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World J Surg. 1999 Apr;23(4):389-96.

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy: new gold standard.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, 1364 Clifton Road NE, Suite H122, Atlanta Georgia 30322, USA.


Nearly 600 cases of laparoscopic adrenalectomy have been described in the world literature, documenting the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. Comparative studies have demonstrated the advantages of the laparoscopic approach when compared to traditional open approaches to adrenalectomy, documenting a more rapid and comfortable recovery, shorter hospitalization, and fewer complications. Several techniques of laparoscopic adrenalectomy have been described. We prefer the transabdominal approach in the lateral decubitus position. Herein we report our experience with 28 adrenalectomies using this approach. Indications for adrenalectomy have been hyperaldosteronism (9), hypercortisolism (4), pheochromocytoma (3), incidentaloma (6), metastasis (3), lymphoma (1), angiomyolipoma (1), other (1). Average tumor size was 3.3 cm (1. 4-8.3 cm). Average operative time was 152 minutes (110-210 minutes), with left adrenalectomy taking slightly longer to perform than on the right (156 vs. 145 minutes). There were no intraoperative complications and one conversion to open adrenalectomy for a large metastatic lung cancer found to be invading the liver. One patient experienced left rib pain from a cannula site immediately at the costal margin. There were no other complications. Average length of hospitalization was 2.3 days (1-6 days). With this and others' experience, laparoscopic adrenalectomy has become the gold standard for adrenalectomy. This manuscript reviews the literature on laparoscopic adrenalectomy and describes the transabdominal lateral approach.

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