What is the function of the Adrenal glands?
Adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys and they are responsible for production of variety of hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.
When does someone need surgery for adrenal glands?
There are two main indications for adrenal gland surgery.
- When adrenal gland tumors are producing excess amounts of hormones. These include:
- Phaemochromocytoma: where there is excess production of adrenalin or noradrenalin, which results in high blood pressure, headaches and rapid heart rate
- Cushing’s Syndrome: where there is excess production of cortisol. This could result in high blood pressure, diabetes, skin bruising, and change in body shape such as weight gain, round face or hump behind the shoulders.
- Conn’s Syndrome: where there is excess production of aldosterone, which can in turn result in fluid retention and high blood pressure
- When adrenal gland develops cancers
How is the surgery done?
The surgery is usually done with a keyhole approach such as laparoscopy or robotic surgery. this procedure involves three to four small incisions and the surgeon removes the adrenal gland (adrenalectomy) or portion of the adrenal gland (partial adrenalectomy). Very rarely, some tumours are not suitable for keyhole surgery and open surgery is required. The main advantages of keyhole surgery is reduced pain, faster recovery as well as earlier return to routine activity
Prior to surgery, the surgeon, the endocrinologist as well as the anaesthetist will perform a thorough workup and optimise the patient’s conditions prior to surgery.
If you wish to enquire more about keyhole (Da Vinci) surgery for adrenal glands, contact our friendly team to organise a consultation with Dr Ahmadi.