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A 39-year-old female asked:

If after 5 weeks of a total thyroidectomy your pth is low a 3 and i been taking 9 calcium 3 vit d3 does this mean there gone or not going to work?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Underbrink
23 years experience
May need more time: A lot depends on whether the parathyroid glands were removed during the surgery, or whether they may have been damaged. If found damaged during surgery, they can be reimplanted in nearby muscle tissue. It can take up to 3 months for return of function, so watchful waiting is the key.
Dr. David Martin
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Low PTH: I wouldn't worry yet. By taking as much calcium as you are, you are not stimulating your parathyroid glands to make pth. Your doctor will probably start decreasing your calcium tablets when your calcium levels are normal. When your PTH is rue measured at that point, i would suspect it will be higher.
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
Wait more: 5 weeks is still early so watchful waiting is the way to go. If the parathyroid is truly a problem, you should take Calcitriol (active vitamin d) to decrease the amount of calcium you need to take in a day. Pth is needed for the complete conversion of vit d3 to active vitamin d and hence calcium absorption.

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