World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 542–548 | Cite as

Improvement of Sleep Disturbance and Insomnia Following Parathyroidectomy for Primary Hyperparathyroidism

  • Sara E. Murray
  • Priya R. Pathak
  • Sarah C. Schaefer
  • Herbert Chen
  • Rebecca S. Sippel



The aim of the present study was to investigate the incidence of sleep disturbance and insomnia in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), and to evaluate the effect of parathyroidectomy.


A questionnaire was prospectively administered to adult patients with PHPT who underwent curative parathyroidectomy over an 11-month period. The questionnaire, administered preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively, included the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and eight additional questions regarding sleep pattern. Total ISI scores range from 0 to 28, with >7 signifying sleep difficulties and scores >14 indicating clinical insomnia.


Of 197 eligible patients undergoing parathyroidectomy for PHPT, 115 (58.3 %) completed the preoperative and postoperative questionnaires. The mean age was 60.0 ± 1.2 years and 80.0 % were women. Preoperatively, 72 patients (62.6 %) had sleep difficulties, and 29 patients (25.2 %) met the criteria for clinical insomnia. Clinicopathologic variables were not predictive of clinical insomnia. There was a significant reduction in mean ISI score after parathyroidectomy (10.3 ± 0.6 vs 6.2 ± 0.5, p < 0.0001). Postoperatively, 79 patients (68.7 %) had an improved ISI score. Of the 29 patients with preoperative clinical insomnia, 21 (72.4 %) had resolution after parathyroidectomy. Preoperative insomnia patients had an increase in total hours slept after parathyroidectomy (5.4 ± 0.3 vs 6.1 ± 0.3 h, p = 0.02), whereas both insomnia patients and non-insomnia patients had a decrease in the number of awakenings (3.7 ± 0.4 vs 1.9 ± 0.2 times, p = 0.0001).


Sleep disturbances and insomnia are common in patients with PHPT, and the majority of patients will improve after curative parathyroidectomy.



The authors are grateful to David F. Schneider, MD, MS, and David S. Pontes for their contributions to this project. This work was supported by the University of Wisconsin, Physician Scientist Training in Career Medicine grant (National Institutes of Health T32 CA009614-22), and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (Grant no. 2011119).




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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara E. Murray
    • 1
  • Priya R. Pathak
    • 1
  • Sarah C. Schaefer
    • 1
  • Herbert Chen
    • 1
  • Rebecca S. Sippel
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Endocrine Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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