What is an adrenalectomy?

Adrenalectomy is an operation that removes one or both of the adrenal glands. If one gland is removed, the procedure is called unilateral adrenalectomy. When two adrenal glands are removed, the procedure is called bilateral adrenalectomy.

What are the adrenal glands?

The adrenal glands are responsible for the production of hormones the body needs to carry out daily functions.

The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system. They are responsible for the production of hormones the body needs to carry out daily functions. Some examples include testosterone and adrenaline. Adrenal glands are located above each kidney and are about the size of your thumb.

Why is an adrenalectomy performed?

The most common problem associated with the adrenal glands that require an adrenalectomy is an increased production of hormones. An adrenal mass or tumor is the usual cause of increased hormone production. The most common tumor is called a pheochromocytoma and can cause problems with blood pressure, the heart, or other organs. This tumor is rarely cancerous and occurs mostly from early- to mid-adulthood.

How do I find an experienced surgeon?

Your endocrinologist or primary care physician should be able to recommend good surgeons in your area. You might want to ask the surgeon how many surgeries they do a year in order to find out how experienced they are.

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