Adrenalectomy -- Laparoscopic Surgery

Adrenalectomy is the removal of one or both adrenal glands. There is one gland on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands make several hormones, including cortisol, aldosterone, and sex steroids. The adrenal glands also make adrenaline and noradrenaline in small amounts.

  • Call Your Doctor


    Call your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
    • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
    • Pain that you cannot control with your medication
    • Pain, burning, urgency, or frequency of urination; blood in the urine
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
    • Headaches
    • Lightheadedness
    • Any new symptom

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Adrenalectomy is the removal of one or both adrenal glands. There is one gland on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands make several hormones, including cortisol, aldosterone, and sex steroids. The adrenal glands also make adrenaline and noradrenaline in small amounts.

    Adrenal Glands
    Adrenal Kidney
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Your adrenal gland may be removed if you have any of the following:

    • Adrenal cancer

    • Diseases of the adrenal gland, causing it to make too much of a hormone such as
      Cushings syndrome, Conns syndrome, or
      pheochromocytoma
    • A large adrenal mass
    • An adrenal mass that cannot be identified with a needle biopsy

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Insufficient cortisol production
    • Decreases in blood pressure
    • Bleeding
    • Infections in the wound, urinary tract, or lungs
    • Blood clots in the legs
    • Injury to nearby organs or structures
    • Adverse reaction to anesthesia

    Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity
    • Long-standing cortisol excess
    • Smoking
    • Poor nutrition
    • Recent or chronic illness
    • Heart or lung problems
    • Alcoholism
    • Use of certain medicines such as blood pressure pills, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, insulin, steroids, sedatives, or hypnotic agents
    • Use of illegal drugs such as LSD, hallucinogens, marijuana, or cocaine