Dr. Charles H. Mayo performed one of the first successful operations to remove a tumor from the adrenal glands in 1927. After 187 days in the hospital, the patient recovered completely.
Today, this relatively rare surgery is commonly done with endoscopes, tiny tubes that enable the surgeon to view and work inside the body through small incisions.In a recent publication of Surgery, Mayo Clinic surgeons compare the results of adrenal surgery done endoscopically with the traditional open way on a matched set of 100 patients. Their findings mimic those of other comparison studies, showing that minimal access surgery results in shorter hospitalizations, fewer complications, and quicker return to normal but slightly higher operating room costs. Specific findings are on Table 1.
Dr. Geoffrey Thompson, the author of the report, says that minimal access surgery is not necessarily easier, quicker, cheaper or safer. But it does have benefits for the patient and for society that are making it the procedure of choice for many purposes, including removal of adrenal tumors.