Question

I had parathyroid surgery last week, and I'm feeling worse than I did before the operation. I'm exhausted and feel weak. What is wrong with me? My calcium is normal but it seems like the operation did not help.


Answer
Deva Boone
Answer authored by Deva Boone
Deva Boone, MD is the founder of the Southwest Parathyroid Center. As one of the most experienced parathyroid surgeons in the U.S., she has treated thousands of patients with parathyroid conditions.

I’m sorry that you are having such a tough time. Fortunately, you are most likely cured and what you are going through is normal, and will improve in the next few weeks. It is actually not that uncommon to feel worse in the first week or two after surgery, as your body adjusts to the new hormone and calcium levels. Think about it: your body had years to adjust to having parathyroid disease, with higher PTH and calcium levels - and then in one day all of that changes, the PTH and calcium plummet. Your body doesn’t like big changes like that, and needs time to adjust. Some people feel this more than others, and they end up feeling worse in the week or two after surgery. This seems to be more common in people who have had parathyroid tumors for a long time. 

Go easy on your body - it’s having to adjust to a big shock. As your hormone and calcium levels settle down, you should start to feel better. 

Postop expectations