Steps to take before the surgery
A surgeon will conduct different tests including, CT scan, MRI, and especially, scintigraphy, to detect the presence of cancer cells and determine the exact location of the tumour. Most aspects of preparation are the same as other major surgeries. Patients with adrenal tumours will also experience hypertension or lack of potassium in the blood. In order to resolve these problems before the surgery, the doctor is likely to give medicines before the treatment.
What happens during the surgery?
Open adrenalectomy is performed when the tumour is large in size. There are different approaches used in this process. In the anterior approach, large incisions are made on the rib cage or abdominal walls. In the posterior approach, the surgical cuts are made in the back, below the rib cage. In the flank approach, the surgical cut is made in the side of the body. In the case of a very large tumour, there is another approach in which the surgical cut is made in the chest cavity, only. The glands will be removed and incisions will be closed with stitches. In laparoscopic adrenalectomy, incisions are made in the abdomen and areas close to the belly button. The surgeon is expected to remove the adrenal glands, using a plastic bag inserted into the abdominal cavity.
After the procedure
The hospital stay after the surgery is usually of 4-5 days. The patient can return to normal activities as soon as they feel ready. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous exercise for 6-8 weeks after the surgery.