OBJECTIVE: The management of hyperparathyroidism has evolved rapidly in the past decade with the introduction of intraoperative parathyroid hormone testing, radioguided surgery, and endoscopic surgery. Not surprisingly, there is a corresponding movement toward specialization of surgeons providing increasingly sophisticated treatments for head and neck endocrine disorders. We sought to identify trends in the disciplines performing parathyroid surgery. DESIGN: Nonrandomized, controlled comparison of surgical caseloads and publication volumes. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Two metrics designed to reflect the proportion of parathyroidectomies being performed by otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons (OHNS) and general surgeons (GS) were chosen: the operative case logs of graduates from American training programs in OHNS and GS from 1996 through 2005 and the number of scientific papers published relating to parathyroid surgery during two timeframes (1991-1995 and 2001-2005). RESULTS: There was a gradual increase in the mean number of parathyroid surgeries performed by GS residents from 6.0 in 1996 to a peak of 9.2 in 2004; this volume has begun to decline (to 8.5 in 2005). During the same timeframe, the mean number of parathyroidectomies performed by OHNS residents rose sharply and steadily from 1.8 in 1996 to 10.9 in 2005. The number of American GS parathyroid publications from 1991 to 1995 was 41, compared with 108 in the period 2001 to 2005. During the same timeframe, the number of American OHNS parathyroid papers increased from 1 to 27. The relative proportion of parathyroid publications authored by American otolaryngologists rose from 2.4% to 20.0% (P = .006). CONCLUSIONS: Increasingly, otolaryngologists are the primary surgeons in parathyroid operations as indicated by two surrogate metrics. Graduating chief residents in otolaryngology now perform more parathyroid procedures than chief residents in general surgery, and a growing proportion of parathyroid publications are being authored by otolaryngologists.
- Minimally invasive
ASJC Scopus subject areas