Outpatient parathyroidectomy in the pediatric population: An 18-year experience

Kimberly M Ramonell, Jessica Fazendin, Kelly Lovell, Pallavi Iyer, Herbert Chen, Brenessa Lindeman, Sophie Dream
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2022, 57 (3): 410-413

BACKGROUND: Parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) is safely performed in the outpatient setting in the adult population. However, concern that children and adolescents have higher complication rates and are unable to recognize and communicate symptoms of hypocalcemia has limited same-day discharges in the pediatric population.

METHODS: Nineteen patients aged 8-18 years (14.1 ± 0.7) underwent outpatient parathyroidectomy for pHPT by a single high-volume endocrine surgeon from 2002-2020. Patient demographics, disease, operations, and complications were reviewed.

RESULTS: Sixteen of 19 patients were symptomatic with fatigue (62.5%), joint pain (37.5%) and nephrolithiasis (18.7%) most common. Mean preoperative Ca and PTH were 11.7 ± 0.3 mg/dL and 102.3 ± 11.8pg/mL, respectively. Ten of 19 had a single adenoma and 9 had multigland hyperplasia including one MEN1 and one MEN2A patient. We performed 11 four-gland explorations, 8 unilateral parathyroidectomies; including 9 transcervical thymectomies, 1 total thyroidectomy, and 1 bilateral central neck dissection. Mean 6-month postoperative Ca and PTH levels were 9.5 ± 0.3 mg/dL (range 7.3-10.3) and 29±5.0pg/mL (range 6.3-77), respectively. One patient developed permanent hypoparathyroidism and 1 had temporary hypocalcemia. No temporary or permanent hoarseness, unplanned same-day admission, wound complications, or Emergency Department visits occurred.

CONCLUSION: Outpatient parathyroidectomy can be safely and effectively performed in pediatric patients with primary HPT.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Treatment Study, Level III.

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