Repeat blood tests are to be done at followup with your endocrinologist.
You can expect your calcium and PTH to fall after the operation. It takes a few weeks for everything to even out and you establish a new normal equilibrium. Thus checking calcium and PTH in the first few weeks is generally not recommended because the numbers can still be a little weird until the normal parathyroid glands wake up and your body gets used to the new calcium and PTH levels.
Technically, we don’t really need to check calcium and PTH for the mast majority of our patients because for almost everybody we know with essentially 100% accuracy that you are cured because we 1) evaluated all four glands, 2) removed the bad ones, 3) and measured your PTH in the recovery room showing a huge drop in the PTH (proving the remaining glands are dormant).
Some people have complex disease, have re-operative surgery, have multiple bad glands, etc, and for those folks we want to measure the calcium and PTH within a few days or weeks. For these people we will give a lab slip for the blood work.
For the VAST MAJORITY of patients, you will get your repeat blood tests with your followup with your endocrinologist or family doctor / PCP. We will send all of your operative information to your doctors within a few days of your operation so they will know what happened. We send them your tumor photo, your operative report and pathology report along with a brief letter from your surgeon.
Should I fast for this blood test?
Nope, there is no reason to fast for the calcium and/or parathyroid hormone test. Just give them your arm and the order form.
When should I get my calcium and PTH checked?
We discuss this elsewhere in the Blue Post Operative Instructions section #3 of the app. We prefer your calcium and PTH be done about 4-8 weeks after the operation so the normal parathyroid glands are working perfectly and we can make “long-term” adjustments to your future calcium needs. We have done this over 55,000 times and know that blood tests done within the first two weeks can be confusing at times and can cause more questions than answers.
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