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What is bilateral exploration in parathyroid surgery?

Bilateral exploration is the traditional surgical approach to parathyroid surgery and may also be referred to as 4 gland exploration. This approach involves exploring and looking at all 4 parathyroid glands (typically two on the right, and two on the left). This allows the surgeon to determine if there is a single abnormal parathyroid, or if more than one of the parathyroid glands are abnormal. Pre-operative localization tests and intra-operative adjuncts such as parathyroid hormone (PTH) monitoring are not required, but may be used to facilitate bilateral exploration. This approach has proven over time to be highly successful with cure rates of 95% or greater when performed by an experienced surgeon. Bilateral exploration is still done through a midline incision that is quite small, often around 3-4 cm, which is just over one inch in size.
For more information go the endocrinediseases.org:
Parathyroid Gland: How is parathyroid surgery performed

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