Background: Hypoparathyroidism (hypoPT) is the most common complication following bilateral thyroid operations. Thyroid surgeons must employ strategies for minimizing and preventing post-thyroidectomy hypoPT. The objective of this American Thyroid Association Surgical Affairs Committee Statement is to provide an overview of its diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Summary: HypoPT occurs when a low intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) level is accompanied by hypocalcemia. Risk factors for post-thyroidectomy hypoPT include bilateral thyroid operations, autoimmune thyroid disease, central neck dissection, substernal goiter, surgeon inexperience, and malabsorptive conditions. Medical and surgical strategies to minimize perioperative hypoPT include optimizing Vitamin D levels, preserving parathyroid blood supply, and autotransplanting ischemic parathyroid glands. Measurement of intraoperative or early postoperative intact PTH levels following thyroidectomy can help guide patient management. In general, a postoperative PTH level <15 pg/mL indicates increased risk for acute hypoPT. Effective management of mild to moderate potential or actual postoperative hypoPT can be achieved by administering either empiric/prophylactic oral calcium and Vitamin D, selective oral calcium, and Vitamin D based on rapid postoperative PTH level(s), or serial serum calcium levels as a guide. Monitoring for rebound hypercalcemia is necessary to avoid metabolic and renal complications. For more severe hypocalcemia, inpatient management may be necessary. Permanent hypoPT has long-term consequences for both objective and subjective well-being, and should be prevented whenever possible.
- Central neck
- Parathyroid hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism