Minimally invasive ‘focused’ parathyroidectomy. In this scenario the imaging tests, outlined in a previous section, have identified the abnormal gland. This occurs in around 75% of cases.
In this operation a scar of approximately 2cm in length is made over the site of the abnormal parathyroid gland, predicted by the imaging tests.
The gland is then removed, curing the high calcium levels.
The photograph opposite shows a patient of Mr Hardy’s 6 weeks after a focused parathyroidectomy. The scar (arrowed) will fade to a barely visible line over the coming months.
Parathyroid surgery is very safe. Any operation has the potential to lead to complications, however. These complications are outlined in the next section. There is, furthermore, evidence to suggest that complications are less likely to occur in operations performed by specialist surgeons who perform such surgery frequently.