General & Colorectal Surgeons serving the Greater Houston area

If you have an adrenal tumor that produces hormones or may be cancerous, chances are you need an adrenalectomy procedure. The skilled surgeons at Southwest Surgical Associates specialize in minimally invasive laparoscopic adrenalectomies, providing the care you need with minimal pain and a faster recovery. If you have questions or need to schedule an adrenalectomy, call the nearest office in Cypress, Katy, Sugarland, Pearland, or Houston, Texas, or book an appointment online today.

What is an adrenalectomy?

An adrenalectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both adrenal glands. You have two adrenal glands (one above each kidney) that produce the following hormones:


Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because the adrenal glands release it when you feel worried, fearful, or anxious. The hormone increases blood sugar, regulates blood pressure and sleep cycles, and controls protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism.


Aldosterone controls blood pressure and regulates levels of sodium and potassium.

Epinephrine and norepinephrine

Epinephrine and norepinephrine energize your body when you face a dangerous or stressful situation.

DHEA and androgenic steroids

These hormones convert estrogen into male hormones like progesterone.

When would I need an adrenalectomy?

Your surgeon may recommend adrenalectomy if you have a large tumor or a noncancerous growth that produces adrenal hormones. Though adrenal cancer isn’t common, you need an adrenalectomy surgery if you have a suspicious tumor, a cancerous tumor, or a metastatic tumor that has spread from the adrenal glands from elsewhere in your body.

What symptoms indicate I need an adrenalectomy?

Symptoms develop as functioning tumors produce abnormally high hormone levels. You may experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent urination
  • Severe headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fragile skin
  • Prominent stretch marks
  • Menstrual irregularities

You can also develop high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

What happens during an adrenalectomy?

In most cases, your surgeon removes the adrenal glands using a minimally invasive laparoscopy. However, they may need to perform open surgery if you have a large tumor or complications such as bleeding or obesity.

During a laparoscopy, your surgeon makes a few small incisions (less than one-half inch long) and inserts long, thin instruments through the incisions.

The laparoscope contains a video camera that sends magnified images to a monitor. Your surgeon views the monitor while controlling the surgical instruments. After carefully cutting out the adrenal gland, they place it in a small bag and gently remove it.

What are the benefits of a minimally invasive adrenalectomy?

Small incisions cause less trauma. As a result, you have:

  • Less pain after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Lower risk of herniation
  • Quicker return to your usual activities
  • Minimal scarring

If you have questions about adrenalectomy or need to schedule an appointment, call Southwest Surgical Associates or book online today.


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