Adrenal surgery

Sabapathy P. Balasubramanian and Barney J. Harrison

in Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199235292
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199608232 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Adrenal surgery

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The indications for adrenal surgery and techniques employed have evolved significantly in the last 20 years. The need for adrenalectomy has increased due to:

increased use of abdominal CT/MRI that identifies adrenal incidentalomas

the more frequent biochemical diagnosis of subclinical hormonal syndromes.

The operative approach has changed with the availability of minimal access surgery; this has significant advantages for the patient in terms of reduced morbidity and faster recovery (1).

Despite these changes, the fundamental principles of adrenal surgery have remained unchanged:

Biochemical investigations should be performed before localization studies and/or surgical intervention.

Biopsy is rarely indicated in the investigation of adrenal lesions and is confined to confirmation of adrenal metastasis, suspected lymphoma, tuberculosis, or histoplasmosis. It should only be performed after biochemical assessment has excluded phaeochromocytoma.

Close collaboration with colleagues in endocrinology, biochemistry, and radiology is essential for good outcomes.

This chapter will focus on the surgical aspects of treatment. The pathology of adrenal disease, details of biochemical and radiological investigations, and the nonsurgical modalities of treatment are covered elsewhere.

Chapter.  4620 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Endocrinology and Diabetes

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