Adrenalectomy—Open Surgery
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
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What is Adrenalectomy—Open Surgery?

Adrenalectomy is the removal of one or both adrenal glands. There is one gland on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands make several hormones, including cortisol, aldosterone, and sex steroids.

Adrenal Glands
Adrenal Glands
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Your adrenal gland may be removed if you have any of the following:

  • Adrenal cancer
  • Diseases of the adrenal gland, causing it to make too much of a hormone (eg, excess cortisol— Cushing's syndrome , excess aldosterone—Conn’s syndrome, or excess adrenaline— pheochromocytoma )
  • A large adrenal mass
  • An adrenal mass that cannot be identified with a needle biopsy

Possible Complications

Complications from having an adrenalecomty may include:

  • Insufficient cortisol production
  • Decreases in blood pressure
  • Bleeding
  • 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:

  • Age: 60 or older
  • Obesity
  • Long-standing cortisol excess
  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition
  • Recent or chronic illness
  • Heart or lung problems
  • Alcoholism
  • Use of certain medicines (eg, blood pressure pills, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, insulin, steroids, sedatives, or hypnotic agents)
  • Use of street drugs (eg, LSD, hallucinogens, marijuana, or cocaine)

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