Adrenal Tumors Treated by Expert Laparoscopic Surgeons at Mercy
Mercy offers a team of experienced doctors who provide advanced surgical options to address tumors in the abdominal area. Cancer surgeons of Surgical Oncology at Mercy and general surgeons of The Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery offer expertise in the treatment of adrenal tumors, or growths that may form on the adrenal glands.
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.
Adrenal tumors secrete excess amounts of hormones. These hormones can produce a variety of symptoms, making diagnosis difficult.
Patients with adrenal gland tumors may display some of the following symptoms or signs:
- Obesity above the waist
- Skin changes such as stria or stretch marks (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
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
Diagnostic testing for adrenal tumors may include:
- PET Scan
- CT Scan
- PET/CT Scan
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.
Treatment options for cancerous adrenal tumors may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery.
When one 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 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.