• The operative approach to primary hyperparathyroidism due to a single adenoma remains controversial. We evaluated our experience with 75 patients presenting with primary hyperparathyroidism between January 1979 and September 1988. Prior to 1985 all patients underwent bilateral exploration. During this period, ultrasonographic localization in 6 patients proved highly accurate. Subsequently, routine preoperative ultrasonographic localization was used and patients were prospectively evaluated for the following: (1) incidence of unilateral exploration, (2) accuracy of ultrasonographic localization, (3) incidence of complications, and (4) operative time. Localization permitted unilateral exploration in 19 of 36 patients, although its accuracy depended on the interest of the radiologist involved. Institution A had an accuracy of 92%, while institution B had an accuracy of only 43%. There were fewer complications with unilateral exploration, and operative time was significantly less. Unilateral exploration based on preoperative ultrasonographic localization is recommended as the initial approach to primary hyperparathyroidism due to a single adenoma.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:982-985)