Laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) has become standard therapy for benign adrenal masses in adults. The utility of LA in children with adrenal masses is less well defined because of the infrequency and pathologic variability of pediatric adrenal masses, and body size and instrumentation considerations that exist in small children. Evaluation of a case series of children undergoing lateral, transperitoneal LA will reflect the safety and efficacy of this procedure in pediatric patients and identify preferred patient selection criteria.
A combined case series including patients treated between March 1999 and November 2004.
Urban tertiary referral pediatric teaching hospitals.
Patients and Interventions
All children with pathologic adrenal masses undergoing LA were included.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary study outcome measures included operative duration, conversions to open adrenalectomy, complications, length of hospital stay, and freedom from recurrence of the original pathologic adrenal mass.
A total of 21 LAs (including a staged, bilateral LA) were performed in 20 patients (13 girls, 7 boys) with a mean age of 6.4 years (range, 14 months to 18 years). Nine patients (43%) had neuroblastic tumors. Operative duration averaged mean ± SD 101 ± 48 minutes, and there was a single conversion to open adrenalectomy in a patient with a left adrenal carcinoma and tumor thrombus extending into the renal vein. There were no perioperative complications, and no patients required blood transfusions. The postoperative hospital stay averaged 1.5 days (range, 1-4.5 days). At a mean ± SD follow-up of 31 ± 17 months, all patients remained clinically (radiologically and/or biochemically) free of their original adrenal disease.
Laparoscopic adrenalectomy can be used to safely treat suspected benign and selected malignant adrenal masses in children.