Diseases of the adrenal gland, causing it to make too much of a hormone (eg,
excess cortisol—<![CDATA]>Cushing's syndrome<![CDATA]>, excess aldosterone—Conn’s syndrome, or excess adrenaline—<![CDATA]>pheochromocytoma<![CDATA]>)
A large adrenal mass
An adrenal mass that cannot be identified with a needle biopsy
Complications from having an adrenalecomty may include:
Insufficient cortisol production
Decreases in blood pressure
Infections in the wound, urinary tract, or lungs
Blood clots in the legs
Injury to nearby organs or structures
Adverse reaction to anesthesia
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
You may be given laxatives and/or an enema. These will clean out your intestines.
Your doctors may need to admit you to the hospital before your planned procedure if your blood pressure has not been well-controlled with medicines. This will allow more aggressive treatment to stabilize your blood pressure. It will also ensure that you have enough fluid in your body to prevent blood pressure problems after the surgery is done.
You will likely be given IV fluids, antibiotics, and steroid medicines.
Large masses are usually removed from the front of your abdomen. This is done so that the mass can be easily removed. The rest of your abdomen can also be examined.
An incision will be made just under your rib cage or in your abdomen. The adrenal gland will be carefully separated from the kidney. The gland will then be removed through the incision. The incision will be closed with either stitches or staples. It will be covered with a sterile dressing.
The doctor may choose to place a tiny, flexible tube into the area where the gland was removed. This tube will drain any fluids that may build up after surgery. It will be removed within one week after your operation.
Immediately After Procedure
The adrenal gland(s) will be sent to a lab to be examined. You will be sent to a recovery room. There, you will be monitored for any adverse reactions to the surgery or anesthesia.
How Long Will It Take?
1½ hours-3½ hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Pain or soreness during recovery will be managed with pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
At the Hospital
You will likely require pain medicines. .
You may be nauseated for a few hours after surgery. Your doctor may place a nasogastric tube through your nose and into your stomach to drain fluids and stomach acid. You will not be able to eat or drink until this is removed and you are no longer nauseated. In this case, you will continue to receive fluids through your vein. Once you begin eating, you may need to eat a lighter, blander diet than usual.
You may be given special compression stockings to decrease the possibility of blood clots forming in your legs.
Your body may be making substantially less natural steroid hormones. Your doctor may start you on steroid medicines immediately after surgery. The dose will then be tapered down.
Recovery time may be as long as 4-6 weeks. To help ensure a smooth recovery:
You will need to be carefully monitored to see that your body is producing the right amount of steroid hormones or to verify that you are taking the correct dose of steroid medicine.
You may be asked to weigh yourself daily and report any weight gain of two or more pounds over 24 hours. Such weight gain may indicate that you are retaining fluid. You may be asked to monitor your blood pressure regularly at home.
Try to increase your physical activity according to your doctor's instructions. This will help you avoid respiratory complications from the general anesthesia and improve the recovery of your digestive system.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
Pain, burning, urgency, or frequency of urination; persistent bleeding in the urine
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a