Adrenalectomy is also known as adrenal gland removal. It is a medical procedure in which one or both adrenal glands are surgically removed.

If you are having problems with your adrenal glands, knowing more about adrenalectomy and who needs it can help you make an informed treatment decision. Here’s what you need to know about this procedure and how to contact Advanced Laparoscopic Associates to find out whether you’re an ideal candidate.

What Is An Adrenalectomy?

Adrenalectomy is the surgical removal of one or both adrenal glands.

The adrenal glands are two small organs in your upper abdominal region just above each of your kidneys. They play a vital role in producing hormones involved in a wide range of  bodily processes. For instance, the adrenal glands help control blood sugar and blood pressure and produce male and female hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. They also play a role in how your body reacts during “fight or flight” moments when you’re experiencing stress.

Adrenalectomy is usually performed when you have a problem with one or both adrenal glands, such as tumor growth or cancer. Problems with the adrenal glands are rare, but your doctor can discuss the benefits of adrenal gland surgery with you in greater detail if you think you may need this procedure.

What’s the Difference Between Laparoscopic and Open Adrenalectomy?

Adrenalectomy can be performed as laparoscopic surgery or as open surgery.

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is a minimally invasive form of surgery. It requires your surgeon to make a series of tiny incisions versus one large incision with open surgery.

After making tiny incisions near your adrenal glands, your surgeon will insert a long, thin tube into one of the incisions. This tube has a camera attached and is called a laparoscope. The laparoscope allows your surgeon to get a clear view of your internal structures so the surgery can be performed as accurately as possible. Due to the minimally invasive nature of laparoscopic surgery, it is generally associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and less scarring compared with open surgery.

Open surgery is more traditional than laparoscopic surgery and is typically only performed when you have a large or cancerous tumor inside one or both adrenal glands. During open surgery, your surgeon makes one large incision to access the adrenal gland and treat the problem. Compared with laparoscopic adrenalectomy, open surgery usually results in a longer hospital stay, longer recovery and more visible scarring.

Who Can Benefit From an Adrenalectomy?

Adrenal gland surgery may be an ideal treatment option for you if you have symptoms of an adrenal gland disorder, including a tumor or cancer. Symptoms of adrenal gland disorders include:

  • Anxiety
  • Excess sweating
  • Severe headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight gain in the face and torso
  • Changes in menstrual periods

Your doctor may also perform a CT scan to determine whether you have adrenal gland problems that require treatment. Adrenalectomy may be needed if your glands are making extra hormones, you have a large tumor or if your doctor thinks you may have cancer.

What Is Recovery Like From Adrenalectomy?

Recovery from adrenalectomy is similar to that from any other surgical procedure. If you have laparoscopic surgery, your adrenalectomy recovery may involve a short hospital stay of one to two days. You may be sore for a few weeks afterward, and your doctor may continue to prescribe medications to manage the remaining symptoms, such as high blood pressure.

Pain from adrenalectomy can usually be managed using over-the-counter pain medicines and ice. You may be able to resume your usual activities within a week of surgery.

If you have open adrenalectomy, your recovery and downtime will most likely last longer than that from laparoscopic surgery. Your surgeon can talk to you in more detail about what to expect based on the procedure you have.

Request an appointment with Advanced Laparoscopic Associates today if you think you may need an adrenalectomy. We can talk to you in greater detail about your condition and help you choose the right treatment or intestinal surgery.

For additional information, all prospective patients are invited to attend a free educational seminar.
Seminars are a great source of information about the procedure you are considering, and they allow you to meet the surgeons as well as ask any questions you may have. You may also have the opportunity to meet some post-operative patients.

Seminar Sign-up

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