Background: The fervor surrounding minimally invasive surgery, which began with laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the late 1980s, has spread to nearly all surgical specialties. Methods: After experimental success in an animal model, we recently performed our first case of endoscopie subtotal parathyroidectomy in a 37-year-old man. The patient, who had a history of severe pancreatitis and pancreatic calculi, was diagnosed as having hyperparathyroidism. The option of endoscopie parathyroidectomy was proposed and accepted. After placing the first trocar directly under the platysma, a space was created by bluntly dissecting with the tip of a 5-mm endoscopic camera. Four parathyroid glands were identified, and after a frozen-section diagnosis of parathyroid hyperplasia, three-and-one-half of the glands were resected. Results: The patient developed slight hypercarbia and subcutaneous emphysema during the procedure, but no other problems were noted. His postoperative course was otherwise unremarkable. Conclusions: This is the first case reported of an endoscopic parathyroidectomy. This experience makes us optimistic about the future of endoscopie neck surgery.
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