Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) (i.e., renal hyperparathyroidism) is one of the most serious complications in long-term hemodialysis patients. The purpose of this retrospective study was to explore the feasibility of a new surgical approach—endoscopic total parathyroidectomy with autotransplantation (ETP+AT)—and evaluate its practical application for patients with SHPT.
The study included 34 SHPT patients who underwent ETP+AT from among 67 cases at the Department of Minimally Invasive Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University over a 3-year period. The other 33 patients underwent traditional total parathyroidectomy with autotransplantation (TP+AT). Two criteria were used as indications to perform ETP+AT in SHPT patients. The first was a high serum parathyroid hormone level (PTH >800 pg/ml) associated with hypercalcemia and/or hyperphosphatemia that which were refractory to medical treatment. The second criterion was the presence of clinical symptoms including pruritus, bone and joint pain, muscle weakness, progression of soft tissue calcification, and spontaneous fractures. Ultrasonography, 99mTc sestamibi scans, and computed tomography were used to evaluate the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
There was no surgery-related mortality among any of the patients with ETP+AT. One patient underwent conventional neck exploration because of bleeding and injury of a unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve after the operation. Preoperative symptoms were alleviated, and the serum PTH and alkaline phosphatase levels, hyperphosphatemia, and hypercalcemia were improved or normalized in most patients. Recurrence was observed in one patient with a sixth parathyroid gland behind his thyroid, and the patient required a second operation. Hypoparathyroidism was not found after the operation. The clinical data were compared between ETP+AT and TP+AT.
ETP+AT is a safe option for the treatment of SHPT with low morbidity and mortality, shorter hospital stay and low recurrence rate. It is important to avoid intraoperative bleeding, identify all parathyroid glands during the surgery, and choose adequate parathyroid tissues for autografting.