Surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism demands skill and experience. The monetary and personal costs of unsuccessful surgery are investigated here.We reviewed 47 consecutive patients operated on by one surgeon during a period of 16 months, including their clinical data and medical costs of their treatment.All 39 patients without previous operation were normocalcemic after operation, with no recurrent nerve injury nor hypoparathyroidism. Of the eight who had undergone previous operation elsewhere, seven had abnormal glands that should have been resected at the initial operation, and hypoparathyroidism developed in two patients. Total costs of reoperative parathyroid surgery were more than twice the cost of an initial operation (median, $8383 versus $3948, p < 0.001) because of the cost of radiologic studies (median, $3378 versus $43, p < 0.001).(1) An experienced parathyroid surgeon can consistently cure hyperparathyroidism at the initial operation. (2) The majority of patients referred for hyperparathyroidism not cured by previous operation have glands in usual anatomic locations. (3) The cost to the patient of an inadequate initial operation includes the physical effects of remaining hyperparathyroid, additional time off work, potentially invasive localization testing, reoperative surgery with increased risk of complications, and substantial expense. Initial parathyroid surgery should be performed by surgeons experienced and proficient in its practice.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PW09000002
View details for PubMedID 7985102