Laparoscopic adrenalectomy

Authors

  • A. Assalia,

    1. Division of Laparoscopy and Department of Surgery, Weill-Cornell College of Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York 10021, USA
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  • M. Gagner

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Laparoscopy and Department of Surgery, Weill-Cornell College of Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York 10021, USA
    • Division of Laparoscopy and Department of Surgery, Weill-Cornell College of Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York 10021, USA.
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Abstract

Background:

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) has become the procedure of choice for small benign lesions. Compared with open adrenalectomy (OA), it appears to achieve superior results in terms of recovery, cosmesis and morbidity.

Methods:

A Medline literature search (PubMed database, 1990–2003) was undertaken to identify relevant English language papers. Studies comparing LA with OA were categorized according to their level of evidence. Variables of outcome were analysed systematically for various adrenal pathologies.

Results:

No prospective randomized studies comparing LA with OA were identified. According to 20 comparative case–control studies (level 3b) and many case-series reports (level 4), the results of LA were reproducible and it has consistently been associated with faster recovery and lower morbidity than OA. The clinical outcome in hormonally active lesions was similar. The lateral transabdominal approach was the laparoscopic technique of choice; it was practised by 78·6 per cent of surgeons. Lesion sizes of 10–12 cm were cited as the upper limit for LA in many large series. Experience of 70 malignancies demonstrated the feasibility of LA, with short-term oncological results comparable to those of conventional surgery.

Conclusion:

Despite a lack of a high level of evidence in its favour, LA has practically replaced OA in the management of small and medium-size benign functioning and non-functioning adrenal lesions, as it has proved to be as effective as OA with less associated morbidity. Although limited experience with large and malignant tumours shows some promise, present data are insufficient for clear conclusions to be drawn. Copyright © 2004 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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