Contemporary parathyroidectomy: exploiting technology

David J. Terris, Brendan C. Stack, Christine G. Gourin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Conventional parathyroidectomy, as practiced only 10 years ago, has given way to considerable change, largely as a result of the evolution of technology. Several of these important technologies include radio-guided surgery, ultrasound imaging, high-resolution endoscopy, and rapid intraoperative parathyroid hormone (IOPTH) monitoring. Modern parathyroid surgeons should maintain familiarity with the appropriate role of these approaches. Study design: Evidence-based analysis of state-of-the-art approaches to the diagnosis and management of primary hyperparathyroidism. Methods and materials: Four distinct technologies are analyzed in detail, with particular attention to their impact on the practice of parathyroid surgery. These include radio-guided surgery, ultrasound imaging, high-resolution endoscopy, and IOPTH. Results: Each of the technologies examined has substantial value in the current practice of parathyroidectomy. Judicious implementation of these technologies will vary from practice to practice. Radio-guided surgery may obviate the need for IOPTH monitoring, therefore resulting in the fastest procedural times. Ultrasound imaging is useful as an adjunct to sestamibi scanning to localize adenomatous parathyroid glands. Endoscopic techniques facilitate visualization through small openings and may help surgeons achieve minimal access incisions. Finally, the use of IOPTH is a useful adjunct to directed explorations, and it imparts confidence that all hyperfunctioning parathyroid tissue has been removed. Conclusions: The practice of parathyroid surgery has undergone tremendous change in the past decade, and this change has largely been a technology-driven phenomenon. Acquisition of familiarity and skill with these new technologies will be necessary for the endocrine head and neck surgeon wishing to stay abreast of modern surgical techniques and provide quality care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-414
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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