Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery to Treat Hyperparathyroidism

October 16, 2013 — An open surgical procedure called bilateral neck exploration (BNE) has been the gold standard operation for treating patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. But the development of a minimally invasive procedure to remove the parathyroid gland now offers a new option. A study designed to compare cure rates, postoperative pain, cosmetic satisfaction, and length of the procedure and of the hospital stay for patients with hyperparathyroidism who underwent BNE versus minimally invasive video-assisted (MIVAP) parathyroidectomy will be presented in a poster at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association, October 16-20, 2013, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Youben Fan, from Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, China, reports no difference in cure rates between the two approaches, or in the frequency with which treated patients have persistent or recurrent hyperparathyroidism. MIVAP demonstrated several advantages compared to BNE, including a lower incidence of early severe hypocalcemia, a higher cosmetic satisfaction rate, shorter operations, less postoperative pain, and shorter hospital stays. These findings are presented in the poster entitled “Minimally Invasive Video-assisted Parathyroidectomy Compared with the Conventional Open Operation for Primary Hyperparathyroidism: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

“Primary hyperparathyroidism is a common condition for which parathyroidectomy is curative,” says Julie Ann Sosa, MD, Program Committee Co-Chair; Professor of Surgery and Medicine, Chief, Section of Endocrine Surgery, and Director of Health Services Research, Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine; and Leader, Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group, Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, NC. “While bilateral neck exploration has been the traditional approach, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy has emerged as an alternative technique associated with improved patient outcomes, largely based on retrospective, single institution or surgeon clinical series. This report is potentially exciting because it represents a randomized controlled trial and specifically looks at minimally invasive, video-assisted parathyroidectomy as compared to traditional open parathyroidectomy.”

About the ATA

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology (CT), VideoEndocrinology and CT for Patients; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs through; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease. Visit for more information.

Media Contact
Bobbi Smith
Executive Director of the American Thyroid Association