The 4 parathyroid glands are located near or attached to the back side of the thyroid gland. The parathyroid glands secrete a hormone that controls blood levels of calcium.
Review Date 8/22/2022
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery Practice Specializing in Breast Cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.