Background The timing of symptom improvement after parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) has not been well characterized. Methods This prospective study involved administering a questionnaire to patients with PHPT who underwent curative parathyroidectomy over an 11-month period. The questionnaire evaluated the frequency of 18 symptoms of PHPT on a 5-point Likert scale and was administered preoperatively and 1 week, 6 weeks, and 6 months postoperatively. Results Of 197 eligible patients, 132 (67%) participated in the study. The questionnaires were completed at a rate of 91%, 92%, and 86% at 1 week, 6 weeks, and 6 months postoperatively, respectively. The most commonly reported preoperative symptoms were fatigue (98%), muscle aches (89%), and bone/joint pain (87%). Improvement in symptom severity occurred across all symptoms and was separated into three categories based on the timing of improvement. Fatigue and bone/joint pain demonstrated "Immediate Improvement" (>50% of patients reporting improvement by post-operative week 1), whereas the majority of symptoms showed peak improvement at 6 weeks ("Delayed Improvement"). Symptoms categorized as "Continuous Improvement" were those showing progressive improvement up to 6 months postoperatively (polydipsia, headaches, and nausea/vomiting). Conclusion Symptom improvement was most prominent 6 weeks postparathyroidectomy, although some symptoms showed continued improvement at 6 months. © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.