Adrenal Cancer

Laparoscopic & Robotic Adrenalectomy for Adrenal Cancer

Prior to the development of laparoscopic adrenalectomy, the standard procedure for adrenal gland removal due to adrenal cancer was an adrenalectomy, which required an 8-12 inch incision through the rib cage. Using the laparoscopic adrenalectomy technique, the chest area and large incisions can be avoided entirely. Emory urologists perform laparoscopic and robotic adrenalectomies using several small incisions to remove adrenal tumors.

Open Adrenal Surgery for Adrenal Cancer

Open adrenal surgery is sometimes necessary for large tumors, which can involve other surrounding organ systems. There are three main types of open adrenal surgery:

  • Transabdominal/Anterior surgery: During this type of open adrenal surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient's abdomen to gain access to the adrenal glands to remove the tumor.
  • Posterior surgery: During this type of open adrenal surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the patient's back above the kidney to reach the tumor. Doctors also may use posterior surgery to diagnose small tumors.
  • Thoracoabdominal surgery: During this type of open adrenal surgery, which is typically used for large, cancerous adrenal tumors, the surgeon makes a large incision through the chest and abdomen to gain access to cancerous tumors for removal.

The Emory Department of Urology is affiliated with The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Georgia's only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center and serves as the coordinating center for cancer research and care throughout the Emory University system. With NCI Designation Winship joins an elite group of 65 cancer centers in the United States to have earned this coveted status.