General Anesthesia for Bilateral Exploration Safe for Elderly Patients With Hyperparathyroidism

General anesthesia for bilateral exploration can be performed safely in elderly patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, according to a Family Practice News report.

According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, patients over 80 years of age are often excluded from surgical management of pHPT because of their age, comorbidities, unappreciated symptoms and suspected high anesthesia and surgical risk. The researchers examined a database of 2,050 patients undergoing parathyroidectomy from 2007-2010 and identified 61 patients aged 80 years or older.

The researchers collected data on the elderly patients and found that 78 percent received general anesthesia for the procedure, whereas 19 percent received local anesthesia. The method of parathyroidectomy was bilateral exploration in 49 percent, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy in 41 percent and MIP converted to bilateral in 10 percent.

The procedure was found to be safe, with only four patients experiencing complications. Complications were not related to any baseline or operative characteristics, and most patients were discharged within 24 hours. The morbidity rate from parathyroidectomy in patients over 80 was comparable to that seen in patients younger than 80, according to the report.

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