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J Urol. 2000 Jul;164(1):14-7.

Laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy in patients with hereditary forms of pheochromocytoma.

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  • 1Urologic Oncology Branch, Department of Radiology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.



Patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease are predisposed to multiple bilateral adrenal pheochromocytoma. In these patients partial adrenalectomy may preserve adrenocortical function and avoid the morbidity associated with medical adrenal replacement. We report our experience with such cases.


Laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy was performed in patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease and pheochromocytoma when there was evidence of normal adrenocortical tissue on preoperative imaging or intraoperative examination. Suture ligature or a harmonic scalpel was used to excise the tumors, leaving a 2 to 3 mm. margin of normal tissue.


Two patients underwent laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy and 1 laparoscopic bilateral partial adrenalectomy with preservation of normal adrenocortical tissue. Seven pheochromocytomas were removed. Laparoscopic ultrasound was essential for localizing 2 pheochromocytomas that were not visualized by the camera. Median operative time was 324 minutes, blood loss 100 cc and parenteral narcotic requirement 22 mg. morphine equivalents. No patient required hydrocortisone replacement. There has been no pheochromocytoma recurrence during short-term followup.


Laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy is technically feasible in patients with a hereditary form of pheochromocytoma, and may preserve adrenocortical function. Laparoscopic ultrasound was necessary to identify 2 of the 7 pheochromocytomas removed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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