Endocrine Question #8


The nurse is caring for a client who underwent thyroidectomy with removal of parathyroid tissue following a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The nurse notices twitches and spasms along the left lateral facial region. The nurse suspects which adverse outcome of the surgery?


  1. Hypercalcemia
    • Rationale:
  2. Hyperlipidemia
    • Rationale:
  3. Hypocalcemia
    • Rationale:
  4. Spread of cancer to mandibular glands
    • Rationale:



Hypocalcemia may occur as a result of excision of parathyroid tissue. Symptomatic hypocalcemia may be found through positive Chvostek’s sign or Trousseau’s sign, spasms, or tetany. Cardiac dysrhythmias may also occur. The nurse should expect pre and post-operative calcium levels and monitor for changes. Hyperlipidemia is not an issue with thyroidectomy with parathyroid tissue removal. Selection A is incorrect since hypercalcemia occurs with hyperparathyroidism, and if the parathyroid tissue is removed the calcium levels will fall (not increase). The adverse effects described do not indicate spread of cancer.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale