Between March 1981 and December 2000, we performed 1, 053 total parathyroidectomies with forearm autograft for advanced renal hyperparathyroidism (HPT). Based on histopathologic and pathophysiologic investigations, surgical treatment should be considered when parathyroid glands show nodular hyperplasia. Measuring parathyroid volume by ultrasonography was useful to detect nodular glands and to determine surgical indications. The clinical effect of parathyroidectomy on the symptoms and biochemical variables was striking. Skeletal deformity, progressive bone loss, and vessel calcification leading to high mortality risk could not be alleviated by even successful surgery, however. To prevent cardiovascular complications, parathyroidectomy should be performed in the relatively early stage of renal HPT. Total parathyroidectomy with forearm autograft is a suitable procedure for renal HPT, especially in patients who require long-term hemodialysis. For surgeons, it is important to remove all parathyroid glands, including supernumerary glands, at the initial operation and to choose adequate parathyroid tissue for the autograft to prevent persistent and recurrent HPT. Although the risk of graft-dependent recurrent HPT is not negligible, enlarged transplanted parathyroid tissue can be removed easily and noninvasively from the forearm under local anesthesia. There is no risk of hypofunction of the autograft.
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