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Reasons for Procedure
- Insufficient cortisol production
- Decreases in blood pressure
- Infections in the wound, urinary tract, or lungs
- Blood clots in the legs
- Injury to nearby organs or structures
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity
- Long-standing cortisol excess
- Poor nutrition
- Recent or chronic illness
- Heart or lung problems
- 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
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Imaging tests, such as abdominal ultrasound , abdominal CT scan , MRICT scan of the head , and nuclear scan
- Give certain medications to determine why the adrenal gland is not working correctly
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
- Arrange for a ride home and for help at home.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be given laxatives and/or an enema. These will clean out your intestines.
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You may be nauseated for a few hours after surgery. You may have a tube placed down your nose and into your stomach. This is to drain fluids and stomach acid. You will be able to eat and drink after the tube is removed and you are no longer nauseated.
- You may be given special compression stockings to decrease the possibility of blood clots forming in your legs.
- Your body may be making substantially less natural steroid hormones. Your doctor may start you on steroid medications immediately after surgery. The dose will be gradually reduced.
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
- Your doctor will monitor your steroid and hormone levels and make sure that you have the right dose of medication.
- Weigh yourself daily. Report to your doctor any weight gain of two or more pounds over 24 hours. This may indicate that you are retaining fluid.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Monitor your blood pressure regularly.
- Increase your physical activity according to your doctor's instructions. This will help you avoid respiratory problems and improve the recovery of your digestive system.
Call Your Doctor
- 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
- Any new symptom
Urology Care Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org
Kidney Foundation of Canada: British Columbia Branch http://www.kidney.bc.ca
Agha A, von Breitenbuch P, et al. Retroperitonenscopic adrenalectomy: lateral versus dorsal approach. J Surg Oncol. 2008;97:90-93.
Gallagher SF, Wahi M, Haines KL, et al. Trends in adrenalectomy rates, indications, and physician volume: A statewide analysis of 1816 adreanlectomies. Surgery. 2007;142:1011-1021.
Hanssen WE, Kuhry E, et al. Safety and efficacy of endoscopic retroperitoneal adrenalectomy. Br J Surg. 2006;93:715-719.
Jossart GH, Burpee SE, et al. Surgery of the adrenal glands. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2000;29:57-68.
Munver R, Del Pizzo JJ, et al. Adrenal-preserving minimally invasive surgery: the role of laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy, cryosurgery, and radiofrequency ablation of the adrenal gland. Curr Urol Rep. 2003;4:87-92.
Pamaby CN. The role of laparoscopic adrenalectomy for adrenal tumours of 6 cm or greater. Surg Endosc. 2008;22:617-621.
Thompson SK, Hayman AV, et al. Improved quality of life after bilateral laparoscopic adrenalectomy for Cushing’s disease: a 10-year experience. Ann Surg. 2007;245:790-794.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Update Date: 02/05/2014 -