What is an adrenalectomy?
Adrenalectomy is surgery to remove all or part of one or both adrenal glands. The glands are above the kidneys. They make hormones that affect nearly every organ in the body. These hormones include adrenaline and cortisol. They do many things in the body. For example, they help control blood pressure. They help the body deal with stress. And they control the breakdown of fats and proteins in the liver.
This surgery may be done to remove a tumour that is or isn't cancer. It also may be done for people with Cushing's syndrome, a problem that causes too much cortisol in the body. It may be done to remove a tumour that makes too much adrenaline.
The surgery may be done through a single cut (incision). This is called open surgery. Or your child may have laparoscopic surgery. To do this, the doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other tools through several small cuts.
If your child has laparoscopic surgery, he or she may be able to leave the hospital the next day. With open surgery, your child may stay in the hospital for a few days or longer.
It may be a few weeks or more before your child can return to his or her normal activities.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful for both your child and you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- Talk to your child about the surgery and what will happen. Hospitals know how to take care of children. The staff will do all they can to make it easier for your child.
- Ask if a special tour of the surgery area and hospital is available. This may make your child feel less nervous about what happens.
- Plan for your child's recovery time. He or she may need more of your time right after the surgery, both for care and for comfort.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell the doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products your child takes. Some may increase the risk of problems during the procedure. Your doctor will tell you if your child should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
The day before surgery
- A nurse may call you (or you may need to call the hospital). This is to confirm the time and date of your child's surgery and answer any questions.
- Remember to follow your doctor's instructions about your child taking or stopping medicines before surgery. This includes over-the-counter medicines.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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