Parathyroid adenoma: A small tumor of the parathyroid gland and the most common disorder of the gland. Parathyroid adenomas are benign (NOT malignant). The gland increases in size and produces PTH in excess. This is called primary hyperparathyroidism.
In most cases, patients are unaware of the tumors, and they are found when a patient's routine blood test results have elevated blood calcium and PTH levels. In more serious cases, the bone density will diminish and kidney stones can form. Other non-specific symptoms include depression, muscle weakness, and fatigue.
Every effort is made to medically treat or control these conditions prior to surgery. These efforts include avoiding calcium rich foods, proper hydration, and medications to avoid osteoporosis. As opposed to parathyroid adenoma, it should be noted that parathyroid cancer is very rare.