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BackgroundUnilateral neck exploration for sporadic parathyroid adenomas remains a contentious policy. The morbidity is lower than for bilateral surgery, but the long-term outcome may be inferior.MethodsThe results of a policy of unilateral neck exploration for primary hyperparathyroidism based on preoperative localization are reviewed.ResultsOver a 10-year period, 89 patients were operated on, 57 undergoing unilateral neck exploration. Unilateral neck exploration significantly reduced operative time (P < 0.0001) and postoperative hypocalcaemia (P = 0.021). Over a mean biochemical follow-up of 38 months, recurrent hypercalcaemia occurred in 6% of patients, including 3.5% of those undergoing unilateral neck exploration, an additional 10% of patients were normocalcaemic with an inappropriately elevated parathormone level.ConclusionsA policy of unilateral neck exploration can achieve comparable long-term results to more extensive bilateral surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


American journal of surgery

Publication Date





311 - 314


Department of Surgery, Leicester Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom.


Neck, Humans, Adenoma, Parathyroid Neoplasms, Hyperplasia, Organ Size, Treatment Outcome, Anesthesia, Reoperation, Chi-Square Distribution, Follow-Up Studies, Middle Aged, Female, Male