Parathyroid Surgery

Parathyroid surgery is an elegant operation with a very high cure rate in experienced hands. Parathyroid surgery studies show the more experienced the parathyroid surgeon the higher the success rate of parathyroid surgery. All patients with hyperparathyroidism should be considered for parathyroid surgery as it is the only way to cure the condition.

Parathyroidectomy can be performed as a standard parathyroidectomy or a minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP).

Once the diagnosis is established patients usually undergo tests to try and establish if one parathyroid gland is causing the problem or more than one.

The two basic localisation tests that most patients have are a sestamibi scan and an ultrasound scan. These should be performed by a radiologist skilled in this area (in Oxford this is Dr Fergus Gleeson). If the scans clearly identify which gland is causing the disease, patients can be considered for MIP (about 70%), where the scans fail to identify the gland then patients undergo an open parathyroidectomy looking at all four glands (about 30%).

If scans are negative that does not mean that you do not have hyperparathyroidism! It usually means that the gland causing the problem is small and hasn't been seen on the scan.

The cure rate in Oxford is exactly the same (over 98%) whether your scans are negative or positive!