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Gastrointestinal Surgery

Adrenal Diseases

Three surgical correctable diseases exist in relation to adrenal gland. The first is Cushings Syndrome, the second Conn’s Disease, and the third is from a tumor arising in the adrenal called a pheochromocytoma. Cushings syndrome is a clinical state that follows excess cortico steriod production. From a surgical standpoint, primary production of cortisol by an adrenal tumor that accounts for about ten percent of cases. In the instance of a secreting tumor of the adrenal gland it should be removed surgically. This can be achieved by either open surgery or by the laparoscopic method.

Adrenal GlandsThe second condition affecting the adrenal gland is that of Conn’s syndrome or primary aldosteronism. This is a clinical syndrome that results from excessive secretion of aldosterone due to the presence of an adrenal tumor. Again, after adequate imaging and blood tests it is possible to remove this tumor from the adrenal gland.

The third surgical correctable lesion is that of a pheochromocytoma. This is a tumor arising from chromaffin cells in the adrenal gland. Signs and symptoms of pheochromocytoma are related to the circulating excess of certain hormones including high blood pressure, perspiration, palpitation, tremor anxiety, abdominal pain, constipation, fever, weight loss, and glucose intolerance. This tumor produces elevation in certain hormones and metabolites which can be measured in the blood and urine. In addition CT scanning or MRI scanning can demonstrate lesions that are in the adrenal gland. Patients with pheochromocytoma are treated by surgical excision to the adrenal tumor. Again this surgical removal can be done by open technique or laparoscopic technique depending upon the size of the tumor.

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