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A 52-year-old male asked:

what happens if one of your parathyroid glands is damaged?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Chu
Endocrinology 25 years experience
Three more remaining: There are four parathyroid glands situated in the neck, behind the thyroid gland -- two on left and two on right, usually a few centimeters apart. These glands make parathyroid hormone (PTH) that control calcium and bone metabolism. Usually only 0.5 to 1 parathyroid is sufficient to make enough pth. If 3 to 3.5 glands are damaged or removed, the body can still maintain PTH and calcium control.
Dr. Peter Mowschenson
General Surgery 48 years experience
Nothing: You only need one parathyroid gland to be fine!
Dr. Brendan Stack jr., md, facs, face
Head and Neck Surgery 32 years experience
Redundancy: You only need one functioning parathyroid to lead a healthy normal life. This anatomical fact makes thyroid surgery largely safe. Sometimes parathyroids can be removed or damaged during thyroidectomy.

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How will I know if the cord is wrapped around the baby's neck?

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Quite common: The cord wrapping around the baby's neck is quite common, noted 30% of the time when the baby is born. It has no clinical significance and there is no real need to check for it before birth.
A 33-year-old member asked:

Is it dangerous if the baby comes out with the cord wrapped around her neck?

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No: Although the scenario sounds scary, it is actually fairly common to find a "nuchal cord, " an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck, as well as a shoulder, or even leg. The umbilical cord is designed to handle tightening and stretching, because it contains a gelatinous substance within the cord called "wharton's jelly" -- a natural shock absorber!
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If my baby's neck is slightly swollen, does that mean he'll get sick soon?

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Possibly: If you notice a swelling on one side of your baby's neck, it could be a swollen lymph node. If the baby is irritable, has fever, is showing other signs of illness, or if you are concerned, have this checked by your pediatrician. Sometimes lymph nodes swell in response to infection or irritation.
A member asked:

Why could cause my baby's neck to feel swollen?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
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Pediatrics 26 years experience
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A 35-year-old member asked:

What are the parathyroid glands?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Parathyroid Glands: The parathyroid glands are 4 small groups of tissue that sit behind the thyroid gland. They make parathyroid hormone or PTH which is involved in calcium metabolism. Too much PTH causes the calcium level in the blood to go up. An overactive parathyroid gland is often diagnosed when a routine blood test shows a high calcium level.

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Last updated Nov 28, 2017

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