Minimally invasive adrenalectomy

Duke endocrine surgeons are among the few in the country to remove adrenal tumors through your back with very small incisions. Posterior retroperitoneal adrenalectomy avoids painful abdominal incisions, and gets you back on your feet faster.

Surgical expertise in minimally invasive adrenal tumor removal

Our endocrine surgeons are skilled in the removal of adrenal tumors through small incisions in your back. This speeds our recovery, minimizes scarring, and lowers the risk of injury to abdominal organs. We use this technique for many types of adrenal tumors, including tumors which produce excess hormones, enlarged tumors, or cancerous masses that may have spread to the adrenal gland from other organs, such as lung cancer, colon cancer or ovarian cancer

Choose Duke for minimally invasive adrenal gland removal because we offer:

  • Experienced surgeons. Our surgeons are among the select few with the surgical expertise to perform these complicated adrenalectomies.
  • Faster recovery, less scarring. Performing adrenal gland removal through small back incisions offers significant benefits over surgical removal of through your abdomen. Because the adrenal glands are found right above each kidney, we do not have to move any organs out of the way, such as your spleen, liver, pancreas and colon. You experience fewer risks, minimal scarring, less post-operative pain and faster recovery.
  • Comprehensive surgical evaluation. Our highly specialized surgeons use minimally invasive posterior retroperitoneal adrenalectomy to treat pheochromocytoma, Cushing's and Conn's syndrome caused by a functional adrenal tumor. It may also be used to remove large benign tumors, cysts or malignant cancers (metastases) from other organs. It is not recommended for removal of very large adrenal tumors or tumors which appear to be adherent to other organs. Not all patients are candidates for this approach.  Our thorough surgical evaluation will determine if this approach is right for you. If you are not a candidate for this procedure, we also perform traditional transabdominal laparoscopic adrenalectomy or open surgery.
  • Reputation for excellence. We rank among the top hospitals in the country for endocrinology care by U.S. News & World Report. That means our specialists offer expert care for adrenal disorders using the most advanced tests, surgeries and treatments available today, as well as minimally invasive surgical options that can result in less pain, fewer complications, minimal scarring and shorter hospital stays.

Surgical approach