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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2013 Mar;95(2):e25-6. doi: 10.1308/003588413X13511609955896.

Preoperative parathyroid harpoon localisation: a new technique helpful in reoperative patients with persistent hyperparathyroidism.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, La Princesa University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


Surgery for persistent primary hyperparathyroidism remains a major challenge for surgeons and these reoperative procedures require an experienced parathyroid surgeon. The goal of reoperative surgery is to excise the abnormal parathyroid gland(s) and limit exploration to help minimise the potential complications. At least two positive and concordant localising studies should be available before reoperation because the technical difficulties in these cases make an exact localisation necessary before surgery. We describe the placement of a metallic harpoon under ultrasonography guidance as a safe, simple and inexpensive technique for localisation of the enlarged gland prior to conservative surgery.

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