Six hundred fifty-six consecutive explorations for primary hyperparathyroidism

Ann Surg. 2002 May;235(5):665-70; discussion 670-2. doi: 10.1097/00000658-200205000-00008.


Objective: To review the outcomes of 656 consecutive parathyroid explorations performed by a single surgeon and to compare the results of conventional and minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) techniques.

Summary background data: Traditional surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (HPTH) involves bilateral cervical exploration, which is usually accomplished under general endotracheal anesthesia. The MIP technique involves preoperative localization with sestamibi scans, surgeon-administered cervical block anesthesia, directed exploration through a small incision, intraoperative rapid parathyroid hormone assay, and discharge within 2 to 3 hours of surgery.

Methods: Six hundred fifty-six consecutive patients with primary HPTH underwent exploration between January 1990 and March 2001.

Results: MIP was used with ever-increasing frequency beginning in March 1998. Four hundred one procedures (61%) were performed using the standard technique and 255 patients (39%) were selected for MIP. The success rate for the entire series was 98%, with no significant differences comparing traditional and MIP techniques. The overall complication rate of 2.3% reflects 3.0% and 1.2% rates in the standard and MIP groups, respectively. MIP was associated with approximately a 50% reduction in operating time, a sevenfold reduction in length of hospital stay, and a mean cost savings of $2,693 per procedure, which represents nearly a 50% reduction in total hospital charges.

Conclusions: A dramatic and sustained shift has occurred in the surgical treatment of primary HPTH: MIP has replaced traditional exploration for most patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cost Savings
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hospital Charges
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyperparathyroidism / epidemiology
  • Hyperparathyroidism / surgery*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / economics
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Parathyroidectomy / economics
  • Parathyroidectomy / methods*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi