Adrenal tumors are relatively rare but can cause significant problems including hypertension, excessive sweating, palpitations, weight gain, headaches and other symptoms as a result of hormone production from the adrenal mass. These “functional” or hormone-secreting tumors include pheochromocytoma, aldosteronoma, Cushing’s tumor and adrenal cancer. Other adrenal tumors are non-functional and therefore cause little to no symptoms. For patients diagnosed with adrenal tumors (Figure 1), laparoscopic and robotic adrenalectomy provides patients with a safe and minimally invasive technique for removal of an adrenal mass.
Figure 1. Examples of CT scans demonstrating adrenal tumors removed by robotic adrenalectomy.
These minimally invasive approaches have the advantage of improved cosmesis, reduced pain, blood loss, and hospital stay, as compared to conventional open surgery with similar cure rates. In select patients with very larger tumors, laparoscopic and robotic adrenalectomy may not be feasible and therefore open adrenalectomy may be required.