Adrenal Gland Removal
The adrenal glands are two small organs, one located above each kidney. They are known as endocrine glands because they produce hormones. These hormones are involved in controlling blood pressure, chemical levels in the blood, water use in the body, glucose usage and reaction during times of stress. Cortisol, aldosterone, the adrenaline hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine are produced by the adrenal glands. The Nebraska Medical Center offers a minimally invasive treatment option for removal of adrenal glands.
Causes and symptoms of dysfunctioning adrenal glands are different for each patient and may vary.
Pheochromocytomas produce excess hormones that can cause very high blood pressure and periodic spells characterized by severe headaches, excessive sweating, anxiety, palpitations, and rapid heart rate that may last from a few seconds to several minutes.
Aldosterone producing tumors cause high blood pressure and low serum (blood) potassium levels. In some patients, this may result in symptoms of weakness, fatigue, and frequent urination.
Cortisol producing tumors cause a syndrome termed Cushing’s syndrome that can be characterized by obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, menstrual irregularities, fragile skin, facial hair and prominent stretch marks. Most cases of Cushing’s syndrome, however, are caused by small pituitary tumors and are not treated by adrenal gland removal. Overall, adrenal tumors account for about 20% of cases of Cushing’s syndrome.