Adrenalectomy stands for the removal of a tumour on the glands that sit at the top of the kidneys. The tumours or growths can produce an overproduction of hormones that cause problems with heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, and blood chemistry.
Adrenalectomy in brief
The surgeon uses a combination of blood and urine tests, CT scans and sometimes Magnetic Resonance Imaging before recommending the final adrenalectomy procedure. The main types of adrenalectomy are keyhole surgery (laparoscopic) and open surgery.
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Today, with minimally invasive surgery, removal of the adrenal gland is done as a laparoscopic adrenalectomy. The surgery can performed through three or four 1 to 2 cm incisions. The patient may be placed on their back or side on the operating table to allow the surgeon to make the small incisions below the rib cage.
The surgeon will carefully maneuver around the liver, colon and start of the small intestine to remove a tumour on the right side of the body. If the adrenalectomy is on the left side of the body, the surgeon gently moves past the spleen, tail of the pancreas, and part of the colon. The diseased adrenal gland is removed through one of the incisions.
Open surgery is necessary for removal of larger or complex adrenal gland tumours. Up to 5% of laparoscopic surgeries may be converted to an open adrenalectomy. An open adrenalectomy starts with a 15 to 30 cm incision. The most common surgery is done through a diagonal incision along the abdomen beneath the ribcage. Alternatively, surgeons can make an incision along the flank or back to get better access to the tumours.
After the Procedure
Many patients leave the hospital in one or two days after laparoscopic surgery. Results of surgery may vary depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s overall condition. Patients recovering from open surgery may stay in the hospital longer and need more recovery.
Get more information on your unique condition. Enquire or make an appointment at Advance Surgical Perth: (08) 9386 2634.