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Adrenalectomy is surgery to remove all or part of one or both adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are located above the kidneys. They make hormones that affect nearly every organ in the body. These hormones include adrenaline and cortisol.
The doctor took out one or both of your adrenal glands through a cut (incision) in the front, side, or back of your torso. Or the doctor may have made one or more smaller cuts. The incisions will leave scars that will fade with time.
The area will feel sore after the surgery. This usually lasts about 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will give you pain medicine.
Your body can work fine with one healthy adrenal gland. If both adrenal glands were removed, or if your remaining adrenal gland isn't healthy, you can take medicine every day to replace the hormones they were making.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your 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 you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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