Left adrenalectomy, laparoscopic - general and visceral surgery

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date of publication: 20.05.2012

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  • CT findings


    Imaging demonstrates a multinodular 5cm–6cm large cyst-like mass in the region of the left adrenal, clinically confirmed as pheochromocytoma.

  • Trocar positioning


    Perform medial 2cm long minilaparotomy in left upper quadrant for the trocar of the laparoscope and then initiate pneumoperitoneum. After exploration of the abdominal cavity introduce two more working trocars – one 5mm trocar in the left upper quadrant and a Versa-Port V12 anterior to the 11thrib.

  • Freeing the descending colon


    Pull the descending colon mediad and incise the retroperitoneum in the avascular plane anterior to the left kidney.

  • Opening the prerenal space

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    Approach the left adrenal laterally by freeing the left colic flexure step by step from the retroperitoneum until large parts of the anterior aspect of the Gerota fascia and renal capsule have been exposed.

    Note:In slender patents it may become difficult to spare the Gerota fascia.

  • Dissecting the spleen off the diaphragm

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    Now transect the suspensory ligaments tying the spleen to the diaphragm, which then allows en blocmobilization of the spleen and pancreatic tail.

  • Exposing the superior left retroperitoneum

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    Under gentle traction first mobilize the spleen and then the pancreatic tail step by step mediad.

  • Accessing the adrenal

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    Carefully lifting the pancreatic tail craniad access to the left adrenal is gained at the end of the pancreatic tail posterior to the spleen and the adjacent gastric wall. Now, starting laterally first expose the adrenal by carefully transecting the small, primarily venous tributaries. This is carried out with the Ultracision® harmonic scalpel and includes exposing the lateral esophageal hiatus and left crus of the diaphragm.

  • Mobilizing the adrenal tumor

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    Expose the adrenal from its medial aspect. Delineate the medial margin of the adrenal tumor anterior to the aorta. The inferior margin borders on the renal vein. Gradual dissection from caudad to cephalad will expose the dual arterial blood supply with the inferior and superior renal artery. Carry out this dissection with the Ultracision® harmonic scalpel once again.

    Note:18% of all patients have more than one renal artery on each side (accessory vessels).

  • Transecting the central suprarenal vein

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    First, between clips transect the superior suprarenal artery arising from the inferior phrenic artery. Now expose the renal vein and the central suprarenal vein. The suprarenal vein typically exits the adrenal gland at its anterior aspect and crosses the renal artery. Clip the suprarenal vein close to the tumor with 3 titanium clips and transect it with the Ultracision® between the second and third clip.

  • Transecting the arterial blood supply

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    Dissection of a small arterial tributary will expose the main vessel. Seal both vessels with 3 titanium clips each.

  • Removing the entire adrenal

  • Retrieving the specimen and placing a drain

  • Wound closure