Within a decade, laparascopic adrenalectomy has become the new "gold standard" for the surgical treatment of most adrenal lesions. Designed as a single-center project focused on patients with adrenal lesions, this study should provide an indication of the number of patients requiring surgery who can safely undergo laparoscopy, after consideration of such selection criteria as tumor size and benign or malignant lesion status at magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, the access-related complications were analyzed.
According to a prospective protocol, 150 consecutive patients selected for adrenal surgery were assigned to transperitoneal endoscopic or open adrenalectomy.
University hospital section of endocrine surgery.
One hundred two patients (68%) were selected for a laparoscopic approach that had to be converted to open surgery in 5 patients (5%). Two malignant cortisol-secreting lesions were operated on laparoscopically because of their small size and benign appearance at magnetic resonance imaging. During histological examination, 14 (29%) of 48 patients assigned to transperitoneal open adrenalectomy had lesions deemed malignant (16 [11%] of 150 patients). The laparoscopic group had significantly fewer complications (9%) than did the open group (21%; P = .04).
By applying defined selection criteria for the treatment of adrenal lesions, transperitoneal endoscopic adrenalectomy can be a safe procedure and may be performed in at least two thirds of patients. The choice of endoscopic or open approach in larger tumors should depend on the results of preoperative imaging studies and the endocrine surgeon's experience in endoscopic adrenal surgery.