“I’d had a ton of kidney stones, and nobody was really sure why,” says Santa Claus, a child advocate and patient who came into the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for a parathyroidectomy. “One urologist suggested I have a blood calcium level test and it turned out I had an abnormally high blood calcium level. In North Pole, Alaska, it would have been a lengthy, intricate operation with a long recovery. So I did some Internet research and found the UCLA Endocrine Center.
I found out I could have a minimally invasive procedure and a faster recovery time. If the surgeons get the right gland or glands, within 10 or 15 minutes the calcium level will drop. In my case, before I had gotten off the table they knew my level had dropped dramatically and they had gotten the right gland. They also worked very hard to make sure they separated my beard to each side, and it was a challenge for them, but they hardly had to cut any of the hair at the base of my beard. They took great care of me, and I’m sure they do to every other person. They’re definitely on Santa’s ‘Nice List’.”