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Actas Urológicas Españolas

Print version ISSN 0210-4806


PASCUAL PIEDROLA, J.I. et al. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy. Reflections after 24 procedures. Actas Urol Esp [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.2, pp.98-105. ISSN 0210-4806.

Introduction and objectives: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy has gained rapid recognition since publication of the first case in 1992. Currently it is the technique of choice for the surgical treatment of the adrenal gland. Our objective in this paper is to share our experience with this technique and offer some practical advice on how to approach it. Materials and Methods: Between May 1998 and August 2006 we did a total of 24 laparoscopic adrenalectomies in 22 patients (15 men, 7 women). The right gland was removed in 13 cases and the left in 11. Surgery was bilateral in two cases (one was MEN II, the other bilateral cortical hyperplasia). Average age was 49.5±14.3 years (range 24 to 78). Clinical diagnosis was: Pheochromocytoma (n=10), Cushing (n=6), Conn (n=4), metastases from lung carcinoma (n=2) and non-functioning tumor (n=2). For surgery, all patients were in total lateral decubitus with a pillow to increase the costal-iliac space. We used four trocars on the right side and three on the left. Abdominal access was by Hasson trocar after minilaparotomy. We kept pneumoperitoneal pressure below 12 mmHg; a Veress needle was not used for this procedure. Results: Open surgery was required in one case. Time operation was between 59 and 400 minutes (mean 182±98 min.). In the first 12 cases average time was 261±77 minutes and in the final 12 cases was 103±21 minutes (p<0.001). Tumour diameter was between 1.3 and 6 cm (mean 3.08±1.25 cm) and tumour weight was between 8 and 92g (mean 30.13±21 g). Except in one case with 600 ml blood loss, bleeding was less than 100 ml (n=23, range: 10-100, mean 43.26±25ml). We only had intraoperative complications in two cases: perforation of the liver by the laparoscope retractor (at the beginning of the series) and injury to the spleen capsule. Both complications were resolved laparoscopically. Cases by histologic type were: nine cortical adenomas, nine pheochromocytomas, three nodular hyperplasias, two metastases from lung carcinoma, and one adrenal pseudocyst. Discharge from hospital was between three and five days (mean 3.62±0.82) with a statistical difference (p<0.001) between twelve first cases and the last ones. Conclusions: The adrenal laparoscopic approach is currently the technique of choice for removing adrenal tumours although with malign tumours or over 7 cm in diameter there are some contraindications and disadvantages relative to open surgery. There is inevitably a learning curve but satisfactory results are quickly attainable.

Keywords : Adrenal; Laparoscopy; Surgical technique.

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