In 1954 a report was published describing bilateral adrenalectomy for patients with severe hypertension.1,2 These operations were performed in what now can be termed the "pre-drug era," when the effectiveness of hypotensive drugs was not established. Consequently, the follow-up studies are made on a group of nine patients whose postoperative period is now four to six and one-half years. Obviously, when drugs became available, adrenalectomy was abandoned because one must induce hypoadrenalism to accomplish surgical relief by adrenalectomy. The hypoadrenalism is a major illness in itself, and the operation must not be used except for patients with severe hypertension whose tension is uncontrollable by other means. A few patients were subjected to bilateral adrenalectomy in the "post-drug era" when the drugs failed to invoke a desirable lowering of the blood pressure, but the surgical results were not good because most of the patients were too ill then to tolerate
BOWERS RF, KNOX FH. Adrenalectomy for Severe Hypertension: A Follow-Up Report. AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(5):699–702. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01290040047005
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.