Cancer Treatment Centers of America
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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.

What is surgery?

Surgery is used to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and certain cancer-related symptoms. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss appropriate surgical options that meet your individual needs.

Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery depends on factors such as the type, size, location, grade and stage of the tumor, as well as general health factors such as age, physical fitness and other medical comorbidities. For many patients, surgery will be combined with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These may be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant) to help prevent cancer growth, spread or recurrence.

Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage any side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians are available to work with your surgical oncologist to support your healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function, often at the time of surgery or following surgery.