Throat Conditions

Throat Conditions

Throat Conditions

Your throat is a tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx. The technical name for your throat is the pharynx.

Throat problems are common. You’ve probably had a sore throat. The cause is usually a viral infection, but other causes include allergies and infections.


What is it?

Hyperthyroidism refers to a disorder where the thyroid gland secretes an excess amount of thyroid hormone (TH). Hyperthyroidism may be caused by:

  • Graves disease. An autoimmune disorder.
  • Thyroid gland anatomy. Lumps or nodules.
  • Overconsumption of iodine. Foods, supplement, and/or medications.

Because TH regulates so many bodily systems, hyperthyroidism can cause a wide array of symptoms, including, but not limited to:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Alertness
  • Anxiousness
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Hand tremors

Treatment consists of medications to regulate hormone secretion and/or radioactive therapy, a procedure that kills cells that overproduce TH.

Persistent Hyperparathyroidism

What is it?

Is diagnosed when calcium and PTH levels remain elevated within six months of a surgery to treat the condition. Symptoms may include fatigue, sleeping problems, and impaired concentration. Re-operative surgery may be needed to improve symptoms and/or correct the condition.

Primary Hyperparathyroidism

What is it?

Occurs when the glands become overactive and secrete too much PTH. The disorder may be caused by a non-cancerous (benign) tumor, enlargement of the gland(s) due to abnormal cell growth, or in rare cases, parathyroid cancer.

Symptoms typically do not present until PTH and blood calcium levels reach high levels. Often times, the disorder is diagnosed due to blood test results at an annual checkup. Non-surgical treatment consists of any, all, or any combination of the following:

  • Calcium supplementation
  • Vitamin D supplementation
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • Avoidance of drugs that decrease calcium levels

Surgical treatment may be needed in some cases. A minimally invasive or open procedure is used to remove gland tissue or the gland itself.

Secondary Hyperparathyroidism

What is it?

Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs autonomously. Secondary does not. It occurs when the glands secrete too much PTH in response to low levels of blood calcium. It may be caused by:

  • Kidney failure
  • Poor absorption of calcium by the intestines
  • Vitamin D deficiency

And rare diseases, including Celiac and Crohn’s. Because of the seriousness of the underlying causes of secondary hyperparathyroidism, treatment options should be discussed by scheduling an appointment in our office.

Thyroid Nodules

What is it?

Thyroid nodules, which are small lumps on the thyroid gland, are common. They are usually discovered during a routine physical examination or imaging study. The cause of nodules is unknown and in most cases, they do not produce symptoms. However, once a nodule is found, it is important to determine if (1) the nodule is benign or cancerous (2) the thyroid gland is functioning properly. For this reason, an ENT specialist typically orders blood work, an ultrasound, and a needle biopsy when a nodule is found.

  • Radioactive therapy
  • Surgery
  • X-ray therapy
  • Hormone therapy

And more. Because there are many different types of thyroid cancer and treatments, patients interested in learning more should contact our office.

Minimally Invasive Thyroid Surgery

What is it?

A relatively new advancement in thyroid surgery allows ENT surgeons to perform a thyroid lobectomy(removal of half the thyroid) and thyroidectomy (removal of the entire thyroid) minimally invasively. This is advantageous to patients because:

  • A smaller incision is used
  • They experience less pain
  • Recovery time is decreased

In some cases, patients also may be able to return home the day of surgery, rather than the day after.

The following are indications for minimally invasive thyroid surgery:

  • A thyroid nodule that might be cancerous
  • A thyroid cancer diagnosis
  • A thyroid nodule that is making swallowing difficult and/or is abnormally large
  • A gland that is releasing excess thyroid hormone

The decision to perform minimally invasive thyroid surgery is always left up to the surgeon and, of course, the patient.

How is it performed?

A Minimally Invasive Thyroid Lobectomy, or Thyroidectomy, is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon uses a telescopic probe and camera to locate and view the thyroid. Tiny instruments and special surgical techniques are used to remove part of (or the whole) thyroid and it is sent to a pathologist for biopsy. The procedure is completed by closing the incision with surgical glue, rather than sutures.

Typically, patients are allowed to return to normal activities that do not require excessive neck movements within 3-5-days. Heavy lifting is generally not allowed until two weeks after surgery. Because every patient’s condition is different, expected results are something that should be discussed by scheduling an appointment in our office.


What is it?

A rare disorder characterized by the inability of the glands to secrete PTH or the inability of the body to respond to PTH. The disorder is caused by damage to parathyroid tissue or a birth defect. Typical symptoms include:

  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle cramping

Treatment consists of vitamin D and calcium supplementation. Vitamin D is important because it promotes calcium absorption.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormone (TH). Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include those associated with the slowing down of the body’s processes, including, but not limited to:

  • Feeling cold
  • Dry skin
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Constipation

There is no cure for hypothyroidism; however, patients with the condition can effectively manage their symptoms with hormone replacement therapy.

Recurrent Hyperparathyroidism

What is it?

Is diagnosed when calcium and PTH levels are re-elevated 6-12-months after a seemingly successful surgery to treat the condition. Symptoms and treatment are similar to those for persistent hyperparathyroidism.

Thyroid Cancer

What is it?

Thyroid cancer is said to be present when ultrasound and/or needle biopsy results deem a thyroid growth or tumor cancerous. The cause of thyroid cancer is unknown. It is more common in women and patients who have a family history of the condition. Treatment options include:

  • Radioactive therapy
  • Surgery
  • X-ray therapy
  • Hormone therapy

And more. Because there are many different types of thyroid cancer and treatments, patients interested in learning more should contact our office.

Neil Goldhaber, MD

Since 1997, Dr. Goldhaber has been practicing in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, and throat conditions in South Florida. As a native to New York, he received his medical degree from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 1991 and completed his general surgery residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and his Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary also in New York City.

Located in Boynton Beach, FL.

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