Adrenal Masses in Children: The Role of Minimally Invasive Surgery


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Abstract

The development of laparoscopic surgery has extended its uses to include adrenalectomy in children and in adults. Because conventional adrenalectomy requires a large incision, minimally invasive surgery offers a less aggressive solution in some selected cases. Twenty-nine adrenal masses in 26 children were treated using adrenalectomy between 1994 and 2004 (12 were treated laparoscopically, the remaining 17 with open surgery). Minimally invasive procedures were limited to the removal of small localized adrenal tumors and to biopsies. Although this approach must be limited to operations on lesions presumed to be benign, preoperative criteria for nonmalignancy are often difficult to define. Indications can be expanded to include to stage I neuroblastoma. There seems to be no age and weight limit. The technique applied varies in accordance with anatomy and the surgeon's experience: minimally invasive adrenalectomy, in our experience, was preferentially performed through a lateral retroperitoneal approach. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy can be used if the selection of cases is rigorous and the operations are performed by well-trained laparoscopic surgeons.

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