Minimally Invasive NHS Parathyroid Surgery & Surgeons in the UK

UW surgery and residents
Image via Wikipedia

Minimally Invasive NHS Parathyroid Surgery & Surgeons in the UK

What is Minimally Invasive Parathyroid Surgery?

The only cure for Primary Hyperparathyroidism is surgery to remove one or more diseased parathyroid glands.  Primary Hyperparathyroidism is usually caused by a single benign tumour (adenoma) on one of the four parathyroid glands, more than one parathyroid gland my be also be  involved but that situation is rarer.

The old fashioned parathyroidectomy (removal of the parathyroid gland) operation, which is still available in the UK on the NHS, involves a single large incision of 6-8 cm across the neck above the collar bone.  This large incision allows the endocrine surgeon to gain access to all four parathyroid glands and check all four of them for disease.

The old fashioned parathyroidectomy surgery is longer and involves full general anaesthetic and a recuperation period of several days in hospital.

As 90% of all cases of Primary Hyperparathyroidism are caused by a single parathyroid tumour it makes sense to be able to locate the single tumour; so that where possible a more focused and less invasive surgery can be used.  Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery involves trying to locate the bad parathyroid gland using a sestamibi scan and ultrasound scan prior to surgery.

Once the bad parathyroid gland is located, the endocrine surgeon can then use a smaller incision of 2cm to gain access and remove the parathyroid tumour.

The minimally invasive parathyroid surgery has the following benefits:

  • Smaller scar
  • Surgery can be carried out under a local anaesthetic or a light general anaesthetic.
  • Quicker recovery time – patients can usually go home within a few hours avoiding a hospital stay.

Parathyroid surgery involves surgery which is close to the recurrent (inferior) laryngeal nerve – this nerve is involved in the control of the larynx (voice box) and damage to this nerve can cause changes to the voice or weakening of the voice.

It is very important to ensure that you have your parathyroid surgery carried out by a UK NHS or Private surgeon who has a great deal of experience in the successful removal of parathyroid tumours.

Here is a list of some UK based NHS & Private Endocrine surgeons and NHS & Private Hospitals in the UK who are experienced in Minimally Invasive Parathyroid Surgery.

Don’t forget that all NHS patients in the UK have the right to choose (Using the NHS Choose & Book system via your GP) where they get their treatment although we don’t have a right to choose a specific surgeon.

It has to be said though that as minimally invasive parathyroid surgery requires a skilled and experienced surgeon – that if you refer yourself to one of the hospitals listed below then it is more than likely that the respective surgeons listed below will carry out your surgery.  Please ensure that this is confirmed when you use the NHS Choose & Book system with your GP.

UK based NHS & Private Endocrine surgeons and NHS Hospitals in the UK who are experienced in Minimally Invasive Parathyroid Surgery.


9 thoughts on “Minimally Invasive NHS Parathyroid Surgery & Surgeons in the UK”

  1. Hi, I have just been diagnosed with a parathyroid adenoma (27.1.12) with many symptoms at present. I am due to attend the James Cook hospital to see an endocrine specialist there. However, if this does have to be removed which I think is likely I am concerned that there seems to be few parathyroid experts in the North of England. I would if possible like to have the minimally invasive surgery as my enlarged gland could be seen on an ultra sound. Do any of the above know how I can get referred to a sugeon who could perform this op and can it be done on the NHS as I am concerned about costings. I am due to visit the James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough in early March so I may know more then. However, as parathyroid surgery is not a routine op I would prefer to have an experienced surgeon to do this.

    Can anyone email me surgeons who can complete this operation please. I am not too bothered if they do not have a good bed side manner as long as the results are good, Thank you MTR

    1. Hello MTR,

      Thanks for posting and welcome to my blog and regretfully welcome to the Primary Hyperparathyroidism club! Hope you’re not suffering too much, but I know from personal experience that this condition can ruin your health and life. The good news is that surgery (the only cure) will reverse symptoms for most patients and make you feel 20 years younger. It’s what surgeons like to call a ‘cut & cure’ condition.
      I’ve just updated my list of minimally invasive parathyroid surgeons – and added surgeons based on Newcastle upon Tyne! So not too far from you. There’s also minimally invasive parathyroidectomy available in Sheffield at the Hallamshire.
      Have a look at my new post with the updated surgeons list. ALL the surgeons listed do NHS work in addition to private practice, I have made a point of not listing surgeons who do not do NHS work.
      I am biased, but I would recommend my surgeon (Mr. Andrew McLaren – works out of Wycombe hospital & Stoke Mandeville Hospital), who was excellent and did a particularly tidy job closing the wound. My scar just looks like a scratch 6 weeks on. The benefit of my surgeon is that he does a 2 visit service for patients outside Buckinghamshire! One visit for scans/meet surgeon/blood tests and the second visit for surgery – all done! Other hospitals may have you backwards and forwards for each separate test – ending up with several visits. The fact I had had to travel down south from Sheffield paled into insignificance knowing that I’d be sorted with 2 trips only. It’s also easy to contact him by e-mail and discuss things/ask questions – I always had a very quick response.
      Keep me posted on how you get on. Feel free to have a moan about symptoms -most of us on here have been through it all before.


      P.S. Apologies for delay in replying.

  2. Can you recommend a surgeon in the north of England? I am awaiting results of tests but suspect the outcome will be hyperparathyroidism

    Many thanks

    1. Hello Karen G,

      Welcome to the blog! Apologies for not approving your post later but I’ve just got back from a successful surgery to remove a parathyroid tumour.
      The north is unrepresented with regards to expert & experienced parathyroid surgeons. We know of one in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and I may have tracked one down in Merseyside. If you’re willing to travel a little, my surgeon does a special 2 visit service for ‘out of area NHS patients. One visit for scans, meets surgeon and blood tests and the other visit for surgery. I referred to him direct from my GP – within 8 weeks I had scans etc and first visit with surgeon. Then another 8 wks wait for surgery, which is very good for the NHS. Will report more tomorrow when I have time

    2. Hi Karen (Greenhalgh),
      Apologies for the delay in replying!
      I know of an endocrine surgeon in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. One of the Karens on here has had minimally invasive surgery done by him – though I don’t think she was impressed with his bedside manner.
      I have recently found a surgeon in Liverpool Alison Waghorn, have a look at this link
      Her details says she carries out minimally invasive surgery.
      I might be worth checking how many visits you will require to the relevant hospital for scans, perop checks, visits to see consultant etc. These may add up and be quite costly and time consuming.
      My surgeon Mr. Andrew McLaren had a special system for patients ‘out of area’ in which he ensured all tests, scans etc and surgery was done in just 2 visits. I stayed overnight in a hotel the night before so I was fresh for the hospital. My surgeon kept to his promise and in 2 visits I was cured. I’m not aware of any other surgeon does this.

    3. Hello Karen G.
      I had a Mr Watson works @ Burnley & Blackburn, not mininmally invasive as you can see from my scar but it worked ! and that was all that really mattered in the end for me. In at 7.30am home in time for lunch same day