Intraoperative identification of parathyroid glands is a tough task for surgeons performing thyroid or parathyroid surgery, because the small size, color and shape of these glands hinder their discrimination from other cervical tissues. In 2011, Paras described the autofluorescence of parathyroid glands, a property that could facilitate their intraoperative identification. Parathyroid glands submitted to a 785 nm laser beam emit fluorescence in the near infrared range, with a peak at 822 nm. As the intrinsic properties of secretory tissues may be affected by the exposure to the near infrared light, a situation that could preclude their intraoperative utilization, the authors compared the structural and ultra-structural patterns of rat's thyroid and parathyroid glands submitted to irradiation replicating the conditions that allow their intraoperative identification, with those of non irradiated animals. Twenty-four Wistar rats were divided into six groups: animals of Groups 1, 3 and 5 were submitted under general anesthesia to direct irradiation of the cervical area with a 780 nm LED light for 3 minutes through a cervical incision, and animals of Groups 2, 4 and 6 were submitted to cervical dissection without irradiation. Animals of were euthanized immediately (Groups 1 and 2), at Day 30 (Groups 3 and 4) at and at Day 60 (Groups 5 and 6) and thyroid and parathyroid glands were removed: one lobe was prepared for conventional pathological examination and the other lobe for electron microscopy observed by three experienced pathological experts. Twenty-four samples were prepared for conventional histology and there were no alterations reported in any group. Due to technical problems, only 21 samples were observed by electron microscopy and there were no differences in the ultrastructure of parathyroid and thyroid glands, namely the nuclear pattern, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum or secretory granules, in any of the groups. These results confirm the innocuity of near infrared irradiation', allowing its intraoperative utilization.