Purpose: Progress in parathyroid imaging has brought substantial changes in the surgical strategy to approach patients with sporadic primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT). The present review is focused on the safety and efficacy of limited parathyroid exploration.
Materials and methods: Review of the literature focused on studies dealing with unilateral (two-gland exploration) or selective parathyroidectomy (one-gland exploration) in selected patients with pHPT and on the classification of published reports according to the degree of evidence.
Results: Parathyroid exploration limited to a solitary parathyroid adenoma can be considered a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed by the minicervicotomy, video-assisted, or endoscopic approaches. In properly selected patients, it affords results comparable to those of four-gland bilateral exploration in terms of cure and recurrence. It causes less postoperative hypocalcemia.
Conclusions: Selective parathyroidectomy is an option for patients with positive preoperative localization tests undergoing first-time surgery who have no family history of pHPT, no goiter for which surgical therapy is proposed, and are not on lithium therapy.