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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 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 call line 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.
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.
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Current as of: November 6, 2018
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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