alexa Parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism in octogenarians and nonagenarians: a risk-benefit analysis.


Journal of Surgery

Author(s): Egan KR, Adler JT, Olson JE, Chen H

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Abstract BACKGROUND: The only cure for primary hyperparathyroidism (1 degrees HPT) is parathyroidectomy. However, many elderly patients are not referred for surgery due to medical comorbidities and/or advanced age. The purpose of this study was to evaluate benefits against risks of parathyroidectomy in this patient population. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From March 2001 to June 2006, 50 patients aged 80 years or older with 1 degrees HPT underwent parathyroidectomy by a single surgeon. Clinical presentation and surgical outcomes of all patients were evaluated. The standard form of the SF-36 Health Survey, designed to measure patient quality of life (QOL), was completed by a subset of patients. RESULTS: There were 45 females and 5 males with a mean age of 83 +/- 2 y. Patient comorbidities included hypertension (72\%), coronary artery disease (22\%), diabetes mellitus (16\%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (10\%), and congestive heart failure (10\%). Bone pain was the most common primary presenting symptom (44\%), followed by fatigue (12\%), confusion (6\%), and joint pain (6\%). Eleven patients (22\%) had ectopic glands. The cure rate postsurgery was 98\% (49/50). There were 2 postoperative complications (4\%): one patient with transient hypocalcemia and another with cellulitus at an i.v. site. Of patients who completed QOL surveys, greater than 60\% reported improved physical functioning, social functioning, and/or mental health, and reduction of bodily pain. CONCLUSION: Parathyroidectomy is safe and curative for octogenarians and nonagenarians with 1 degrees HPT, and maintains or improves quality of life. The surgical benefits outweigh operative risks, making parathyroid surgery an excellent option for patients over 80 years of age. This article was published in J Surg Res and referenced in Journal of Surgery

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