Since the great majority of patients have only one diseased gland, a more limited approach has been developed, which is called a minimally invasive parathyroidectomy. Examples of this class of minimally invasive methods include:
- endoscopic parathyroidectomy
- radio-guided parathyroidectomy
- video-assisted parathyroidectomy
The endoscopic method uses 2-3 small incisions in the neck and one near the breastbone, which minimizes visible scarring and allows faster and better healing. This technique is similar to the video-assisted surgery, in which a small video camera is used to identify diseased glands. The surgeon will make two small incisions in the neck, one for the camera and one for the instruments. Advantages of minimally invasive surgery includes smaller incision size, improved cosmetic result, shorter operative time, creation of less scar tissue, and fewer problems with low calcium levels after surgery.