Background. Unintentional parathyroidectomy is a complication of thyroid surgery. To our knowledge, no study has specifically examined the incidence of inadvertent parathyroidectomy exclusively in patients undergoing secondary central compartment surgery for recurrent or persistent thyroid cancer. Methods. The records of 40 patients who underwent 42 secondary central compartment surgeries for thyroid cancer were reviewed to determine the incidence of inadvertent parathyroidectomy. Results. Parathyroid tissue was present on permanent pathology in 31% of SCCSs. Unintentional parathyroidectomy did not have an effect on hypoparathyroidism. Concomitant lateral neck dissection did not have an effect on the incidence of hypoparathyroidism, but did have a statistically significant effect on inadvertent parathyroidectomy. Conclusion. Accidental resection of parathyroid tissue is relatively common in secondary central compartment surgery compared with primary thyroid surgery, but does not appear to correlate with postoperative hypoparathyroidism.
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