Hyperparathyroidism, as seen by a single group of surgeons in a community of 320,000, is reviewed in a retrospective fashion. It was shown that symptomatic hypocalcemia could occur up to 110 hours postoperatively and was most likely to occur in individuals showing skeletal demineralization preoperatively. Though large doses of calcium were required postoperatively in three patients, permanent supplementation was not necessary in two of them. Five of seven patients operated upon for secondary hyperparathyroidism received little or no benefit, stimulating critical review of the appropriate indications in this patient population. Mechanical suction proved to be clearly superior to passive drainage.