The development of an intrathymic parathyroid adenoma is common, and thymectomy is a significant component of the parathyroid surgeon’s technical armamentarium. Over the last decade, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) has become the standard technique for removal of an abnormal parathyroid gland, and the requirement for thymectomy should remain unchanged during the era of minimally invasive techniques. The aim of this paper was to assess the feasibility and outcomes of cervical thymectomy for intrathymic parathyroid adenomas during MIP.
This is a retrospective case series. The study group comprised all patients undergoing parathyroidectomy in the University of Sydney Endocrine Surgical Unit during a 5-year period (January 2001 to December 2005). Patients undergoing MIP and open parathyroidectomy with a concomitant cervical thymectomy were compared.
A total of 840 patients underwent parathyroid surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) during this period. A total of 30 MIP procedures with concurrent thymectomy were performed, and 99 open bilateral neck explorations with cervical thymectomy were performed. Of the MIP thymectomy group, there were 25 female and 5 male patients; the average age was 57 years (range, 22 to 82). A mean length of 34 mm of thymus was extracted via the minimally invasive approach (range, 8 to 85 mm). In 5 cases, only fatty tissue was identified histologically, and, in 5 cases, a small supernumerary parathyroid gland was identified in the histologic specimen. Only 1 patient suffered temporary, recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy; there were no cases of postoperative hemorrhage requiring return to the operating room.
Cervical thymectomy for removal of intrathymic parathyroid adenomas can be performed during lateral focused mini-incision MIP with a safety and efficacy equivalent to open bilateral neck explorations.
2007. Vol. 141, no 5, 626-629 p.