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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The actual role of classic bilateral cervicotomic approach for primary hyperparathyroidism in the era of minimally invasive surgery.

Recent advances in preoperative localisation of parathyroid adenomas and intraoperative prove of complete removal of hyperfunctioning parathyroid tissue have fostered less invasive operative procedures which directly target the diseased gland. Such strategies have partially replaced the previous gold standard procedure of bilateral neck exploration. We herein report on our own series of 1099 consecutive operations for primary hyperparathyroidism performed in a 16 year period and provide information and arguments for primary bilateral exploration in selected cases. 97.1% of patients were cured by the primary operation. From 1999 through 2001, 200 patients underwent bilateral neck exploration, whereas 63 unilateral operations were performed (33 patients were treated by minimally invasive video-assisted parathyroidectomy (MIVAP) and 30 by minimally invasive open parathyroidectomy (MIOP). In the remaining 200 patients minimally invasive unilateral parathyroid surgery was not feasible due to concomitant goiter (n = 102), lack of preoperative localisation (n = 30), previous thyroid surgery (n = 10), suspected multiglandular disease (n = 10), or other reasons (n = 8). In 40 patients the decision for bilateral neck exploration was made despite feasibility of a unilateral approach. CONCLUSION: Whereas unilateral exploration produced excellent cure rates in older patients, it is not recommended in patients with a high likelihood of multiglandular disease, presence of a large or multinodular goitre, high PTH levels, giant adenoma, unclear MIBI scans or an unreliable OPTH assay. Contrasting recent reports on a dramatic shift of technique towards minimally invasive procedures unilateral parathyroid surgery may not be preferably advisable in a majority of patients from countries with insufficient iodine supplementation.[1]


  1. The actual role of classic bilateral cervicotomic approach for primary hyperparathyroidism in the era of minimally invasive surgery. Schulte, K.M., Cupisti, K., Dotzenrath, C., Schabram, J., Röher, H.D. Annali italiani di chirurgia. (2003) [Pubmed]
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