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Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy


The adrenal glands make hormones like adrenaline and androgens (e.g., testosterone). Surgical removal of an adrenal gland is most commonly performed when a tumor is disrupting the normal process of creating hormones.

If your doctor has given you a diagnosis that requires the removal of one or both of your adrenal glands, Dignity Health Sacramento's laparoscopic specialists offer a minimally invasive option. This procedure, called laparoscopic adrenalectomy, is performed to remove one or both of the adrenal glands, which are located above each of the kidneys.

Adrenalectomy is recommended to treat many conditions, including:

  • Adrenal cancer and metastases
  • Adrenal incidentaloma
  • Benign adrenal tumors (Cushing disease or Addison's disease)
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Primary Hyperaldosteronism (Conn's Syndrome)

How Does Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy Differ from Traditional Surgery?

In conventional open surgery, a large incision is made so the surgeon can remove one or both of your adrenal glands.

In contrast, Dignity Health surgeons perform minimally invasive adrenalectomy with only a few small incisions:

  • Incisions are made in the fleshy area between the ribs and the hip.
  • The surgeon inserts a small camera (laparoscope) through one incision, and the inside of the abdominal cavity then can be seen on a large monitor in the operating room.
  • The surgeon passes a tube through another incision, through which harmless carbon dioxide gas passes to inflate the abdomen so the surgeon can better see the adrenal glands.
  • The surgeon then disconnects the adrenal gland(s), cauterizes the blood vessels, and closes the incisions.

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is performed while you are under general anesthesia and you will need to stay in the hospital for one or two days.

Why Choose Dignity Health for Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy?

Dignity Health’s board-certified surgeons in Sacramento have undergone extensive fellowship training in advanced laparoscopic techniques, including robotic surgery. This combination of skill and technology offers patients a host of potential benefits, including:

  • Less need for post-operative narcotics pain medication
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Less blood loss, pain and scarring
  • Less risk of infection and post-operative complications

See a Laparoscopic Surgery Specialist

You may be a candidate for a minimally invasive laparoscopic adrenalectomy. For a referral to a Dignity Health specialist, please call 888.253.1704.