What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are two small triangular organs located above the kidneys. They are endocrine glands, which produce several very important hormones that help regulate blood pressure, fluids and body salt, as well as the adrenaline we need during stress. The hormones they produce are cortisone, aldosterone, adrenaline, and part of the sex hormones. As with all double organs, you can live perfectly with just one adrenal gland.
What is adrenalectomy?
Adrenalectomy in Delhi involves the removal of a gland located above the kidney called adrenal gland, being rare to have to remove both(right and left). If necessary medical treatment is administered to control the possible hormonal alterations during the surgery or after the intervention.
Some times it may be necessary to extend the resection to the organs and it is possible that after the operation is a hormonal deficit that requires replacement medical treatment.
It is possible that during the surgery you have to make modifications to the procedure by intraoperative findings to provide the most appropriate treatment.
The intervention requires the administration of anesthesia and it is possible that during or after the intervention the use of blood and/or blood products is necessary.
Purpose of the procedure and benefits that are expected to be achieved
This procedure is intended to prevent excessive growth of the gland, alterations general and neighboring organ sand/or control hormone levels.
Who needs adrenalectomy?
The most common cause for adrenalectomy in Delhi is because a tumor is discovered in an adrenal gland that produces an excess of one of the hormones. The vast majority of these tumors are benign. Each type of tumor produces an excess of a certain hormone, so the symptoms can be varied. The main tumors of the adrenal glands are:
- Pheochromocytomas: produce an excess of adrenaline or norepinephrine. They can cause an increase in blood pressure, tachycardia, and palpitations or very severe headache. They usually increase blood sugar.
- Aldosteronomas: produce an excess of aldosterone. They cause a significant increase in blood pressure and a decrease in potassium in the blood.
- Secretory corticosteroid tumors: they produce a disease called Cushing’s syndrome, due to excess corticosteroids. They cause obesity (very marked on the face and trunk), increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, fragile skin and vinous stretch marks in the abdomen.
There are other tumors of the adrenal glands that are discovered casually on an ultrasound, a scanner (a CT scan) or an MRI performed for another cause and that produce no excess of any hormone. We call them incidentalomas and they usually operate if they grow or are large.
Finally, there are other less common tumors of the adrenal glands such as those that produce sex hormones or metastases from tumors of other organs (lung, breast, intestine or kidney).
How do you know if a tumor of an adrenal gland produces too many hormones?
It is suspected that a tumor of an adrenal gland is producing too many hormones because of the symptoms. It is known with certainty by doing special blood and urine tests. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat these analyzes several times.
How is adrenalectomy done?
This surgery is always carried out under general anesthesia. During the intervention, one (the most normal) or the two adrenal glands can be removed. In some special cases, only the tumor can be removed leaving the healthy adrenal gland intact. Most of the time it is done laparoscopically, through small holes (5 and 11 millimeters) in the abdomen through which we introduce a mini camera and instruments. For one of them, the laparoscopic surgeon in Delhi extracts the gland with the tumor. This route is not very painful, allows quick recovery, has few complications and leaves very small scars. In some cases, it is not advisable to operate an adrenal tumor by laparoscopic route because it is suspected to be malignant or because it has an excessive size.