Background There has been a rapid shift from open to laparoscopic approaches in adrenal surgery, but the safety and efficacy of bilateral laparoscopic adrenalectomy (BLA) in patients with corticotrophin (ACTH)-dependent Cushing's syndrome continues to be defined.
Objective Review outcomes in the largest series of patients reported to date undergoing BLA for ACTH-dependent Cushing's syndrome.
Design Retrospective review study.
Patients Between January of 1995 and October of 2006, BLA was attempted in 68 patients with ACTH-dependent Cushing's syndrome (26 ectopic ACTH syndrome; 42 persistent pituitary-dependent Cushing's syndrome following pituitary surgery).
Measurements Review of peri-operative morbidity and mortality, biochemical parameters and patient-reported symptom response from chart review and mailed questionnaire.
Results BLA was successfully completed in 59 of 68 patients (87%); nine (13%) required conversion to open adrenalectomy (OA). Intra-operative complications occurred in three patients (4·4%) (two BLA, one OA), and non-operative complications occurred in 11 (16%) patients (eight BLA, three OA). There were no peri-operative deaths. Median hospitalization was 5·5 days (range, 3–28) and 11·9 days (range, 4–29) for the BLA and OA groups, respectively. In patients with follow-up data available, all achieved biochemical resolution and at least partial clinical resolution of signs and symptoms associated with hypercortisolism. Resolution of hypertension, diabetes and obesity was achieved in 64%, 29% and 35% of patients carrying those diagnoses prior to surgery, respectively.
Conclusions This study further supports the role of BLA as an effective treatment option for patients with ACTH-dependent Cushing's syndrome.