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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2007 October;62(5):409-15

language: English

Hypoparathyroidism after total thyrodectomy

Testini M., Gurrado A., Lissidini G., Nacchiero M.

Section of General and Thoracic Surgery Department of Application in Surgery of Innovative Technologies (DACTI) University Medical School, Bari, Italy


The aim of the study is to describe the last advances (2000-2007) in the management of hypoparathyroidism secondary to total thyroidectomies. This systematic review was conducted according to recently presented guidelines on the argument. A comprehensive literature search was performed in August 2007 consulting PubMed MEDLINE for publications, matching the terms of hypoparathyroidism/ hypocalcaemia AND parathyroid glands, total thyroidectomy, thyroid surgery, postoperative complications, and risk factors. Hypoparathy-roidism remains a frequent and challenging complication following total thyroidectomy. A meticolous surgical technique with an excellent anatomical knowledge of the neck compartment are mandatory to restrain its appearance. The application of loupe magnification and of parathyroid glands autotransplantation (PTAT) during thyroid surgery contribute to preventing definitive hypoparathyroidism and also to decrease the postoperative incidence of transient hypocalcaemia. Consequently, the reduction of complications rate determines the decrease of the hospitalization length, costs, and patient discomfort due to a fear of clinical manifestations, and facilitates the return to work. The microsurgical approach and the PTAT are effective and easily learnable procedures, also adoptable in less favoured areas without additional cost. We believe that these performances represent a real aid in association with an operative strategy aiming always to the preservation of parathyroid glands in situ.

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