An adrenalectomy is a surgical procedure designed to remove one or both adrenal glands (located above the kidney). Adrenalectomies are used to treat cancerous or benign (non-cancerous) tumors that develop in the adrenal gland. The procedure is performed using traditional long incisions or laparoscopically.
Traditional adrenalectomies use a horizontal incision under the rib cage, a vertical incision in the middle of the stomach, an incision along the back under the rib cage, or incisions on both sides of the body. The adrenal glands are then disconnected from associated blood vessels and removed. Laparoscopic adrenalectomies use 3 to 4 small incisions, small instruments, and a small tube with a camera on the end (the laparoscope). The abdomen is expanded by filling it with gas, and the camera is used to visualize the adrenal glands. A small plastic bag is inserted into the abdomen and used to collect the glands. Then, the bag is removed through an incision located in the belly button.
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