Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy Under Local Anesthesia

Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery under local anesthesia is the method of choice for the surgeons at the Endocrine Surgery Parathyroid Center. Adjuncts to parathyroid surgery over the last fifteen years include improved imaging showing the surgeons the location of the abnormal parathyroid(s), as well as the parathyroid hormone assay which gives the surgeon confidence that the patient is cured while still on the operating room table. These adjuncts allow for a minimally invasive approach to parathyroid surgery because the surgery is targeted and confirmation of cure is possible within minutes of parathyroid gland removal.

Our surgeons have been minimally invasive parathyroid surgery under local anesthesia with sedation for more than 15 years. The director of the Endocrine Surgery Parathyroid Center, Dr William B Inabnet III trained in Paris, France under the world pioneer of this approach, Professor Yves Chapuis, who began performing minimally invasive parathyroid surgery in the late 1980’s (before anyone in the United States).

At our program, an ultrasound is often performed at the time of surgery to help pinpoint the abnormal parathyroid gland location. A small 2-3 cm incision (about 1 inch) is then made under local anesthesia and the abnormal parathyroid gland removed. The parathyroid hormone blood test is then measured to confirm that the patient is cured. In the meantime the wound is closed. Once confirmation of cure is obtained from the parathyroid blood test after the operation is completed. Since general anesthesia is not necessary, patients are generally ready to bypass the recovery room and go straight to the ambulatory care center after which they can go home usually within one to two hours. Patients are generally very happy with the experience and have very little recall of the actual operation. We perform hundreds of parathyroid operations each year and treat patients from around the United States and even abroad.