Adrenal Tumors Treated by Expert Laparoscopic Surgeons at Mercy

Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mercy - Baltimore

The surgeons of The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore have been recognized for their skill and caring approach in the surgical treatment of adrenal gland tumors.

About the Condition

What is an Adrenal Tumor, and when is adrenal surgery necessary?

Your body has two adrenal glands, one located on the top of each kidney. These small triangular-shaped organs produce several hormones that are essential for the proper control of many body systems and functions such as blood pressure, immune system, blood sugar and body metabolism.

A tumor (neoplasm) is any new and abnormal tissue growth. It can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancer). Both types of adrenal tumors produce extra amounts of hormones such as cortisol. Tumors of the adrenal glands are relatively unusual.  Most adrenal tumors are small and benign. Malignant adrenal tumors are rare.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Adrenal Tumors Symptoms & Diagnosis

Adrenal tumors secrete excess amounts of hormones. These hormones can produce a variety of symptoms making diagnosis difficult.  Cushing’s Syndrome is a condition resulting from excess amounts of the hormone cortisol. 

Cushing’s Syndrome symptoms can include:

  • Obesity above the waist
  • Thin arms and legs
  • Skin changes such as striae ( wide purple marks) on skin of abdomen, thighs
  • Easy bruising
  • Weakness, palpitations,  fatigue
  • Women can have excess body hair and irregular menstruation
  • Men may have decreased sex drive and impotence
  • Increased thirst and urination

Diagnostic testing for Cushing’s syndrome can include:

  • 24-hour urine sampling
  • Dexamethasone Suppression Test
  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Nuclear Medicine Scan

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Adrenal Tumor Treatment Options

Surgical removal of an adrenal gland (adrenalectomy) is usually the treatment of choice for adrenal tumors that are causing symptoms due to excess hormone production, or tumors that are malignant. Often this surgery can be performed laparoscopically using minimally invasive techniques.

When an adrenal gland has been removed the remaining adrenal gland will gradually take over its functions. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help during this transition period.

It is possible for an adrenal cancer to return even after successful surgery.  Mercy Medical  Center in Baltimore provides a highly skilled and caring team of physicians who can work together to provide a personalized plan of care to delay tumor recurrence, slow tumor growth, decrease tumor size and reduce symptoms and possible side effects of treatment.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Advantages

The typical advantages of minimally invasive surgery for adrenalectomy are:

  • Less pain after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster return to normal activities
  • Less scarring