An adrenal tumor is an abnormal growth on one or both adrenal glands. These relatively rare tumors are most often benign (noncancerous), but they can also be malignant (cancerous).
While many adrenal tumors don’t cause symptoms, some release excess hormones that may lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure, facial flushing, weight gain, headaches and palpitations.
Adrenal Tumors: Why Choose Johns Hopkins
- Our team has pioneered robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques for treating adrenal tumors, requiring less downtime than more traditional surgical techniques. However, not all adrenal tumors are amenable to minimally invasive surgery. Experts at Johns Hopkins can help determine the best approach for you.
- We treat all types of adrenal tumors, including adrenal adenomas, adrenocortical carcinomas, aldosteronomas and pheochromocytomas.
- Our highly skilled surgeons have extensive experience evaluating and operating on and around the adrenal glands and kidneys.
- From initial consultation through treatment and post-surgery follow-up, you’ll receive friendly and focused care from each member of our team.
What to Expect
At your appointment, your surgeon will talk with you about treatment options for your adrenal tumor and will answer any questions you may have. If the tumor produces hormones or is suspected to be cancerous, you may be a candidate for an adrenalectomy, which is surgical removal of one or both adrenal glands. If an adrenalectomy is performed, you will need to take medications to replace the hormones normally produced by the adrenals. You may be referred to an endocrinologist for the evaluation and management of hormone-producing tumors before and/or after surgery.
Our surgeons have extensive experience with both surgical approaches to removing complex adrenal tumors:
- Minimally invasive surgery. Most tumors can be removed with a minimally invasive surgery called laparoscopic adrenalectomy, which provides patients with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and an earlier return to daily activities.
- Traditional open surgery. For tumors that cannot be removed laparoscopically and most adrenocortical carcinomas, open incision adrenalectomy may be necessary.
Benign tumors that do not produce hormones may not need to be removed. These can be followed with serial imaging and reassurance. Most benign adrenal tumors do not grow.
You’ll be under the care of our multidisciplinary team, including experts in surgery and oncology, who will work together to personalize a treatment plan for you.