The Adrenal Glands sit above our kidneys and are responsible for some very complicated processes in our body. They contain cells that secrete a variety of hormones that participate in the auto regulation of many functions in our body. Adrenal hormones and by products control our blood pressure, sex hormones, stress hormones,how we metabolize sugars and help control how our circadian rhythms work. The substances that are manufactured and releases by these glands are involved in much of what keeps us alive and makes us who we we are. When abnormalities or tumors affect these glands they can have profound effects on how we feel and function. Fortunately we have two glands and if one has to be removed for various reasons the second is more than capable of handling all the duties.
Adrenal surgery is complicated and requires a significant amount of surgical experience to minimize risks and to provide the best outcomes. These glands can be removed by either traditional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. The benefit of laparoscopic adrenalectomy is that it can accomplish all the goals of open surgery with the benefit of decreased pain and a reduced recovery time in experienced hands.
There are various reasons why a patient will need their an adrenal gland removed. Sometimes the gland is secreting too much of a hormone and it is creating problems for the patient with respect to metabolism, blood pressure or sexual function. There may be a mass or adenoma that is hyper-functional or worrisome for malignancy. Every case is unique and requires special management and coordination between the surgeon, the endocrinologist and the anesthesia staff.
Dr. Gillian is experienced in this type of surgery and would be happy to review your particular case with you or your doctor.