You may not be familiar with the adrenal glands and exactly what role they play in your overall health and wellness. From metabolism to stress levels – and even your immune system – there are a number of critical processes regulated by the adrenal glands and the hormones they produce. Patients with adrenal tumors or other adrenal gland problems often experience uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms that negatively impact their lives. At Arizona Premier Surgery, with convenient locations in Chandler, Gilbert, and Scottsdale, AZ, our expert team of surgeons performs laparoscopic adrenalectomy to help patients feel more like themselves again and avoid worsening problems, including the spread of cancer. Keep reading to learn more about adrenalectomy, including how it works and what may happen to your body after surgery.

What is the adrenal gland?

The adrenal glands are small, somewhat triangular-shaped glands that are located just above each kidney. The hormones produced by the adrenal glands help to regulate various aspects of a person’s health, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Blood sugar
  • Blood pressure
  • Stress level
  • Immune system

Are adrenal tumors dangerous?

Adrenal tumors can be benign or malignant. While malignant adrenal tumors can be dangerous and produce cancer cells that eventually spread to other parts of the body, even benign adrenal tumors can cause a number of problematic symptoms and conditions, such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Low energy/chronic fatigue
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Weight loss resistance
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Hirsutism
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Acne
  • Cushing’s syndrome

Whether benign or malignant, adrenal tumors are typically removed to give patients relief from their bothersome symptoms.

How is an adrenal tumor removed?

Depending on the nature of a patient’s adrenal tumor, he or she may require full or partial removal of one or both of the adrenal glands. The experienced surgeons at Arizona Premier Surgery perform adrenalectomy using a laparoscopic approach, which cuts down on recovery time, surgical risks, and scarring. During the outpatient procedure, which takes about two hours to complete, tiny incisions are made near the kidneys. A thin cannula with an optical camera is inserted through one incision, giving the surgeon a magnified view of the adrenal tumor and other structures. Long, thin surgical instruments are inserted through another incision, and the surgeon will strategically and precisely remove the tumor and/or gland before closing the incisions with sutures.

What are the side effects of adrenal gland removal?

Many patients understandably worry about how their lives will change after adrenalectomy and whether they will need to be on medication indefinitely. In the immediate aftermath of adrenalectomy, patients may experience temporary fluctuations in their stress levels, weight, and other aspects of their lives. Medication may be used to help rebalance hormones after adrenalectomy, but other glands eventually take over many of the essential functions of the adrenal gland. For patients who undergo unilateral adrenalectomy, medication is often unnecessary. During your initial consultation for adrenalectomy in Arizona, our knowledgeable surgeons will help you better understand what to expect after your procedure. The majority of patients are able to live normal, full, healthy lives after adrenalectomy recovery without the need for long-term medication.

Feel like yourself again with laparoscopic adrenalectomy in Phoenix, AZ

The symptoms and side effects of adrenal disease can be extremely disruptive and discouraging. Fortunately, adrenalectomy often results in a complete reversal of symptoms, allowing patients to look and feel more like themselves again. To learn more about the benefits of laparoscopic adrenal gland removal surgery in the Gilbert/Mesa/Tempe/Chandler areas, call Arizona Premier Surgery to schedule your consultation with one of our acclaimed providers today.