Subtotal parathyroidectomy and relocation of the parathyroid remnant for renal hyperparathyroidism: modification of a traditional operation

Tsu-Hui (Hubert) Low, John Yoo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Background: We describe a modification of the conventional subtotal parathyroidectomy operation where the parathyroid gland(s) remnant is repositioned with intact vascular supply to a plane superficial to the infrahyoid strap muscles and immediately under the skin incision. This technique called Subtotal Parathyroidectomy and Remnant Relocation (SPARE) retains all the metabolic advantages of the conventional operation with the added advantage of easier identification of a recurrent hyperplastic remnant if re-exploration becomes necessary. Methods: In the SPARE technique, four parathyroid glands were identified and the quality of each gland and the length of each vascular pedicle to the parathyroid glands were assessed. The optimal parathyroid gland was relocated to a plane superficial to the strap muscles. The remainder of the glands were removed. Results: In total, 30 patients with hyperparathyroidism secondary to renal failure (HSRF) underwent parathyroidectomy with the SPARE technique. The mean age was 53.1±12.5 years and median follow-up was 17.1 months (range 1-78.9 months). There were no recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injuries or hematomas. The pre- and post-operative value for corrected calcium and PTH were 158.4±109.4 pmol/L and 11.4±12.1 pmol/L, respectively (p < 0.05). Three recurrences were noted (10.0%), with a mean time to recurrence of 15.3±6.6 months. One patient had excision of the remnant parathyroid glands performed under local anaesthetic (29 min); one had re-exploration performed under general anaesthetic (81 min), and one was managed medically. Conclusion: We described a novel parathyroidectomy technique for patients with HSRF, which provides the advantages of conventional subtotal parathyroidectomy while mitigating the challenges of thyroid bed re-exploration when recurrences arise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Hypercalcaemia
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Recurrence
  • Renal failure
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism


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