Dr. Ferzli's Procedures
Specializing in Minimally-Invasive Surgery
Adrenal gland disorders
Adrenal Gland Surgery
The adrenal glands are triangle-shaped organs about 2 inches long,
that sit on top of the kidneys. Their outer region (cortex) make hormones involved in control of metabolism, sexual functioning, and the regulation of salts and water in the body. The inner region (medulla) secrete epinephrine (adrenaline) in response to stress.
Cushing’s syndrome is the set of symptoms and signs associated with hypercortisolism (excess of corticosteroids produced by the adrenals). Patients with this syndrome usually have central obesity with a rounded facial appearance (moon face) but thin arms and legs. Also they may experience weakness, backache, headache, hypertension, and acne. Blood tests are available to confirm the cause. In the majority cases, the cause is a pituitary tumor. In 15% of cases, an adrenal tumor is responsible. An adrenal tumor causing Cushing’s syndrome should be surgically removed.
Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland that secretes hormones that raise the blood pressure to dangerous levels. Other symptoms include palpitations, sweating and headache.
Conn’s syndrome is a condition in which a benign tumor of the adrenal secretes a hormone that raises the blood pressure and lowers level of potassium in the blood.
Adrenocortical cancer is a rare tumor that requires removal for cure. These tumors are usually large and may or may not be symptomatic.
Adrenal incidentaloma is the term used to describe adrenal masses that are found incidentally on CT scan or MRI performed for other reasons. These may be benign or malignant tumors or may be the result of cancer that has spread from another area of the body. Depending on the size and the results of blood tests, these lesions should be closely watched or removed.
Removal of the adrenal gland with the tumor can be done laparoscopically. At one time an adrenalectomy was considered a major surgical procedure requiring a lengthy hospital stay and a prolonged recovery period. Now, the patient usually remains overnight in the hospital and may resume normal activities in 1 or 2 weeks.
For further information, you can ask Dr. Ferzli.