all four parathyroid glands in 13 minutes and see why the best operations must look at the parathyroid glands on both sides of the neck--this patient had TWO tumors when the scan clearly showed he had one. About 30% of people will have more than one bad gland, and the only way to know if it is you... is to have all four parathyroid glands examined.
We track all hyperparathyroidism patients following their parathyroid surgery. All laboratory data and surgical findings from our patients are entered into a large database. This is by far the largest database of parathyroid patients in the world. Thus we can use the information gained from many thousands of previous parathyroid patients as a comparison tool for all new patients. This allows us to predict who needs surgery and who is most likely to benefit from surgery. It helps us predict who will have one bad parathyroid gland and who may have more than one. This type of information helps the surgeons perform quick operations that have an extremely high cure rate. It also helps us avoid operating on people who don't need an operation! We take pride in publishing our parathyroid procedures and surgical results in some of the worlds most highly regarded medical publications. We publish major articles on hyperparathyroidism and the treatment of parathyroid disease every few months.Norman Parathyroid Center
5959 Webb Road, Tampa, FL 33615
We perform all our operations at very large, new Hospital for Endocrine Surgery, not in a surgery center.
* Footnote 1: National trends in parathyroid surgery from 1998 to 2008: a decade of change. J Am Coll Surg. 2009 Sep;209(3):332-43. Greene AB, Butler RS, McIntyre S, Barbosa GF, Mitchell J, Berber E, Siperstein A, Milas M.
Questions/comments regarding this web site (NOT patient information): firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was last updated 06/16/2022
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