Adrenal glands are two smaller organs located on top of each kidney. These glands are triangular in shape and are about the size of a thumb. Adrenal glands produce hormones including epinephrine, norepinephrine and very little of sex hormones named estrogen and androgen. These hormones are involved in controlling the glucose and water usage in the body, control of blood pressure etc.
At times some benign tumours are formed on this adrenal gland resulting in the production excess hormone than needed by the body. Most of adrenal tumour can be very easily removed by laparoscopic procedures. In some cases the entire adrenal gland need to be removed for some tumours even if they are not producing excess hormones.
1) Excessive blood pressure, sweating, anxiety, and increased heart rates etc are the most common symptoms.
2) Weakness, frequent urination, fatigue etc are also often experienced as symptoms.
Removal of adrenal tumour is necessitated only if they promote the production of more hormones than is necessary for the body. If they are more than 2 inches in diameter and if there is suspicion that they can be cancerous, then also the tumours are removed.
This surgery is generally done under general anaesthesia. The surgery starts by inserting a cannula through a small incision in the abdomen. Through this cannula a laparoscope which is an instrument with a camera and light source on one side of a long tube is inserted. The other end of the tube is connected to a video monitor placed in front of the surgeon. Through this monitor the surgeon will be able to see the enlarged videos of the internal parts and the surgery that he is carrying out. Other instruments for the surgery are inserted through 3 to 4 small cuts made near the earlier incision. By viewing the video through the monitor and remotely controlling the special instruments inserted to the abdomen the surgeon carefully separates the adrenal gland from its attachments. After completing the resection procedures, the rescected adrenal gland is placed inside a small bag and the same is removed through one of the incisions. It is always necessary to remove the entire adrenal gland for clearing the tumour. After removing the gland the incisions are closed either by stitching or by sutures.
Peculiarities of laparoscopic surgeries
- Only small incisions are needed. Therefore less pain and less blood loss are involved in it.
- Quicker recovery and earlier return to routine activities are other benefits of this surgery.
- The position of adrenal gland makes laparoscopic surgery very suitable as the inner part of the abdomen can be accessed without much cutting of the tissues and blood vessels.
- This procedure is not suitable for obese persons and for patients who have already undergone abdominal surgery earlier.