Pioneering Surgery for Adrenal Gland Tumors

Minimally Invasive Techniques Benefit Patients

The adrenal glands produce hormones that protect your body against stress and regulate salt and water balance. Small tumors in these glands are most often benign (not cancerous), yet they can cause hormone overproduction that affects other organs.

Today, the good news is that surgeons can remove most small benign tumors from the adrenal gland with minimally invasive surgical techniques. In fact, Scott & White endocrine cancer surgery team members are experts in the field for two new procedures that are less invasive, less painful and allow you a quicker recovery.

  • Posterior Retroperitoneoscopic Adrenalectomy (PRA)
  • Robot-Assisted Posterior Retroperitoneoscopic Adrenalectomy (RAPRA)

Posterior Retroperitoneoscopic Adrenalectomy (PRA)

“We are forerunners in new minimally invasive techniques. We helped pioneer a new, state-of-the-art procedure here: posterior retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy. We were the second surgery team in Texas to do this advanced approach,” says Terry C. Lairmore, MD, Endocrine Surgeon and Chief of Surgical Oncology at Scott & White.

In this minimally invasive procedure, you will lie face down on the operating table and your surgeon will make several small incisions in your back. Using a telescope and a video system, your surgeon will precisely identify and remove the adrenal gland tumor or, if necessary, the entire adrenal gland.

“This is also a laparoscopic procedure, but in general requires fewer small incisions, less time in the operating room, and a similar faster recovery,” explains Dr. Lairmore.

The surgery will take around one to three hours, and you’ll be expected to stay in the hospital for one to two days.

Robot-Assisted Posterior Retroperitoneoscopic Adrenalectomy (RAPRA)

Dr. Lairmore pioneered a new procedure that advances the retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy procedure a step further. Working with the Scott & White surgical team, Dr. Lairmore was the first to develop and perform robot-assisted removal of the adrenal gland through the back (posterior).

In this minimally invasive procedure, you will lie face down on the operating table and your surgeon will make several small incisions in your back. Using the da Vinci® Surgical System, your surgeon will precisely identify and remove the adrenal gland tumor or, if necessary, the entire adrenal gland. A tissue sample will be sent to the laboratory for assessment by a pathologist; the report will be sent to your surgeon in about a week.

Surgical advantages of the robotic system include:

  • Magnified image of your adrenal gland
  • Better visualization of your adrenal gland tumor by your surgeon
  • Increased maneuverability and mobility of surgery instruments in small working space

Scott & White's commitment to individualized patient care and excellence in care keeps us on the leading edge of surgical technology.

Find out more about surgery for adrenal gland tumors

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