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Surgery for adrenal cancer

surgical oncology

Surgery for adrenal cancer

For all stages of adrenal cancer, surgery is used to treat the disease. Our experienced surgical oncologists are skilled in performing surgery to remove adrenal glands and tumors. This procedure is known as an adrenalectomy.

Whenever possible, we try to remove small or benign (noncancerous) adrenal tumors using a laparoscope. This less invasive treatment for adrenal cancer requires small incisions in the abdomen to insert a small fiber optic scope. Using the scope and long instruments, surgical oncologists access and remove adrenal tumors. Laparoscopic adrenalectomies may allow for:

  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • Less trauma to the body
  • A shorter stay in the hospital
  • A more rapid recovery

More extensive surgery may be required in other cases to remove adrenal glands and tumors. Traditional (open surgery) approaches to adrenalectomies include the following:

Posterior surgery

The tumor is removed through an incision made in the back, just above the kidneys. This type of adrenal cancer surgery works well for treating small, benign adrenal tumors.

Transabdominal surgery

An incision is made through the abdomen for this procedure. Surgical oncologists inspect nearby tissues and organs, while removing the adrenal tumor and gland(s). The surgical oncologist can remove other cancerous tissues found during the inspection at this time as well.

Thoracoabdominal surgery

A long incision that extends from the chest to the abdomen may be necessary to remove large, cancerous adrenal tumors. This procedure allows surgical oncologists a broader view of the surrounding tissues and organs in order to assess the potential spread and growth of the cancer.