Symptoms of problems within the adrenal gland can range from producing excessive hormones, contributing to high blood pressure and low blood potassium, to menstrual irregularities, and high blood sugar. When your personal doctor suspects that you have an adrenal tumor or an enlarged adrenal gland, you’ll be referred to a Victorville General Surgeon for an in-depth examination and evaluation for potential surgery. Your surgeon will request additional testing to confirm that you do have adrenal problems. The good news is that the majority of adrenal tumors are benign, and surgery removes the risk that the glands will become cancerous. Your body can function normally with one adrenal gland.
Once your surgeon has determined that you are a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery, the preferred procedure is called a laparoscopic adrenalectomy. The advantages of this type of operation are smaller incisions, reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times. Your surgeon will discuss the possibility of switching to an open adrenalectomy during surgery if the tumor is too large to be removed laparoscopically.
An adrenalectomy takes 2 to 4 hours for completion. Before the operation begins, you’ll be given a general anesthetic so that you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure. You’ll be given fluids during the operation through IV tubes placed in your arms.
The surgeon will make 3 to 5 small ½ inch incisions in your abdomen. A thin laparoscope, with an attached camera, is inserted into one incision. The camera sends a view onto a screen, so the surgeon has a clear, enhanced image of the surgery site. The surgical instruments for the operation are placed into the other incisions.
The surgeon isolates the infected adrenal gland, ties it off, and then separates it from nearby organs. Once the gland and some surrounding tissues have been dissected, it is placed into a surgical bag and removed through one of the incisions. To prevent future infections and to ensure that the entire tumor is removed, it is necessary to take out the entire gland. The surgeon closes off the remaining veins, removes all of the medical instruments, closes the incisions with sutures and covers them with steri-strips, and then covers the entire area with a dry gauze dressing.