What is the role of directed parathyroidectomy in the treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Lawrence Kim, MD, FACS, FACE; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Surgical treatment should be offered to most patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. The historical criterion-standard operative approach is complete neck exploration with identification of all parathyroid glands and removal of all abnormal glands. Approximately 85% of cases of primary hyperparathyroidism are caused by a single adenoma. Therefore, most patients who undergo full neck exploration to evaluate all parathyroids endure some unnecessary dissection. Rather than explore all parathyroid glands, a newer technique, directed parathyroidectomy, has evolved. This technique relies on preoperative imaging studies to localize the abnormal gland. The surgeon then removes only that gland, without visualizing the other glands.

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