December 1948


Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1948;57(6):833-842. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1948.01240020843006

THE RECOGNITION of the parathyroid glands is a challenge to the surgeon. Although the dire consequences of injury to the glands or of removal of the glands are generally appreciated, it is safe to say that thyroidectomies are done without the operator's being able definitely to recognize this tissue. The attitude of the small boy who whistles in the dark but does not turn around to see is reflected by the surgeon.

In 1937 Means1 stated: "It is important that the surgeon be able to recognize the parathyroid glands but it is seldom done. It is gained only by painstaking anatomic studies in the post mortem room (not on the cadaver) where the parathyroid tissue resembles more closely that seen in living humans." He called attention to the fact that formation of hematoma is caused by the slightest trauma to the gland and that a hemorrhage diffuses through the entire gland and

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