[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
August 1996

Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy: Comparison of the Lateral and Posterior Approaches

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of California; Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Mount Zion Medical Center of UCSF; and San Francisco General Medical Center.

Arch Surg. 1996;131(8):870-876. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430200080014

Objective:  To compare the lateral transabdominal and posterior retroperitoneal laparoscopic methods for performing adrenalectomy.

Design:  Nonrandomized.

Setting:  Hospitals affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.

Patients:  Thirty-six patients (15 men and 21 women), aged 5 to 78 years (mean age, 49 years), were treated for the following conditions: aldosteronoma, 18 patients; pheochromocytoma, 4 patients; Cushing syndrome, 6 patients; androgen-secreting tumor, 1 patient; nonfunctioning adenoma, 3 patients; adrenal hemorrhage, 1 patient; metastatic neoplasm, 2 patients; and myelolipoma, 1 patient.

Interventions:  Twenty-three lateral and 14 posterior laparoscopic adrenalectomies.

Main Outcome Measures:  Success rate, operating time, complications, and length of hospital stay.

Results:  The tumors, which ranged in size from 1 to 13 cm (mean, 4.2 cm; median, 2.5 cm), were all successfully resected laparoscopically. All 8 tumors larger than 6 cm were resected by the lateral approach. One critically ill patient died. No patient required blood transfusions or conversion to laparotomy. Mean operating time was 3.8 hours vs 3.4 hours (median, 3.5 hours vs 3 hours) and mean hospital stay was 2.2 days vs 1.5 days (median, 2 days vs 1 day) for the lateral and posterior approaches, respectively. All patients without concomitant procedures were ready to be discharged within 48 hours.

Conclusions:  Both approaches were effective and safe. We prefer the lateral approach for tumors larger than 6 cm and the posterior approach for bilateral tumors.Arch Surg. 1996;131:870-876

Add or change institution