Laparoscopic adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma: A comparison to aldosteronoma and incidentaloma

M. F. Kalady, R. McKinlay, J. A. Olson, J. Pinheiro, S. Lagoo, A. Park, W. S. Eubanks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Background: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is a safe and effective treatment for most surgical diseases of the adrenal gland. However it has been suggested that catecholamine effects associated with pheochromocytoma render the laparoscopic approach a more challenging and a more morbid procedure. The purpose of this study was to compare the operative characteristics and outcomes of laparoscopic adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma to those of aldosteronoma and incidentaloma. Method: Patient records and operative reports were retrospectively reviewed for demographics, diagnoses, operative management, and outcomes for patients undergoing laparoscopic adrenalectomy between June 1994 and July 2002 at two academic medical centers. A total of 74 patients were included and analyzed by diagnosis. Differences were considered statistically significant at p < 0.05. Results: Twenty-eight patients with pheochromocytoma, 27 with aldosteronoma, and 19 with incidentally discovered nonfunctioning adrenal masses underwent laparascopic adrenalectomy. Patients undergoing resection for pheochromocytoma trended toward more operative blood loss (150 ml) compared to aldosteronoma (88 ml) and incidentaloma (75 ml). Eight patients were converted to an open procedure for a 10.8% conversion rate. The mean operative time was 171 min and there was a 10.8% perioperative complication rate. The mean hospital stay was 3.4 days. These results were not statistically significant between diagnostic groups. Conclusion: Despite concern about increased operative times and morbidity associated with pheochromocytoma, our experience supports that laparoscopic adrenalectomy may be performed as safely as, and achieve outcomes similar to, those for other diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-625
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Aldosteronoma
  • Incidentaloma
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy
  • Pheochromocytoma


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