Should laparoscopic approach be proposed for large and/or potentially malignant adrenal tumors?

Marco Raffaelli, Jean Francois Henry, Thierry Defechereux, Louis Gramatica

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79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) is safe and effective for small, benign, functioning tumors. Whether it should be performed for other adrenal tumors is questionable. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the complications and results of 150 consecutive LAs performed either for small benign tumors or for large and/or potentially malignant tumors. METHODS: Between June 1994 and August 1998, we performed 150 LAs in 142 patients. We used a transperitoneal flank approach in the lateral decubitus position. Initially, our indications for LA were limited to small (<4 cm) benign tumors (group I, n=102): 56 aldosteronomas, 33 Cushing's syndrome, 11 pheochromocytomas and 2 nonfunctional tumors. Progressively, based on increasing experience, LA was also proposed for tumors larger than 4 cm or potentially malignant (group II, n=48): 5 Cushing's syndrome, 1 androgen-producing tumor, 14 pheochromocytomas and 28 nonfunctional tumors. Preoperative demonstration of invasive extra-adrenal carcinoma remained an absolute contraindication for LA. RESULTS: Mean tumor size was 21.1 mm in group I and 51.6 mm in group II. All tumors in group I were benign. Six of the 48 tumors in group II were malignant (12.5%). The rate of complication was, respectively, 7.8% and 8.3% in groups I and II. The rate of conversion was, respectively, 4.9% and 6.2% in groups I and II. Mean operative time was 131 min in group I and 129 min in group II. The endocrinopathy was cured in all patients. To date, no recurrences have been observed. CONCLUSIONS: LA can be proposed for large (<12 cm) or potentially malignant adrenal tumors provided preoperative investigations have not demonstrated invasive carcinoma. An open procedure should be performed instead if local invasion is observed at the start of the operation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-369
Number of pages4
JournalLANGENBECK'S ARCHIVES OF SURGERY
Volume384
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Adrenal malignancy
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy

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