Laparoscopic removal of the adrenal gland

What is this?

This involves removal of the adrenal gland through several keyhole incisions. It requires placement of a telescope and operating instruments into your abdominal cavity using 3-4 small incisions. One incision may need to be enlarged to remove the adrenal gland

What alternatives are there?

Observation, open surgery

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery. You will normally receive an appointment for pre-assessment, approximately 14 days before your admission, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the Consultant, Specialist Registrar, House Officer and your named nurse. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. In some patients, the anaesthetist may also use an epidural anaesthetic which improves or minimises pain post-operatively. A bladder catheter is normally inserted during the operation to monitor urine output and a drainage tube may be placed through the skin into the bed of the adrenal gland.

After the procedure

You will be given fluids to drink from an early stage after the operation and you will be encouraged to mobilise as soon as you are comfortable to prevent blood clots forming in your legs. The wound drain and catheter are normally removed after 24-48 hours. The average hospital stay is 3-5 days.

Potential side effects