Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy

Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy (Adrenal Gland Removal)

The adrenal glands are two small organs located at the top of each kidney. They are triangular in shape and about the size of a thumb. These glands – also known as endocrine glands – secrete hormones involved in control of blood pressure, chemical levels in the blood, water use in the body, glucose usage and the “fight or flight” reaction during times of stress.

What problems occur in the adrenal glands?

Adrenal gland diseases are relatively rare. The most common reason for adrenal gland removal is excess hormone production by a tumor located within the adrenal. Most tumors are small, benign growths that usually can be removed with laparoscopic techniques. Adrenal gland removal also may be needed for some tumors that don’t produce excess hormones, such as very large tumors or tumors suspected of being cancerous. Fortunately, malignant adrenal tumors are rare.

What is laparoscopic adrenalectomy?

laparoscopic removal of the adrenal gland (known as “laparoscopic adrenalectomy”) is possible with the surgeon making three or four small incisions. The surgeon first places a laparoscope – a scope with a light and camera – through one of the incisions. This allows the surgeon to view the anatomy. The surgeon then performs the operation working with long instruments placed through small tubes in the other incisions.

Results of the surgery vary depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s overall condition. Common advantages of laparoscopic surgery are:

•  Less postoperative pain
•  Shorter hospital stay
•  Quicker return to normal activity
•  Improved cosmetic result
•  Reduced risk of incisional hernia or wound separation