The adrenal glands are two small, triangle shaped organs located above the kidneys. These glands produce a variety of hormones essential to body function. When these glands malfunction or if tumors grow on them, Dr. Huguets can use laparoscopic surgery techniques to remove the glands. The patient will be under general anesthesia when the surgery takes place and small incisions will be made in the patient’s abdomen, allowing for the laparoscope and cannulas to be inserted. The cannulas are specially designed instruments the surgeon will use to detach and remove the adrenal glands. Once the removal is complete, the surgeon will close up the small incisions. Due to the minimally invasive nature of laparoscopy, the patient will benefit from quicker and less painful recovery.
Adrenal glands may need to be removed if they are diseased or malfunctioning. The most common reason for the procedure is if too many hormones are being produced due to a tumor located on the adrenal gland. Most of the time, these tumors are small and not cancerous, but can disrupt body function. In other situations, the tumor may be quite large or suspected of being cancerous.
There are a number of symptoms that could indicate an issue with the adrenal glands. For example, some tumors may produce aldosterone which can cause high blood pressure and low blood potassium levels which can make a patient feel weak or fatigued or a frequent need to urinate. Cortisol producing tumors can cause Cushing’s Syndrome which is characterized by obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, menstrual irregularities, fragile skin and pronounced stretch marks. Pheochromocytomas cause excess hormones to be released causing very high blood pressure, severe headaches, excessive sweating, anxiety and palpitations as well as a rapid heart rate. However, many masses and tumors may not produce any hormones or symptoms at all and are considered benign. Removal is only necessary if excess hormones are produced, if it is cancerous or if it is more than 4-5 centimeters in diameter.
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