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Endocrine Surgery

FAQ About Adrenal Disease

For appointments and information, please call (212) 746-5130

My doctor found a mass on my adrenal gland on routine imaging. Should I be concerned?

It's very common to find small lesions on adrenal glands. Typically it is important to determine if the mass-produces any hormones. For this we recommend that you see and endocrinologist or endocrine surgeons. If the mass does not produce any hormones it can probably be watched.

I have adrenal adenocarcinoma. What should I do?

These are very rare tumors. Removing an adrenal adenocarcinoma at a very early stage can cure this disease. Chemotherapy has a limited role in treating adenocarcinoma; surgery being the most important treatment option. Life-long monitoring is required.

I have cancer that has spread to the adrenal gland. What should I do?

Usually this depends on where the primary tumor is. However, typically if the adrenal gland is the only site of metastasis removal of that adrenal gland is recommended.

Can I live with only one adrenal gland after adrenalectomy?

Many people undergo adrenalectomy and have a normal life afterwards. There are no activity restrictions or lifestyle changes required for patients that have one adrenal gland removed. If you need to have both your adrenal glands removed you will need to take supplemental hormones for the rest of your life.

How long is my recovery after adrenalectomy?

In most cases we can remove your adrenal gland using the minimal invasive technique, in which case your hospital stay is typically between 1-3 days. You should be able to resume normal activity right away, and you can follow a regular diet. Most people need a week to recover, but this can vary with each patient. We recommend that you do not perform any strenuous activity for at least a couple of weeks.

When can I return to normal daily activity?

You should be able to return to normal activity shortly after the operation if your surgery is completed laparoscopically. If we needed to convert your operation to an open surgery, recovery can be longer and it may take you a couple of weeks to return to normal activity.

Do I need to take any medications after adrenalectomy?

After adrenalectomy patient usually do not need to take any specific medications for life. You may be on a short course of medications after the surgery depending on the reason for the adrenalectomy.

How long do I need to follow-up after surgery?

Follow-up is dependent on the reason for the adrenalectomy. We typically like to have life-long follow-up on all our patients after adrenalectomy since they are rare disorders and – in some diseases – there is a risk of recurrence. We usually see our patients once a year.

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