Solid Organ Surgery
A laparoscopic adrenalectomy performed at our San Diego-area surgical practice can help treat – and even eliminate – health problems stemming from hormone imbalances.
What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are located on top and in front of either kidney. Measuring approximately one-half inch by 3 inches and triangular in shape, each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct sections: the medulla, which is located at the center of the gland, and the outer cortex, which surrounds the medulla.
Though the adrenal glands are typically thought of as a singular gland, its distinct parts allow it to perform two separate functions. The medulla produces two chemicals, both of which serve as a hormone and neurotransmitter: epinephrine and norepinephrine (otherwise known as adrenaline). On the other hand, the cortex produces aldosterone and cortisone, hormones essential to balancing body fluids and electrolytes.
Why would the adrenal gland need to be removed?
As the main function of the adrenal glands is to produce important hormones, an adrenalectomy can help address problems derived from hormone overproduction. There are several indicators of a need for an adrenalectomy, including:
- A tumor in the medulla causing overproduction of adrenaline, a condition otherwise known as pheochromocytoma
- A tumor in the cortex that causes it to produce too much aldosterone and/or cortisone
- Any cancer that develops on one or both adrenal glands
Schedule a private consultation with one of our surgeons today to find out whether an adrenalectomy is necessary in your case.
The laparoscopic splenectomy procedure can be performed to help patients avoid complications that arise from a damaged or diseased spleen.
What is the spleen?
Until the early 1990s, the function of the spleen remained a mystery to the medical community. However, in 1993, doctors discovered that the spleen plays an integral role in many processes related to blood. The spleen filters red blood cells, trapping viruses, bacteria, and debris to keep them from causing infection; additionally, the spleen destroys old red blood cells. Lastly, the spleen holds a reserve of blood that can be supplied to the body after an event that causes substantial blood loss, such as a deep cut.
Why would the spleen need to be removed?
There are many reasons the spleen may need to be removed with a splenectomy, including:
- Hypersplenism – Hypersplenism is a condition in which the spleen prematurely destroys large amounts of otherwise healthy red blood cells. The hypersplenism condition can be caused by any number of diseases, including malaria or tuberculosis, but can also develop as a primary disorder. Most, but not all, people suffering from hypersplenism develop an enlarged spleen.
- Bleeding – Blunt force trauma enacted on the body near the spleen can cause the spleen to bleed internally, requiring the removal of the organ.
- Rupture – A traumatic incident, such as an auto accident or fall from a great height, can cause the spleen to rupture. A ruptured spleen releases a large amount of blood into the abdominal area, resulting in shock and, in some cases, death. An emergency splenectomy is typically needed.
- Gastric Cancer – In some cases, gastric cancer can spread to the spleen, requiring it to be removed.
Treating ITP with a Splenectomy
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, is a disease that pits the body’s own immune system against platelets in the blood affecting about 200,000 people in the United States. ITP causes antibodies to attach themselves to platelets, marking the platelets to be destroyed by the spleen and, in some cases, the liver. Though there are many treatments that can stop the process of platelet destruction, splenectomy is one of the most reliable.
Contact Olde Del Mar Surgical Today
The laparoscopic approach provides numerous advantages for patients who need to undergo an adrenalectomy or splenectomy. The surgeons at our practice have committed themselves to performing many necessary procedures laparoscopically in order to offer their patients a safer, less-invasive surgery option. Contact Olde Del Mar Surgical today to learn more about the conditions that necessitate laparoscopic adrenalectomy and splenectomy, as well as about the procedures themselves.