Parathyroid adenomas: Is bilateral neck exploration necessary?

Stilianos E. Kountakis, Alberto J. Maillard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: The traditional surgical treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism is bilateral neck exploration with identification of all parathyroid glands. Multiple investigators who recommend initial unilateral neck exploration based on more advanced localization studies have recently challenged this approach. We reviewed our experience with primary hyperparathyroidism to determine if localization study-aided unilateral neck exploration is sufficient for a cure. Materials and Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. Results: Sixty- eight patients underwent surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism. Forty-four patients were treated with localization study-aided unilateral neck exploration, and 24 patients were treated with bilateral neck exploration without preoperative localization studies. The most successful preoperative localization study was the technetium 99m sestamibi (T99mS) scan which correctly identified the location of adenomas in all cases in which it was used (n = 15). All patients were treated with unilateral neck exploration and were cured. This success was matched only by surgical exploration (n = 24). Conclusion: Unilateral neck exploration based on the results of a T99mS scan can be used as an initial approach for primary hyperparathyroidism if the scan identifies a solitary lesion. The second gland on the same side of the lesion should be biopsied, and if it is normal, the opposite side of the neck may be left undisturbed. If the second gland is not normal, or if the T99mS scan shows multiple lesions, bilateral neck exploration should be performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-399
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Parathyroid adenomas: Is bilateral neck exploration necessary?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this