Adrenal Mass Treatment

Most adrenal gland tumors are benign, but all must be evaluated. 

For patients who undergo adrenalectomy, minimally-invasive surgical approaches, which include laparoscopic and robotic techniques, are routinely employed at our Center in Philadelphia. 

The adrenal glands are located in the area of the body known as the retroperitoneum just above the kidneys.  These small paired organs serve a critical function in keeping the body’s physiological balance. 

Approximately 5% of individuals harbor tumors in their adrenal glands.  When these tumors are discovered on radiology scans performed for other reasons, they are termed adrenal incidentalomas.  Although the vast majority of such tumors are benign, the possibility of a cancerous lesions always must be eliminated.  They must be evaluated using appropriate endocrinologic and radiologic approaches.

Furthermore, some benign adrenal tumors can be extremely harmful.  Approximately 10% of adrenal masses secrete an excess of hormones that deleteriously affect the body.  For example, hormonal hypersecretion can lead to such conditions as Cushing’s Syndrome, Conn’s Syndrome, and Pheochromocytoma

Evaluating Adrenal Lesions

Benefits to patients:
  • Thoughtful, expert, and complete evaluation.

  • Minimize unnecessary intervention.

  • If surgery is necessary, utilize laparoscopic or robotic techniques.

As such, a thorough and rigorous evaluation must be performed for every patient with an adrenal lesion.  Each patient must receive a metabolic work-up where hormone levels in the blood are thoughtfully tested.  Appropriate radiographic evaluation is paramount. Many of these clinical strategies require a deep understanding of the pathophysiology of adrenal disease.

Treatment Options

Fox Chase physicians are on the cutting edge when it comes to management of adrenal masses.

For patients who undergo adrenalectomy, minimally-invasive surgical approaches, which include laparoscopic and robotic techniques, are routinely employed at our Center in Philadelphia. 

In order to avoid unnecessary surgery, successful management of patients with adrenal mass requires not only advanced surgical skills, but also a fluent knowledge of adrenal physiology, adrenal neoplasm biology, and adrenal imaging. 

At Fox Chase, our experts understand the nuances in management of patients with adrenal masses.  In fact, two of our physicians — Dr. Alexander Kutikov and Dr. Robert G. Uzzo — have co-authored the definitive chapter on adrenal disorders in the latest edition of the universally established "bible of urology," the Campbell-Walsh Urology textbook.

Video Video
View a laparoscopic adrenalectomy by Fox Chase Cancer Center's Department of Urological Oncology and Temple University School of Medicine.
Warning: This video contains graphic images of a surgical procedure.

Furthermore, world-class endocrinologic expertise for patients with benign and malignant adrenal disorders alike is available at Fox Chase from Dr. Colleen Veloski.

While our experts strive to avoid overtreatment, some patients do require surgery. When possible, our surgeons employ minimally-invasive approaches when adrenalectomy is necessary.

[1/24/2013]