As a world-wide destination for the surgical treatment of parathyroid tumors, the Norman Parathyroid Center’s caseload offers an insight into the return of medical tourism in the US following the pandemic’s shuttering of domestic and international travel. The Center performed 30 parathyroid operations in one day breaking their previous record of 27 set last month.

Medical tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the US annually, with patients from all over the world traveling to the US to have specialty surgery at centers of medical excellence. Because nearly 60% of parathyroid operations performed historically at the Norman Parathyroid Center are on patients living in other states or countries, the practice has been used as a barometer of the health of the overall medical tourism industry in the US and is one of the highest volume medical tourism centers in the world.

“Medical tourism—the traveling of patients to seek expert medical care—was dramatically affected by travel restrictions for the past two years because of the pandemic. Of course, this included patients with cancers and tumors of all kinds,” says Dr. Jim Norman, founder of the Norman Parathyroid Center. “But the decrease in patient travel is much more complex than simple flight restrictions. Even when the restrictions were lifted, many patients who would benefit by traveling to see an expert surgeon were reluctant to do so because of their advanced age, their underlying disease, and their associated morbidities which they felt put them at increased risk to travel. Only in the past few months are these patients showing a return to near pre-pandemic medical travel.”

The surgeons of the Norman Parathyroid Center recently united with those of the Clayman Thyroid Center and Carling Adrenal Center under one roof at the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery. Those surgeons now make up the highest volume endocrine surgery practice in the world and offer additional insight into the health of medical tourism in the US. Thursday’s 30 parathyroid operations included patients from 12 US states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Since the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery opened in January 2022, the surgeons have operated on patients from all 50 states and 32 countries including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Serbia, India, Spain, Australia and more.

During the pandemic, the Center had a 99% decrease in patients traveling from other countries for thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal surgery during 2020, and an 90% decrease in 2021 compared to their baseline in 2019. These decreases are typical for other hospitals and surgeons who have a high volume of foreign patient travel. The resurgence in medical tourism for the Center started in October and picked up further in January. Twenty-six patients from Canada have sought treatment with the practice in 2022, which is about 75% of 2019 rates, but far above 2020 and 2021.

“I asked my endocrinologist and he told me right to my face – ‘If it was my neck, and my vocal cords, you better believe I’d go to the guys who do parathyroid surgery all day long, every day. The guys in Tampa do 100 times more parathyroid surgeries than anyone in this state,” said one of Thursday’s patients who traveled to Florida from California.

“Patients needing specialty surgery are behaving more and more like consumers and shopping to find the best for themselves and their family,” said Dr. Gary Clayman, founder and Chief of Surgery at the Clayman Thyroid Center. “They are willing to avoid the local hospital general surgeon and travel to another city, state, or country for their specialized surgery. They are putting their health first. They are willing to travel to have the best care from the best surgeons with the best possible outcome.”

The Norman Parathyroid Center has consulted on more than 60,000 patients with parathyroid disease (hyperparathyroidism). The Center has always enjoyed a vast network of patients from around the globe with one thing in common – their desire to be cured of their parathyroid disease. As a long-time barometer of medical tourism, nearly 60% of the practice’s patients travel for surgery from another state or country. This is made even easier for traveling patients now that the surgeons operate out of the new Hospital for Endocrine Surgery, which is located in close proximity to Tampa International Airport. The practice has several hotel partners who provide a shuttle service from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the new hospital to make the process for traveling patients as easy as possible.

“Their hotel recommendations and shuttle service were amazing,” said another patient. “From scheduling, to registration, to nurses, to cafeteria staff, to the incredible surgeons… this is truly the dream team and the reason why I traveled so far. I couldn’t believe it when I woke up and it was all over. Tears of joy rolled down my race. I can’t wait to see how my life continues to improve. To anyone suffering with the symptoms of parathyroid disease, don’t wait. It won’t get better on its own. Get on a plane and travel to Tampa to get cured.

About the Norman Parathyroid Center:
Located in Tampa, Florida, the Norman Parathyroid Center is the leading parathyroid gland tumor treatment center in the world, performing nearly 3,800 parathyroid operations annually. Well known for cure rates over 99% via an operation that typically lasts about 20 minutes, the Norman Parathyroid Center’s success centers on a teamwork approach by the most experienced parathyroid surgeons in the world.| (813) 972-0000

About the Clayman Thyroid Center:
Founded by one of the nation’s best-known thyroid surgeons, the Clayman Thyroid Center is the highest volume thyroid cancer referral center in the United States. The Center boasts the most experienced thyroid surgeons in the US who provide personalized care allowing the greatest opportunity for cancer cure, wellness, and cosmetic and functional outcomes via all types of thyroid surgery from minimal incision to scarless thyroid surgery to advanced cancer care. | (813) 940-3130 

Contact: Julie Canan, Director of Marketing
(941) 468-3002  |  [email protected]

SOURCE Norman Parathyroid Center


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