A Comparison of Robotic Versus Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy in Patients With Primary Hyperaldosteronism

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Over the last decade, robotic approaches have been described for removing adrenal tumors. Although there are reports comparing robotic and laparoscopic techniques in general, there are limited data on outcomes in patients with primary hyperaldosteronism (PHA). The aim of this study is to compare the safety and efficacy of robotic adrenalectomy (RA) versus laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) for PHA.

Materials and Methods:

The records of 20 patients who underwent RA for PHA were compared with 16 patients who underwent LA between 2000 and 2014. Data were retrospectively reviewed from a prospectively maintained, IRB-approved adrenal database. Statistical analysis was performed using t test and the Fisher exact analysis. Continuous variables are reported as mean±SEM.


Demographic and clinical parameters were similar between the groups. There were no conversions to open in either group. Estimated blood loss, length of stay, and complication rates were comparable. Operative time was shorter in the robotic versus laparoscopic group (130±8.94 vs. 159±11.1 min, P=0.0487). In follow-up, the improvement in patients’ blood pressure after adrenalectomy, as assessed by the reduction in the number of antihypertensive medications, was similar between the 2 groups. However, 1 patient in the RA and 1 patient in the LA group were not cured, as determined by postoperative aldosterone:renin levels. The biochemical cure rate between the groups was similar (P=0.529).


To our knowledge, this is the first study comparing robotic versus laparoscopic resection of PHA. Our results show that the robotic approach was similar to laparoscopic regarding safety and efficacy. Operative time was shorter with the robotic approach, which could be related to more efficient dissection with wristed instrumentation.

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