Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy for Potentially Malignant Adrenal Tumors Greater than 5 Centimeters

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Abstract

Purpose:

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) is controversial for large, potentially malignant tumors. We report a series of LA or hand-assisted LA for large (>5 cm) adrenal tumors.

Patients and Methods:

Among 210 LAs performed in 6 yr, 39 patients had potentially malignant tumors greater than 5 cm in diameter. Their perioperative and follow-up data were retrospectively analyzed.

Results:

All 39 patients had successful LAs without perioperative mortality, conversion to open surgery, or capsular disruption during dissection. The mean tumor size was 6.2 cm (range, 5-12 cm), operative time 207 min (115-315 min), and blood loss 75 ml (minimal-1400 ml). Complications included one intraoperative diaphragmatic perforation, three mild wound infections, and one pneumonia. Preoperatively there were 27 nonfunctioning tumors, seven pheochromocytomas, three cortisol-secreting tumors, and two virilizing tumors. Final pathology revealed eight malignant (four adrenocortical carcinomas and four metastatic carcinomas) and 31 benign tumors (14 cortical adenomas, eight pheochromocytomas, six myelolipomas, and three ganglioneuromas). Median follow-up was 39 months. Four patients (two adrenocortical carcinomas, one metastatic hepatoma, and one lymphoma) died 24, 10, 9, and 3 months after surgery, respectively. A hand-assisted device was used in 10 patients. Only the tumor size was larger and length of postoperative hospital stay longer for those in the hand-assisted group.

Conclusions:

LA is a reasonable option for selected large adrenal tumors when complete resection is technically feasible and there is no evidence of local invasion. Hand-assisted LA is a good alternative to open conversion if a difficult dissection is encountered intraoperatively.

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