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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 may be cancer or may not be 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 you may have laparoscopic surgery. To do this, the doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other tools through several small cuts.
If you have laparoscopic surgery, you may be able to leave the hospital the next day. With open surgery, you may stay in the hospital for a few days or longer.
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 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.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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