Objective: The surgical management of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) has undergone considerable advances over the past two decades. The purpose of this report is to review these advances.
Participants: This subgroup was constituted by the Steering Committee of the Fourth International Workshop on the Management of Asymptomatic Primary Hyperparathyroidism to address key questions related to the surgical management of PHPT.
Evidence: Data since the last International Workshop were presented and discussed in detail. The topics included improvements in preoperative imaging, intraoperative adjuncts, refinements in local and regional anesthesia, and rapid intraoperative PTH assays.
Consensus process: Questions were developed by the International Task Force on PHPT. A comprehensive literature search for relevant studies was undertaken. After extensive review and discussion, the subgroup agreed on what recommendations should be made to the Expert Panel regarding surgical approaches to parathyroidectomy.
Conclusions: 1) All patients with PHPT who meet surgical criteria should be referred to an experienced endocrine surgeon to discuss the risks, benefits, and potential complications of surgery. 2) Patients who do not meet surgical criteria and in whom there are no medical contraindications to surgery may request a visit with an experienced endocrine surgeon. Alternatively, a multidisciplinary endocrine conference with surgeon involvement could be employed to address all relevant issues. 3) Imaging is not a diagnostic procedure; it is a localization procedure to help the surgeon optimize the operative plan. 4) The frequency of hereditary forms of PHPT may be underappreciated and needs to be assessed with increased vigilance. And 5) surgery is likely to benefit patients due to high cure rates, low complication rates, and the likelihood of reversing skeletal manifestations.