The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, Patient Education Site

Parathyroid surgery: Autotransplantation

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What is parathyroid autotransplantation?

Parathyroid autotransplantationAutotransplantation - When a piece of parathyroid tissue is re-implanted in the muscle of the forearm or neck. This is usually done in cases of secondary hyperparathyroidism or re-operative parathyroid surgery. involves taking parathyroid tissue and placing it into the muscle of either the neck or forearm. In cases where the autotransplant is made of hyperactive parathyroid tissue, it is usually placed in the arm for easy access in the future if it were to grow and overfunction. If some of the tissue has to be removed, this can be done very safely under local anesthesia without the risks of reoperating in the neck. Autotransplantation is usually done in re-operative cases or in cases of total parathyroidectomy for four gland hyperplasiaFour gland hyperplasia - When all four glands are hyperactive.. The parathyroid tissue is usually cut into 1 to 2 mm pieces and is placed in small pockets within the muscle. While the gland does not function immediately, it will develop a new blood supply and will typically start working within 4 to 6 weeks. The patient will need to take both calcium and calcitriol (Vitamin D) pills and occassionally intravenous (IV) calcium until the autotransplant starts working.


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