What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are paired organs that sit atop the kidneys. They produce a variety of essential hormones, the most familiar of which is their namesake compound – adrenaline. Their main functions include maintenance of body fluids, electrolytes and blood pressure. They also play a role in maintaining blood sugar and heart rate.
Tumors in the adrenal glands cause the following conditions:
Cushing’s Syndrome -
This tumor-caused disease most frequently occurs in adults between the ages of 20 and 50. Caused by excess production of hydrocortisone (cortisol), the problem often lies not with the adrenal gland but with the pituitary gland in the brain.
Conn’s Disease (hyperaldosteronism) -
This extremely rare disease usually occurs in women. It may result from excessive growth (hyperplasia) in tissues of both adrenal glands or a benign tumor in a single gland. It leads to over-production of aldosterone, potassium loss and increased sodium retention in the kidneys.
Symptoms include moderate hypertension, constipation, muscle weakness, excessive urination, excessive thirst, headaches and personality changes. These do not necessarily appear in all individuals with the disorder.
Surgery is indicated when the disease results from an adenoma (tumor). In some patients the disease may be managed by dietary sodium restriction therapy with diuretics that block aldosterone’s actions.
This rare disease stems from a tumor in the adrenal medulla leading to overproduction of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Primary symptoms of this tumor disease include high blood pressure, headache, heart palpitations and excessive or inappropriate sweating.
Treatment for hyper functioning tumors or cancer of the adrenal gland is surgical removal of the adrenal gland. This surgery is now performed laparoscopically thereby minimizing the trauma of open surgery. Adrenal Gland Surgery is today performed Laparoscopically & Dr. Ramani has performed over 200 of these.
Advantages of Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy include:
- Minimal Pain
- Minimal Blood Loss
- Overnight Hospital Stay
- Early return to work