A retrospective chart review of 43 patients who underwent technetium 99m (Tc-99m) sestamibi scans from June 1995 to January 1997 was performed. Only those who underwent subsequent parathyroid exploration with excision were included in the study. Twenty subjects (13 women and seven men) were included in the study. Ages ranged from 21 to 84 years (mean, 58 years). All patients had laboratory values and clinical findings consistent with primary hyperparathyroidism. Two patients had preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans (one patient with recurrent disease), and one had a preoperative computed tomography (CT) scan. The remaining patients had the sestamibi scan as the only preoperative localization study. There were 18 pathologic diagnoses of parathyroid adenoma and two of parathyroid hyperplasia. Sestamibi failed to correctly identify the location of the parathyroid lesion in two cases. In 18 cases the preoperative sestamibi scan correctly localized the lesion, a predictive value of 90%. We conclude that the Tc-99m sestamibi scan is an accurate preoperative tool that can be used as a single modality to localize parathyroid adenomas.