The Parathyroid gland
consists of four to eight small endocrine glands (superior and inferior parathyroid
glands) located on the posterior surface of the lateral lobes of the thyroid
gland. The superior parathyroid glands may be as far superior as the thyroid
cartilage, and the inferior glands may be as far inferior as the superior mediastinum.
The variable position of the parathyroid glands, especially the inferior glands, puts them in danger of being damaged or removed during neck surgery.