Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery

, Volume 398, Issue 1, pp 99–106 | Cite as

Reoperations for primary hyperparathyroidism—improvement of outcome over two decades

  • Elias Karakas
  • Hans-Helge Müller
  • Torsten Schlosshauer
  • Matthias Rothmund
  • Detlef K. Bartsch
Original Article



Reoperations (R-PTX) for primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) are challenging, since they are associated with increased failure and morbidity rates. The aim was to evaluate the results of reoperations over two decades, the latter considering the implementation of Tc99msestamibi-SPECT (Mibi/SPECT), intraoperative parathormone (IOPTH) measurement, and intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM).

Patients and methods

Data of 1,363 patients who underwent surgery for pHPT were retrospectively analyzed regarding reoperations. Causes of persistent (p) pHPT or recurrent (r) pHPT, preoperative imaging studies, surgical findings, and outcome were analyzed. Data of patients who underwent surgery between 1987 and 1997 (group 1; G1) and between 1998 and 2008 (group 2; G2) with the use of Mibi/SPECT, IOPTH, and IONM were evaluated.


One hundred twenty-five patients with benign ppHPT (n = 108) or rpHPT (n = 17) underwent reoperations (R-PTX). Group 1 included 54, group 2 71 patients. Main cause of ppHPT (G1 = 65 % vs. G2 = 53 %) and rpHPT (G1 = 80 % vs. G2 = 60 %) was the failed detection of a solitary adenoma (p = 0.2). Group 1 patients had significantly less unilateral/focused neck re-explorations (G1 = 23 % vs. G2 = 57 %, p = 0.0001), and more sternotomies (G1 = 35 vs. G2 = 14 %, p = 0.01). After a median follow-up of 4 (range 0.9–23.4) years, reversal of hypercalcemia was achieved in 91 % (G1) and in 98.6 % in group 2 (p = 0.08, OR 7.14 [0.809–63.1]). The rates of permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy (G1 = G2 = 9 %, p = 1) and of postoperative permanent hypoparathyroidism (G1 = 9 % vs. G2 = 6 %, p = 0.5) were not significantly different. Other complications such as wound infection, postoperative bleeding, and pneumonia were significantly lower in group 2 (p < 0.001).


Nowadays, cure rates of R-PTX are nearly the same as in primary operations for pHPT. These results can be achieved in high-volume centers by routine use of well-established preoperative Mibi/SPECT and US in combination with IOPTH. However, morbidity is still considerably high.


Primary hyperparathyroidism Reoperation Imaging 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias Karakas
    • 1
  • Hans-Helge Müller
    • 2
  • Torsten Schlosshauer
    • 1
  • Matthias Rothmund
    • 1
  • Detlef K. Bartsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Visceral-, Thoracic and Vascular SurgeryPhilipps-University MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and EpidemiologyUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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